It's been a good eight months since the anarchic, Jackass-inspired destruction-porn game PAIN hit the PlayStation Network, and the game is finally getting a second level. The good news is that the game's new playground - a massive, working indoor carnival called Abusement Park - is bigger, brighter and offers many more opportunities for bone-crunching hilarity than its predecessor. It'll also be released alongside two new characters (who we can't talk about just yet), as well as a new Darts mode and a couple of in-built minigames to keep things fresh while we all wait for Level 3 to roll around.
The Abusement Park won't be officially shown until E3, but we've been granted an exclusive, early hands-on opportunity to wreak ridiculous levels of havoc with the level's many destructible objects and people. It doesn't change the game's suicidal dynamic too much - you still pick a ragdoll-like character to torment, strap them into an oversized slingshot and launch them into the landscape to do as much damage as possible - but it adds a ton of stuff that the Downtown level only hinted at. After spending a few hours crashing around mindlessly and trying to build up a monster score, here's what we liked best about it:
1. More moving parts
PAIN's Downtown level was filled with plates of glass to smash through, people to harass and traffic to disrupt. But until you launched yourself out of the slingshot and into harm's way, it was fairly peaceful. Sleepy, even. There was plenty of stuff to mess with, but not really a lot of activity. Abusement Park changes that by throwing in eight working amusement-park rides - including a log flume, pirate ship, rollercoaster and drop tower - in addition to dancing mascots, random park patrons and little golf-cart-like cars to throw yourself into.
As a result, the Abusement Park is not only a lot more lively than Downtown, but It's a little more challenging to wrap your mind around. What's the best way to use the rides to max out your destruction score? Is it possible to use them all at once? We don't know, but we do know that experimenting with them is a lot of fun - especially if you can grab onto one of the flume logs and keep hold of it for a few minutes. We earned more than six million points doing that. Here's a little taste:
2. Flipping the script
If you get bored with the regular, predictable behavior of all the rides, you can make things a little more exciting by finding and flipping the giant, mostly hidden switches that control each one. It's not easy, but figuring out how to trigger these switches can create all kinds of chaos, whether it's speeding up the teacups, derailing the flume ride or making the pirate ship fire oversized metal skulls out of its cannons.
Finding these is also the key to opening up the "After Hours" version of Abusement Park, which switches up the placement of objects and people in the level while shutting down most of the rides for you quiet types. Here's a video of all the switches we've found so far - don't watch it if you like discovering these things by trial and error: