The eGames Expo in Melbourne has offered many previews of upcoming games across all three home consoles and both major handheld's. Many of the games were unreleased or newly released and have generated little to large amounts of public interest. So when we saw that Pain, a unique and funny PS3 title, was in the Sony booth, we wondered whether or not it could be placed along the heavyweights of the show like Ratchet and Clank, Super Mario Galaxy and Haze. After only a minute of play, we discovered that no, it couldn’t be. Pain has come off as the epitome of a budget title. Yet, we have this distinct feeling that it’s probably going to get the full-priced treatment.
Pain is an interesting concept. The whole objective of the game is to “guide” your character into the air via a slingshot and aim to cause as much damage with your body as possible. The higher you shoot into the air, more things you hit and harder you fall, the more points you receive. Throughout the two stages that we played, both had interactive objects that move once you hit them. In the first stage there is a giant billboard on top of one of the buildings that is advertising a bowling alley. Accompanying the billboard is a giant bowling ball, so we aimed for it, hit it, fell to the ground and were eventually squashed by this enormous bowling ball, increasing our points dramatically. You can aim purely for large building tops and fall from a great height, but ultimately it seems as though environment interactivity is what is going to get you the highest scores in Pain.
The title looks set to have a number of wonky and funny looking unlockable characters as well as levels that become available as you progress. Still, we can’t imagine the title have much depth. While the concept is intriguing and it’s executed in the right manner displaying decent rag-doll physics and a humours presentation and environment, we can’t see how a title like this, with no story and no real challenging objectives (from what we played) could be released at a full-price point. Not only would charging gamers $100+ for a game like this be the biggest insult to consumers, it would also be an injustice to the feel of the game as it comes off a title that is meant for quick fun and a few laughs.