You know, once in awhile a real gem of a game comes along. We’ve seen lots of these gems on both PSN and Xbox Live Arcade. This gem comes in the form of Pain. Imagine playing a game that fully utilizes ragdoll effects for humor, playability and skill. That is what Pain is all about and it’s addictive as all get out.
Pain is really simple. Put a character into a small sandbox and toss him all over the place. The sandbox is a dense little city with cars, people, explosives, buildings, glass, monkeys and a huge bowling ball. The object of the game? Smack your character into as many things as possible and rack up points.
You launch your character via a huge sling shot. The sling shot can be aimed and adjusted for power. Once you launch you can just watch the action or you can control the action with the controller. You can make your toon pose in mid air and score bonuses. You can also grab things and hang on to them. If you grab a passing vehicle you’ll go for a hell of a short ride into oblivion; all the while causing more damage to the town and racking up more points. When you smack into something you have an OUCH meter that fills up giving you the ability to nudge your character. This comes in handy when you are a few feet away from an explosive and want to make sure you hit it. There’s also a Super OUCH which will nudge you an even farther distance but you have to shake your controller to get it. Trust me, trying to get that Super Ouch to pop with Sixxaxis is a pain in the ass. I gave up on it as it’s useless anyways.
Graphically, Pain exceeds in it’s excellent use of ragdoll physics. The city looks great but the physics system adds everything to the gameplay. For instance, if you can make a police car crash, sometimes the driver will go flying out of the window. Other times you can start a chain reaction or a pile up of cars. Anything can happen and it’s not always the same. Just about everything in the game can break or fall or explode.
Pain has it’s own Trophy system and it’s just as addictive as Achievement points on the 360. There are a whole slew of trophies you can get. There are also unlockables that will unlock a few extra characters and game modes. I’ve managed to unlock an outfit and two games. One is the Mime Toss and the other is Spank The Monkey. I don’t like the fact that the other locked characters can only be unlocked via a price. I could see downloading extra stuff that gets added to the game for a price, but these unlockables can be seen in game and can’t be used without a purchase.
I’ve played several hours and just today found out that there are more goodies in the mulitplayer menu. I don’t have a second controller so I never bothered looking in there. Now it seems that I need to get one. I wish there were more levels. As it is, Pain only comes with one sandbox to play in. The developers need to give us a few more with more objects and characters. I would love a Pain minefield or football stadium with 360 degree aiming.
Pain shines above the average PSN download. It is highly addictive and violent in a Road Runner & Coyote type fashion. I still can’t stop playing myself. I don’t think there is a time I’ve turned off my PS3 without playing Pain. I’d like to see more content down the pipes but other than that, Pain is a home run download.