Stuntman Ignition - PS2 Review
Note: Screenshots around this review are cropped from screenshots of the next-gen game. The PS2 title isn't quite as sharp, but is based upon the same graphical style and levels.
Those of you that have had a PS2 for some time now would probably recall the original Stuntman from developers Reflections. It was a big title for the creators of the hit series known as Driver. The game was released to positive reviews but came under criticism for insane difficulty and lengthy load times. It has been five years now and the series has moved from Infogrames/Atari to THQ with a new development studio, Paradigm Entertainment on board. Can the series be reinvigorated with a new developer and publisher? Read on to find outÖ
|A next-gen screenshot.|
The premise behind Stuntman Ignition is quite simple. You are a Hollywood stunt driver. As the newest stuntman in Hollywood, you must rise to stardom by combining reckless maneuvering with perfect execution to unlock big-budget blockbusters and lucrative commercial deals.
So what do you have to do in the game? The bulk of the game takes place in the Career mode. You'll get an intro from the director and hear the premise behind the movie at which time you will hop into a vehicle to navigate a series of stunts set up for the movie. While there are only six movies in total each includes 6 separate stunt sequences to complete giving you 36 different levels to complete in total. It's not all in cars either as you'll also be driving monster trucks, motorcycles, and hovercraft. The movies themselves aren't real movies as such, but it's clear where inspiration has come from. 'Whoopin and a Hollerin' II' is the sequel to a movie which appeared in the first game and is likely based on the Dukes of Hazard, 'Never Kill Me Again' is quite obviously themed on the many James Bond movies while 'Aftershock' is pretty much based on Dante's Peak.
|Racing between the lava is fun.|
As you race through each level you'll see a series of markers on the course to notify you of the many obstacles to interact with - hit the jumps, pass close to other vehicles, crash through objects. At the same time the Stunt Coordinator will bark orders at you over the comms. Miss too many tasks within a level and you'll be starting again - and you'll be doing that quite often. Fortunately this game is a lot more forgiving in allowing you to complete the levels with a few mistakes. New to this game is the ability to string stunts together to rack up higher scores - the ability to continue this string of stunts is key to scoring the big points. One of the best things about this game is that once you are in a level, if you have to restart there isnít a lengthy wait Ė itís a matter of seconds now. This is much improved over the terrible, terrible waiting that we had to endure in the original which would see you sitting back for more time then you were actually playing the title.
As well as the main career mode Stuntman Ignition includes a couple of other neat features. The best of these is the constructor mode which allows you to take a blank area and fill it with various stunt objects such as jumps to create your own stunt track. It's a perfect way to waste a couple more hours at the very least.
|The PS2 game looks similar.|
There are still a couple of gripes with Stuntman Ignition. Yes, it can become extremely repetitive as you try to nail that perfect run through a stunt sequence Ė and some of these sequence can run for a long time (certainly longer then they would in real movie making!). I also wished the developers had given a bit more warning about what was coming up ahead. Stuntmen meticulously plan their stunt sequences and know every nuance before hitting the course. In this game you get told about the big stunt to be pulled off, but not the smaller ones in the lead up so you have no warning about upcoming turns, obstacles to hit or jumps to make. Another of the bigger disappointments is that your actual performance as you film the stunts isnít actually used in the final movie trailers which are shown. How much nicer would it have been to see you making a slight mistake on landing, or hitting a jump at slightly the wrong angle? Quite a bit I would imagine.
We have to admit it was a little jarring going from all the next-gen goodness weíve been playing of late back to the PS2ís lower resolution and vastly inferior graphics. If you have the choice between this and the PS3 (or XBox 360) version thereís absolutely no question - go for next-gen. But we have to judge this game compared to other PS2 titles. While there is quite a bit of interactivity in the levels with destructible objects such as boxes, fences, cars and buildings we canít honestly say this is a great looking game on the workhorse.
|OK, one more next-gen screen.|
Audio in Stuntman Ignition is also quite solid. The effects and explosions provide the biggest thrills as youíre tearing around the level and the director shouts and barks orders at you. The game includes some music to set the mood.
Stuntman Ignition is a solid game and certainly has its entertaining moments. I would have liked the main game to offer some more missions, and to be a little better in the level design so you know whatís coming up ahead but it remains entertaining from start to finish.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
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|GRAPHICS||Not the best we've seen on PS2, but look adequate.||73%|
|SOUND||Some good music and effects with solid speech as well.||78%|
|GAMEPLAY||It can be repetitive, but nailing the run is a thrill.||83%|
|VALUE||About 5 hours to complete the career mode, but a lot more if you try to master every level, and several other modes to spend time in too.||63%|
|OVERALL||Stuntman Ignition is an entertaining game. It's a bit short in the career mode, but to master the levels will take quite a bit of time. Worth a look at the very least.||75%|