There’s something rather sadistic about the fact that humans enjoy watching people get hurt. Well-known UK TV series You’ve Been Framed is clear evidence that watching someone fall off their bike and smash their testicles on a tree is not only humorous, but actually worryingly entertaining.

Sony have decided to cultivate on that and create a PSN game with an aptly named title: PAIN.

PAIN puts you in charge of an absolute nutter of a character who decides to propel themself across various cities with the aid of a huge sling-shot. Using your left analogue stick to point the human launching device in the direction you want, and the right analogue stick to control the power, the aim of PAIN is to, amazingly enough, inflict pain on your character whilst trying to create as much mayhem in the city as possible.

On paper, that sounds quite entertaining. And actually, it is. The rag doll physics of the PSN title is exactly what you expect when an entire game is based on launching a human across a city and the brutal grunts of pain that result from your high scoring launch are surprisingly satisfying.

The entire idea reminds me a little bit of the crash feature in Burnout. Just replace the car with a human on a sling-shot, and you’ve got something relatively similar. For example, whilst in the air you can guide your character in a certain direction to ensure maximum pain. There’s even an after touch feature, allowing you to redirect your character after impact to guide yourself into an oncoming car or a propane tank (and yes, they do explode).

As expected, each environment is laced with plenty of explosive boxes and destructible structures that’ll keep you going for a fair amount of time. Once you’ve had enough of just mindlessly launching yourself into objects, you can take on some of the games variations such as Mime Toss and Spank the Monkey. You also get blessed with multiplayer games, including taking turns in creating as much pain as possible, racking up the points on the way. The one with the highest score wins – sound familiar? *Cough* Burnout *Cough*

As with pretty much every title these days, there is an emphasis on community based content also. PAIN features a decent video replay feature with free cam and the ability to upload your greatest high scores for others to see. There are also global leaderboards and friend score tracking to keep you going in the online world.

Sony have obviously thought about the issue of this title becoming a “one-trick pony” and turn into a bit of a bore after a while, as they’ve included the option to download new characters to launch, including Cookie, a raunchy young female dressed in a revealing Santa costume – enough to keep any male playing the game for an extra ten minutes. We’re sure that even more environments will become available via download in the near future, maybe also along with a few more game features to keep you going.

PAIN is shaping up to be a decent title. There seems to be plenty of features on offer to keep you entertained for a while. Bearing in mind that PAIN is a PSN title with a USA retail price of just $9.99, (UK price has not been confirmed yet), it’s definitely looking to be an entertaining game for a handful of change that’ll relinquish your desire to inflict pain on someone. Look out for PAIN in the new year on the PSN Store.


Russ Clow

Russ Clow not only nearly shares his name with one of the best Gladiators around, but he also has a bundle of experience under his belt. Since a very young age he's been playing video games, and has been working in the video game industry for most of his working career. Russ is a secret Sony Fanboy, although he tries hard to hide it so as to keep his position as Editor-in-Chief. When he's not playing games, Russ likes to play football with the "lads".

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