I visited Sony's office last week to speak with Travis Williams, Sr. Producer for SCEA and take a look at PAIN out Nov. 29 on the PlayStation Network. Based off of research showing that teens (and Travis) like creativity, chaos, community and comedy with their gaming pie, this downloadable PSN game is the culmination of fan-input and that research.
So the simple premise of the game is this: you choose a character who is loaded into a giant slingshot, then flung and bounced across an environment to cause as much damage to themselves and their surroundings. My initial impression of the game was a mix of The Incredible Machine, Tony Hawk and Grand Theft Auto, albeit to varying degrees. While the off-beat humour might seem a little forced at times, there is that perverse satisfaction a cow-costumed man hurling a mime, (and himself), headlong into panes of glass. The element of "ocching" to help propel your flailing body in the right direction adds another layer to the game. Travis tells me that to excel, it is something to be mastered.
You start with the cityscape, (do try aiming for subways and other nooks and crannies), and there are unlockable characters and elements to strive for. In addition, minigames like Bowling, (I lost by 1 point), Mime Toss and Spank The Monkey are available to test yourself and friends with. Look forward to a fairly aggressive plan of monthly expansions - I'm told they're standalone, so you don't have to worry about the necessity of collecting them all. Not that they're terribly expensive - PAIN is set somewhere around the $10 mark, as are subsequent expansions.
Cool tidbit: I got to play it with the rumble sixaxis.