Punch Club: The Dark Fist Review

Punch Club Review Screenshot 1

A while back I reviewed Punch Club on the PC and I enjoyed my time playing though it. The game has now got a free DLC expansion that adds around three hours of extra gameplay that sees you play as a part-time superhero.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started Punch Club the first time around as I’m not usually a massive fan of sports games. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed the game, which certainly has more of an RPG focus, with character progression and inventory management.

If you want to play The Dark Fist extra content you need to start a brand new game, with the DLC kicking in during day six at your house. The game before that starts in exactly the same way, so you do have to go through the motions in order to reach the point where things change. Life is tough from the get-go and your father is murdered at the start of the story, and with his last dying breath he tells you to train hard, be strong and avenge his death. The premise of the game is about building up your character and his abilities.

Punch Club Review Screenshot 2

As I said in my initial review, the story is fairly straightforward and has obvious callbacks and references to other films along with nods to icons from the 80’s. The game may not appeal to everybody, as a lot of time is spent grinding and taking time to earn money. The game is basically a life simulator, seeing you working, going to the gym and talking to people. The game may have a quirky, lighthearted look, but it does have some serious undertones and narrative. You are basically having to work your way up from nothing, whilst dealing with the loss of your father.

As the game progresses you start to meet a range of characters that add more layers of gameplay and the expansion also adds more content, which sees you taking on criminals.

You can earn cash from your job at the construction site, and then have to manage your money. You have to take into consideration that you need to travel, go to the gym and eat. It’s important to keep a good balance to stay fit. The game a skill system, which I thought worked well. As you progress you gain points to upgrade your character, and as you get further you can start to really customize how you want your player to be. The gym is an extremely important part of the game and sees you basically building up your stats so that you can become more successful in the scheduled fights.

The Dark Fist DLC is free and was added on March 8th and has around three hours of content. Its important to note that the content is actually scattered throughout the main games story rather than all in one go. Punch Club is a fairly ordinary story with simple gameplay mechanics, but The Dark Fist adds some real quirkiness and space for some slightly more off the wall moments and narrative. It all starts when you find a mysterious glowing briefcase in your house. This briefcase seems to be some kind of GPS and helps you track down criminal activity within the city. You will head to crime scenes, like at the local grocery, where you discover that criminals in what sounds like animal masks are causing havoc. You will then start to track down the bad guys and attempt to bring them down using your secret identity. These fights though are far from easy and you will need to train hard and build up your character before bringing them down.

Punch Club Review Screenshot 3

The DLC for the game has also brought a few new features. Firstly, there’s Twitch integration, which allows viewers to bet on your fights. I haven’t had much of a chance to use this feature yet but it sounds like an awesome idea and really does offer something different. There is also ‘Hardcore Mode’ that means your opponents level up alongside you, cloud saves that allow you to continue your game on multiple devices, expanded main music theme, and more.

I don’t want to give too much away about the story in The Dark Fist, but it felt like a nice addition and allowed for the game to feel a bit more ridiculous at times, which I enjoyed. The DLC doesn’t add a huge amount to the game in terms of story, but its free and has some pretty decent new features that do improve the overall experience. The DLC is a nice addition as it also gives a reason to go back and play the game again. I guess you could probably just avoid the briefcase if you don’t want to do the Dark Fist parts.

The presentation of Punch Club is great, with 16-bit like graphics, nostalgic references and chip-tune soundtrack. The colour palette used is vibrant and suits the game perfectly. The first time I reviewed the game I said that the story was a bit empty but the DLC has certainly added a bit more depth and variation, which is nice to see. It will be interesting to see if the game has any more content planned for the future. I would recommend this game and with the new DLC it gives even more reasons a new feature that make it worth checking out.

Rating 7

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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