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PAIN - PS3 Network review

Forget Jackass - if you want hilarious injuries and high-octane destruction, this is the game that gets it right

For

  • Funny as hell
  • especially with friends
  • Crammed with cool stuff to discover
  • Replay lets you dissect each launch

Against

  • Frustrating camera
  • Single-player only holds up so long
  • No way to save replays

For whatever base reason, there are few things in this world that are more purely hilarious than watching other human beings hurt themselves in spectacular ways. It's the reason we watch NASCAR crashes, gruesome skateboard wipeouts and reruns of Jackass. It's also the reason that PAIN, a downloadable PlayStation Network game about flinging yourself at high speeds against buildings, is so relentlessly entertaining.

The setup is simple: you've got one indestructible idiot, one giant slingshot and one city block filled with clockwork cars, trains, pedestrians and all kinds of destructible objects. Launch your idiot in any direction, and you'll score points by wrecking stuff and causing as much injury as possible to him and those around him.

If that sounds stupid, rest assured that it is. Very, very stupid. But it's also wildly addictive, endlessly hilarious and takes more strategy, planning and creativity than you might think. Granted, in "Paindemonium" - the game's default, single-player sandbox mode - you're free to aimlessly wreak havoc, reducing the city block to a ruin through multiple launches before resetting everything back to its pre-disaster state and starting over again. And if you play like that, you're guaranteed to get bored fast.

Thankfully, your real goal here isn't just to cause mayhem - it's to cause as much mayhem as possible in a single launch, racking up a chain of destruction that translates into massive points (which in turn will unlock new stuff). Doing this well takes experimentation; for example, you could just launch yourself into a construction worker's rickety scaffold, which will bring scaffold and worker crashing into the street, potentially squashing passersby and causing minor traffic accidents. It doesn't take much thought or effort, and it'll cause some moderate damage and be moderately amusing.

On the other hand, you could launch yourself ass-first onto the roof of a hotel and grab a bikini girl by the arm before slamming full-speed into an explosive propane tank, which will send you both flying the other way. After then smashing through a neon sign, you can hurl the bikini girl into the scaffold and knock it down, fly into another explosive tank, smash face-first into a plate-glass window, fall to the street below and get dragged by a car, which will then crash into a dumpster, flip spectacularly and cause a big traffic pile-up, all the while netting you massive points and being infinitely more awesome than that other thing.

For whatever base reason, there are few things in this world that are more purely hilarious than watching other human beings hurt themselves in spectacular ways. It's the reason we watch NASCAR crashes, gruesome skateboard wipeouts and reruns of Jackass. It's also the reason that PAIN, a downloadable PlayStation Network game about flinging yourself at high speeds against buildings, is so relentlessly entertaining.

The setup is simple: you've got one indestructible idiot, one giant slingshot and one city block filled with clockwork cars, trains, pedestrians and all kinds of destructible objects. Launch your idiot in any direction, and you'll score points by wrecking stuff and causing as much injury as possible to him and those around him.

If that sounds stupid, rest assured that it is. Very, very stupid. But it's also wildly addictive, endlessly hilarious and takes more strategy, planning and creativity than you might think. Granted, in "Paindemonium" - the game's default, single-player sandbox mode - you're free to aimlessly wreak havoc, reducing the city block to a ruin through multiple launches before resetting everything back to its pre-disaster state and starting over again. And if you play like that, you're guaranteed to get bored fast.

Thankfully, your real goal here isn't just to cause mayhem - it's to cause as much mayhem as possible in a single launch, racking up a chain of destruction that translates into massive points (which in turn will unlock new stuff). Doing this well takes experimentation; for example, you could just launch yourself into a construction worker's rickety scaffold, which will bring scaffold and worker crashing into the street, potentially squashing passersby and causing minor traffic accidents. It doesn't take much thought or effort, and it'll cause some moderate damage and be moderately amusing.

On the other hand, you could launch yourself ass-first onto the roof of a hotel and grab a bikini girl by the arm before slamming full-speed into an explosive propane tank, which will send you both flying the other way. After then smashing through a neon sign, you can hurl the bikini girl into the scaffold and knock it down, fly into another explosive tank, smash face-first into a plate-glass window, fall to the street below and get dragged by a car, which will then crash into a dumpster, flip spectacularly and cause a big traffic pile-up, all the while netting you massive points and being infinitely more awesome than that other thing.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionLaunch yourself from a rubber band and try to cause as much damage as possible. Simple, stupid and fun.
PlatformPS3
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating
Release date:29 November 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:PS3
Genre:Action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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