Punch Club 2: Fast Forward Interview – Setting, Progression, Management, and More

Lazy Bear Games speaks with GamingBolt about its upcoming fighting management title.

Posted By | On 04th, Apr. 2023

Punch Club 2: Fast Forward Interview – Setting, Progression, Management, and More

The original Punch Club may have flown under the radar for many, but those who’ve played it will gladly tell you that it was one heck of a fighting management experience. Now, later in 2023, seven years on from the original game’s release, developer Lazy Bear Games is returning with a sequel, and with its cyberpunk aesthetic, pixel art visual style, and a number of gameplay improvements to further hone its fighting and management systems, Punch Club 2: Fast Forward seems to be shaping up to be a solid sequel. To learn more about the game and some of the biggest and changes and improvements it’s making over its predecessor, we recently reached out to its developers with a few questions. You can read our full interview below.

punch club 2 fast forward

"In Punch Club 2: Fast Forward, we were inspired by how the future was imagined in the 80s-90s action movies. The atmosphere of the game is a mixture of Demolition Man, Total Recall, Escape from L.A., Matrix and so on."

Punch Club 2: Fast Forward takes the visual aesthetic of the original but jumps forward in time into a cyberpunk setting. What was behind the decision to make that change, and how different will the game’s vibe be as a result, as compared to its predecessor?

Punch Club was largely inspired by the classic action movies of the 80s-90s in terms of atmosphere. In Punch Club 2: Fast Forward, we were inspired by how the future was imagined in the 80s-90s action movies. The atmosphere of the game is a mixture of Demolition Man, Total Recall, Escape from L.A., Matrix and so on.

What can you tell us about Punch Club 2’s progression mechanics and how much control they will afford to players over how they want to upgrade their character?

The player can choose which way to develop his character – Strength, Agility or Endurance. But the most important thing is the combat schools and skills that open up as you progress. To do this, there is a basic branch of skills that introduces the player to all three directions for the development of a fighter: The Path of Strength, the Path of Agility and the Path of Endurance. Next, the player already opens one (or more, if he wants) special branch of three, which is closer to him and more like it. As for the global progression, the player discovers new simulators during the game, neurotraining (and you can do only with them, without classic simulators), extreme neurotraining (dangerous for the brain), food and buffs, work at different jobs, software for a brain implant.

Time management was a big part of the core loop in the original Punch Club. Can you tell us about how the sequel is refining that aspect of the gameplay, and what, if any, changes you’re making to the structure on that front?

There are two main changes: the first is the cycle of day and night. It was always daytime at Punch Club in the game world, and all the shops, gym, etc. were always open. In the sequel, each location has its own time slot when it is available. For example, the Night Club is available only at night, and the work at the Noodle Shop is available only in the evening and at night. Of course, there are 24/7 available locations. This encourages players to develop their own routine and optimize it as new things become available as they progress. After 7 years we were able to program the moon! Secondly, Punch Club 2 has many more locations and activities than in the first part, so the player will always have something to do and will have to choose “what not to do” and what to focus on.

Stat decay was a somewhat divisive feature in the original Punch Club. Will Punch Club 2 make use of it as well?

No, there will be no stat decay in Punch Club 2: Fast Forward. Your stats will not fall over time, no one will take them away and we believe it’s important to listen to your audience.

punch club 2 fast forward

"If I need to name only one biggest improvement, I think it’s game design and balance. We tried to make the game more exciting and diverse, in comparison with the first game."

What would you say are the biggest improvements Punch Club 2 is making over its predecessor?

We tried to improve everything we could. This applies to the visuals, animations, and music (it has become richer and better), and the gameplay, and the clarity of the interfaces, and the story and dialogues, and the overall stability of the game (we spent a lot of time and effort on catching and fixing bugs). If I need to name only one biggest improvement, I think it’s game design and balance. We tried to make the game more exciting and diverse, in comparison with the first game.

Punch Club 2 is promising a branching, reactive narrative- just how reactive will it be? How much will the story change based on the player’s choices?

Whilst the story has a definitive ending, it’s about the journey the player takes throughout to get them to the ending. The player has the freedom to shape their experience to their preference, from where they work, how they train, if they choose to abide by the law… or not.

Roughly how long will an average playthrough of the game be?

Based on our experience, on average, it takes 20-25 hours to complete the game.

What frame rate and resolution will the game target on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S?

We are aiming for a stable 60 FPS. As for the resolution, because the game in the style of pixel art, 4k and Full HD look the same.


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