Pulling No Punches is a classic 2D Action Brawler/Beat’em Up where you educate fanatics and try to eradicate the pandemic hit city by delivering one-two punch to deniers in the fight to protect everyone else.
In this day and age where we are living through Covid-19, different ideas and opinions on what that entails, how things should be run and such, it is bound to inspire movies and games that are either based loosely (or not) on it.
One Punch at a Time
In this case, Pulling No Punches takes place in a fictional city who is going through a fictional pandemic and your characters (4 of them to choose from) are against those who are denying what is going on and are getting fed by misinformation about it. So your job is to end the spreading of the disease by punching your way through it to help solve the ongoing crisis.
Choose Your Fighter
With 4 unique characters to choose from, who you pick will have their own strengths, weaknesses and style to how they control. So a little test run for each of them to find a suitable fighter is encouraged as you’ll face enemies of varying style and difficulty. Some are tankier but have limited reach, some are frail but move quickly and can throw items at you.
All In Check
The style of play works as one would expect for classic beat’em ups. They play in a lane-esque layout. You have the standard attack, heavy attack, block, special attack (which will charge when you land blow), items can be picked up in the environment and used as melee (for extra reach) or thrown to enemies from afar. As far as how it plays, Pulling No Punches certainly ticks all the boxes for mechanics expected in a beat’em up.
Visually, Pulling No Punches has a cartoony but yet mature look to it and it is so well done in its style. Everything is well drawn and characters have their own look that fits into the world of the game. Certainly the art direction and execution is one of its highlights that gives the game its own identity.
Who Likes Spam?
The one initial concern might be that enemies like to gang up on you, leaving you with little to no room to land a blow on them. So what does one do when enemies spam attack you? You spam defense on them. Thankfully your block protects against almost all damage (except certain boss attacks) and they automatically block any incoming damage no matter where they are coming from, which certainly helps. So finding that nano-second window to strike is crucial, but don’t over-do it as getting a little greedy might open a window for them to land a blow or two on you.
You don’t have to be a beat’em up fan to appreciate what a gem of a game Pulling No Punches is. It would satisfy fans who crave for challenging fights, but at the same time is fair enough for casuals that after every loss, you’ll see the patterns and learn where you went wrong and how to improve on it. The story certainly raises some one eyebrows and has most of us thinking, “I see what you did there ;)”. Pulling No Punches’ wears its influence on its sleeves and does it very nicely and well. The setting, art direction, gameplay and timing of its release couldn’t be any better.
Hailing from a small Island. Huge football fan. Drinks too much tea.
Survival, Roguelikes, Turn-based or Indie games in general are my go to genres but I like to dabble in all kinds of genres. I tend to have a soft spot for Shmups and Hidden Object Games once in a while.