previews\ May 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm

PAIN - PS3 - Preview

Ask anyone; one of the most fun and most addicting modes in any game is the crash mode. In the Burnout series, it’s a blast to wreck your car and hard and fast as you can. In Tony Hawk’s Project 8, flinging your ejected rider into the environment and breaking his bones against the ground is not only fun, but extremely cathartic, not to mention sick.

Very sick.

Well, luckily for us sickos, Sony has really stepped up to the plate for us in their upcoming PSN title, simply titled Pain. Pain will live up to it’s namesake by having you literally catapult your body against sheets of glass, trains, even giant cereal advertisements. Pain will offer robust gameplay online and off, and should be an addicting experience for the twisted set.

Pain PlayStation 3 screenshots

Pain’s concept is very simple, albeit tough to explain. You set your avatar up in a slingshot, aim for a spot across the landscape, then shoot him and watch the chaos unfold. The game utilizes a pretty nice physics engine, meaning that you’ll be able to knock over signs, bust windows, cause giant bowling balls to roll onto unsuspecting motorists, and basically create your own Rube Goldberg-esque machine of destruction. The more damage you cause, the higher your score will be when all is said and done.

You’ll be able to do a few things while soaring through the air. You can reach out to grab objects in the environment, like bombs or port-a-potties and so on. Grabbing objects spins your character differently and allows you to gain more points through knocking things like giant spoons (from the aforementioned cereal ad) onto cars and buildings.

Pain PlayStation 3 screenshots

The single player mode has two crucial elements, Paindemonium and Challenge. Paindemonium is basically a sandbox-style free mode that let’s you hone your skills and figure out what methods and environmental objects will gain you the most points and combos.

The Challenge mode is where you test your mettle by completing a variety of whacky tasks. These missions vary, but they’re all usually pretty bizarre. Challenge is the “mime toss.” where you literally grab and chuck a mime through panes of glass to make the most damage. There’s also a mode titled, ahem, “Spank the Monkey,” where you must hit groups of monkeys that appear throughout the area. If you can get all the monkeys in one pass you’ll get a time bonus. The main goal is to keep spanking monkeys until the time finally runs out and see how many you can get.

Pain PlayStation 3 screenshots

The multiplayer modes will be pretty meaty as well. There was a Horse mode that the developers showed off. Similar to the basketball game, one player starts by hitting a certain object in the environment and racking up a combo. Then another player has to hit that same object, yet do it in a way that gains them more points and so on until a player screws up and gets a letter. There will be several more multiplayer modes, including Bowling, that will get players playing online and off.

Pain will be a PSN title, and as such will have downloadable content to keep it going. The initial release of the game will have one environment (the downtown area), and new content will be offered down the line with not only new levels, but new characters, themes and challenges as well. User content will also factor into the game, as players will be able to upload their more spectacular crashes for others to see.

Pain is a twisted game, and no doubt a very addictive one. Check it out this holiday season.

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