PAIN Review
PAIN box art
System: PS3 (PSN) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Idol Minds 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SCEA (SONY) 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 28, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Even though the single player modes are pretty fun, I have to say that my favorite part of Pain had to be the multiplayer modes. These modes are quite different from the single-player games, and make surprisingly interesting party games. I mean, nothing says "It's a party" like giant slingshots with hapless characters falling into increasingly painful situations, right? The first mode is Horse, and like you might expect, this mode entails some bitter one-on-one competition. Essentially Horse lets you pick a target and hit it with all your best moves. Then, once it is your opponent's turn, they will have to hit that same target, but try and pull off even sweeter moves to get a better score than you did. If you win, nothing happens. If you lose, you get a single letter from the word "Horse" added to your name. The first person to get enough letters to spell the whole word loses.

PAIN screenshot

The next multiplayer mode is fun with explosives, which challenges you to hit as many explosive crates during a turn as possible. This mode is probably the best for social or familial get-togethers because turns are rather short, and watching your Pain character bounce from explosive to explosive is just hilarious. Bowling has you using your pain character as a human bowling ball. You can bowl over either mimes or bowling pins, and you can use all your fancy moves to try and get the much-coveted strike. However, this is multiplayer, and while you may be catapulting your way to a sure-strike, your opponent can do something dastardly like drop an explosive or a granny on you, hence derailing your perfect launch completely and making you very sad.

As for the look of this game, it's not the best looking PS3 game we've ever seen, but the graphics do it justice. The whole idea is to see your character interact with his environment in painful yet hilarious ways, and the graphics really achieve this. Although none of the falls are graphic in any way (the whole game is bloodless), you can still feel the pain every time your character takes a dive.

Another way where you can feel the pain in Pain is through the sound. Although the music is largely forgettable, the voice acting is not. Your character seems so excited to get hurt, and then when he does, he sounds like he is in total agony, but he also loves it. Honestly, pain in real life doesn't sound this good, but I must reiterate, no one is playing Pain for the realism. Pain is all about escapism and chucking people through slingshots. And the fact that your character sounds hilarious doing it is just that much better.

PAIN screenshot

Honestly, Pain has been one of my most anticipated titles this year. Of course it can't compare to some of this year's bigger releases, but I am a girl of simple tastes. I thoroughly enjoyed Pain, chiefly because even though it has a simple premise, it creates memorable gameplay through very tight and precise controls, and some extremely interesting modes of play. So while you may be trying to get rid of some of the pain this holiday season, I invite you to let Pain in! You just may find that it earns a special place in your warm, evil, pain-inflicting heart!

By Amanda Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer


  • Multiple playable characters each with a very unique personality and attributes as well as character specific in-flight poses.
  • Plenty of ways to play in both Single and Multiplayer, including modes like Spank the Monkey, Mime Toss, PAIN Bowling, Fun With Explosives, and even more to come in future releases.
  • Relive every cringe-worthy smash and crash with the replay system in PAIN. Use the free camera to get the best angle on your best ouches.
  • Unique physics model created on Havok powered events, allow for amazing ragdoll animations, while ensuring that duplicating incidents is almost impossible. Keeping gameplay fresh over and over no matter how many times a player is launched into the same environment.
  • Robust online community feature set lets you compete with other players around the world on Global Leaderboards, track your friend's scores, and connect to the upcoming PAIN website, where you can participate in polls, get developer updates, and provide feedback to make for a more PAINful experience in future expansions.

    Not the best you've ever seen, but these graphics are a great fit for the gameplay. Impacts look especially sweet.
    Excellent. You have a disturbingly great amount of control over the fate of your poor character's pain.
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Music is pretty forgettable, but your character's sounds of pain more than make up for it. Never before has wiping out sounded so great.
    Play Value
    The premise is admittedly simple, but there's so many ways to play that it doesn't really get stale. Pain also makes a surprisingly fun party game.
    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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