|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Idol Minds Digital Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SONY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Fall 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 26, 2007 - Have you ever wanted to hurtle people towards an inevitable and surely painful target using a larger than life slingshot? C'mon, I know the thought has crossed your mind! Well, regardless if you're willing to admit it or not, the PlayStation Network is coming out with a downloadable game to be released sometime this fall to assuage your need to cause mayhem. That game is Pain.
The concept behind the game is exceedingly simple. You start off with a character and a giant slingshot. Then you have several modes you can use to delight your destructive urges. The initial mode is called Pandemonium, and it's essentially an unlimited free play mode. You can launch your little character into a vast cityscape, complete with all the trappings that the urban lifestyle includes. Once you aim and shoot, you'll be able to watch your character plummet towards countless objects that will contribute to their demise. And though where you land will depend primarily on where you aim, you can also alter your character's trajectory in-flight. And how is Pandemonium mode scored? By how much pain you've inflicted upon your hapless character, of course. Sound slightly disturbing? It might be, but think of the hours of fun!
However, pandemonium mode is really just a warm up for the game's numerous challenge modes. One of the announced modes of play, lucratively titled Spank the Monkey, will have you hurling your unfortunate character towards monkeys that have been scattered throughout the stage. Another mode, Mime toss, has you chucking an unsuspecting mime through panes of glass.
A fourth, and just announced mode, is Pain Bowling, which looks to be just as fun as it sounds. You hurtle your character towards pins or mimes (depending on your difficulty setting) and knock 'em down. But the twist with this mode is that is multiplayer enabled. So while you're chucking your unsuspecting victim towards its agonizing goal, online players may attempt to thwart your character's course. And how may others put a stop to your pain-inducing course? By dropping exploding grandmothers and shooting you with various shrapnel to try and knock you off course. By far this mode looks like the most fun and the most challenging mode in Pain's entire set of devastating play modes. And its online possibilities that add to the destructive potential of this title really get me all excited. Of course, that may be just me.
As far as technical specs are concerned, this game looks like it aims to please. Graphics look good, and characters and environments are very detailed to maximize your appetite for destruction. It is important to note that the graphics are not gory, and instead focus more on property damage than actual bodily harm. Because hurtling people at random objects designed to inflict the most pain should be fun, not messy.
Another thing that'll be pretty cool about Pain is that the way you're able to crash your character is grounded in actual physics. So if you pull back your sling shot at an angle that maximizes distance instead of force, your character will crash in an according fashion. It's all done very expertly and mathematically, and all for your destructive pleasure. So if you want to think of a good excuse to download this one, think of it as furthering your scientific knowledge in the arena of physics. It'll be our secret.
Overall, Pain is a game that, despite its simplistic idea looks to be whole lot of fun. From launching unsuspecting characters into various types of doom to bowling over mimes, Pain will definitely provide many hours of single player and multiplayer destructive fun. Plus it looks great and has an engine that's grounded in real-life physics. Look out for it on the PlayStation Network this fall!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer