The first rule of Punch Club isn't to speak of Punch Club, but to openly embrace it for what it is — a fighting management simulator that encapsulates the cyberpunk aesthetic and mixes it with tongue-in-cheek 80s humor and punch-drunk shenanigans. As luck would have it, that's exactly what we can expect to see come of Lazy Bear Games' upcoming sequel at some point later this year.
It's still early days yet, and there are still plenty of i's to dot a t's to cross before it's finally released on both consoles and PC. That said, its developer hasn't exactly been quiet over the matter, either, which of course means there are plenty of juicy details to absorb already. Keen to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about Punch Club 2: Fast Forward.
What Is Punch Club 2: Fast Forward?
Punch Club 2: Fast Forward is an upcoming fighting management simulator by Lazy Bear Games. Unlike its prequel—a brawler set in the 80s—the sequel will take players to a cyberpunk-themed dystopian future, a backwater metropolis in which “people eat slime, corruption is rife and everyone wants to fight you.” That's according to the blurb, which elaborates by saying “the streets are covered in neon, police holograms patrol neighborhoods, the gym has a new neuro fitness machine, and… Wait is that a Jedi robot massage therapist?!”
As well as Fast Forward basing its core gameplay on fighting various parody-like bouts, the sequel will also include a rich “choose-your-own adventure” format, meaning a lot of consequences will be based on the actions you take along the course of your journey.
Fast Forward will transport you to the distant future, specifically a neon world in which corruption is commonplace and every citizen is ravenous for bruised knuckles and a good old-fashioned back alley brawl. As the fabled “Dark Fist,” you will learn to waltz the streets and use your hard-earned talents and questionable brawn to unravel a mystery that involves the disappearance of your father.
“You’ve spent 20 long years living in the confines of your overbearing mother’s garage, your father mysteriously vanished before you were born,” the Steam description adds. “But hey, you had plenty of time to work out and dream about the wonders of the world.”
“But maybe you can find your father and become the ‘dark fist’ people whisper about, somehow you could actually be humanity’s saviour, the one who uncovers the super secret secrets of the Goodness Corporation… or not. It’s a choose-your-own adventure, stay in the garage if you want.”
At its core, Punch Club is a tycoon-type game in which your primary objective is to morph a bog-standard fighter into a million-dollar mean machine. Between bouts in the ring or out on the street, you are tasked with attending the gym, learning a myriad of advanced fighting styles, and unraveling a mystery that goes way beyond the confines of your mother's basement.
“Punch, kick and cheat your way through, if you want,” the blurb reads in part. “Becoming the best damn fighter ain't easy, it takes time, dedication, dollars and training! Increase your stats and techniques, plan your match and create your own incredibly awesome school of fighting!”
The sequel to 2016's all-time favorite fighting management sim is being brought to you by Lazy Bear Games, a Lithuanian studio best known for its arcade titles including Swag and Sorcery, and Graveyard Keeper. Judging by the portfolio, Punch Club 2: Fast Forward will be something of a love letter to its first project. It will also be published by tinyBuild, a firm that has collaborated with Lazy Bear Games on several occasions.
“Punch Club is a special title to us – our first game – we put our hearts into the development of this sequel,” the studio wrote in part. “Our goal was to embrace our Lazy Bear Games style, smooth the edges that slowed down the progression, and pump up the fun.”
So, has Lazy Bear Games unveiled any form of sneak preview for Punch Club 2 yet? In short, yes, and it's mainly thanks to the IGN Fan Fest 2023 event that took place earlier this week. As insightful as ever, the studio uncloaked a treasure trove of details on the sequel, including its gameplay elements, characters, and even a short snippet of its story. You can see it for yourself in the trailer above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Punch Club 2: Fast Forward will be coming to Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Switch, and PC via Steam, Epic, and GOG at some stage in 2023. That's about as much as we know about the launch window, mostly down to the fact that, well, Lazy Bear Games hasn't given anything else away since making the formal announcement. If we had to put a pin in it, though, then we'd wager a Q4 2023 release.
At this point in time, neither Lazy Bear Games nor tinyBuild have mentioned anything about the game coming to either Game Pass or PlayStation Plus. There is a chance that it could, what with a lot of indie games making their way as day-one exclusives these days. But as it stands, the only way to get your Punch Club fix is via Steam. You can add it to your Wishlist here.
For more information on the Punch Club 2: Fast Forward launch, you can follow the official social handle here. If anything even the slightest bit interested pops up before its release, we'll be sure to let you know all of the details right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Punch Club 2: Fast Forward when it eventually drops? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.