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October 24, 2007
Stuntman: Ignition - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
4/10/2007THQTHQParadigm Ent.1-42-8
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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The game looks good, but it's not groundbreaking.
If you're read out PS2 review of Stuntman Ignition then this review may seem fairly similar - there's a reason for that too. Besides the technical differences this is, for the most part, exactly the same game - so some parts of the review have been copied - don't hound us about it!

Anyway, those of you that know much about the gaming industry would almost certainly recall the original Stuntman from developers Reflections (who also developed the hit series Driver). Stuntman received positive reviews but came under criticism for insane difficulty level and lengthy load times. It has been five years now. The publisher has changed from Infogrames/Atari to THQ, and Paradigm Entertainment have picked up development. Can the series be reinvigorated with a new developer and publisher? Read on...

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.

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Racing between the lava is fun.
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 stunt sequences set up for the movie. While there are only six movies in total each includes six separate stunt sequences to complete giving you 36 different levels to complete in total (although there are also some other Odd Job missions to complete). 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.

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 (if he gets too annoying you can turn him off though!). 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 up to five mistakes. If anything, this actually makes the game a little too forgiving for the majority of the levels. 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.

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More particles and objects flying around!
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. It's also possible to connect online to compete against some other gamers, and also compare your results to others.

Compared to the original game on PS2 one of the great things about is game is that after the initial loading to get into the 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. I also found that this PS3 version of the sequel is improved over the PS2 version due to a slightly better draw distance, and thereby allowing you to see upcoming obsticles and sequences to complete.

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 sequences can run for a long time (certainly longer then they would in real movie making!). 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.

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OK, one more next-gen screen.
In our review of the PS2 game we said it was a little jarring going from back to PS2 graphics after enjoying the splendours of the PS3 in the last couple of months. Now that we have the PS3 game we can pass judgement on this one as well, and while it certainly offers a higher resolution experience with improved texturing and more items and objects on the screen this still isn't a great looking Playstation 3 title. As with the PS2 title there is plenty of interactivity with the objects in the game world including destructible objects such as boxes, fences, cars and buildings. Indeed the use of the Havok physics engine means that there is plenty of variety in the way in which items are destroyed and react throughout the levels.

Audio in Stuntman: Ignition has also been given a boost on the PS3 over the PS2 with the addition of Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. 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 despite not pusing the PS3 to any sort of limits. 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).
GRAPHICSNaturally better then the PS2, but not the PS3's best.
SOUNDGood music, effects and speech with added impact with DD5.1 audio.
GAMEPLAYIt can be repetitive, but nailing the run is a thrill. Strangely it's a bit more sluggish then the PS2 version though?
VALUEAbout 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.
OVERALLStuntman 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.

Talk about Stuntman: Ignition in this forum topic now.