Developer: Super X Studios
ESRB rating: Everyone 10+
Release date: Available now
Paintball is a fast-paced and incredibly difficult live-action sport. It requires skill, accuracy, teamwork, and the right equipment to win. It’s something that seems like it would find itself at home in the first-person shooter genre. Super X Studios thought the same thing when they developed Greg Hastings Paintball 2, now available on the PSN.
Greg Hastings Paintball 2 is a paintball simulator. The game starts off with a training lesson featuring Greg Hastings that shows the player the basics of electronic paintball warfare. Once the tutorial is over, the player can then choose to start a campaign or play an exhibition match against other players or bots. In the campaign mode, you create a team and start your paintball dynasty. After drafting a few rookies, you enter your first tournament. Winning tournaments awards cash, which can be used to buy new gear and skills for your teammates. After you win a few tournaments, higher division players will want to join your team, for a price.
While the tournaments in the campaign are the game’s bread and butter, there are many other things to do. For starters, you can design your team’s logo and colors, which you can change later if you get tired of the look. Once you have accumulated enough money, you can spend time in the shop buying new markers, barrels, hoppers, masks, and other assorted pieces of paintball equipment for your team. Once you have enough equipment, you can also create different “load outs” that allow you to configure specific sets for each game type. The title also features a map editor that allows you to create your own fields for use in online play.
Content-wise, this game has depth. There are dozens of markers and accessories that you can purchase through the store. Available teammates are all real life paintball players, and are broken into different divisions based on their ability. Throughout the campaign, you will play through over sixty different fields, and the map editor allows for more. The loading screens tell stories from paintball’s history and include photos of some of its pioneers. The game also allows you to decide how you want to play, giving control schemes for both a standard controller and the PlayStation Move. Having used both during my time with the game, I can say that they both handle very well, but I did find it easier to aim using the Move.
While this game has all the depth of paintball, it is almost too realistic for its own good. Paintball markers are not exactly super accurate in real life, and this carries over into the game. When the round starts, the screen is a flurry of colored balls as everyone tries to hit their opponents from across the map. The accuracy is so bad at some points that I was having trouble making point blank shots where neither I nor my target was moving. The teammate AI does a great job of getting eliminated quickly, leaving you to Rambo your way through many of the tournaments. Visually, the game is dated and very basic. The character models are stale and the level of detail in the environments is fairly low.
Greg Hastings Paintball 2 is a paintball simulator for people who live and breathe the sport. While paintball is an exciting real life FPS, it turns out that it makes for a lousy game. I honestly believe that the only people who would get any enjoyment from this game would be too busy playing real paintball to bother with it. For everyone else who is indifferent about the activity, find another shooter.