The original Stuntman on PS2 was a real love it or hate it type of game. It was very difficult and frustrating and it seemed like you spent more time looking at loading screens than actually playing. Some people really enjoyed it, but for most it felt like work rather than fun. Five years later, Stuntman is back with a new publisher and developer at the reigns. Stuntman: Ignition addresses most of the issues with the first game to produce a fun experience that is worth checking out.
- Title: Stuntman: Ignition
- Platform:Xbox 360
- Publisher: THQ
- Developer: Paradigm
- ESRB Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Driving
- Pros: Nice presentation; fast load times; tons of stuff to do; addictive
- Cons: Can be frustrating; the movies youre making wont win any Oscars
The appeal of the Stuntman series is that it puts you in the firesuit of a stuntman in various Hollywood movies. In Ignition, the movies you get to make range from a volcano disaster flick, to a James Bond spoof, to a superhero movie, to a country redneck movie and more. Each movie has six scenes, and when you beat them all you unlock a trailer for that movie. The trailers are very slick looking and actually do have a real Hollywood style to them. I dont think I would actually want to go to a theater and watch any of them since they are all pretty mindless and scream Next on FOX: World's Deadliest Car Chases In Exploding Buildings!, but they fit the game just fine.
In addition to the career mode, there is also online multiplayer and a stunt creator tool. The multiplayer options include a battle mode where you simply try to do as many stunts as possible, and a straightforward race mode where you earn nitrous by performing stunts. The stunt creator is kind of cool as it gives you a large arena and a bunch of ramps and other objects to basically do whatever you want.
The gameplay is where Stuntman: Ignition really shines. The driving it very solid whether you are driving a car, monster truck, motorcycle, or eighteen wheeler. Performing stunts such as reverse 180s, jumps, midair spins, drift turns, and more are all fairly intuitive and easy to do. It must be noted that Stuntman: Ignition requires precision driving, and it also requires a lot of patience in order to really get the most out of it because it can be a brutally hard game if you arent in the right mindset going in. The name of the game here is really trial-and-error. You are allowed to make a handful of mistakes before you have to redo a scene, and it usually takes 3-4 tries before you can get through a scene. And then if you want to go back to get a higher score, it obviously will take several more attempts. Thankfully, the load times when you redo a scene are basically nonexistent, so you can keep trying without having to wait. All of this trial-and-error is ultimately worth it, however, because it is just really satisfying to make your way through a scene. You get to do a lot of really cool stuff in this game, and the drive to see what you get to do next or to set a new high score or to unlock new stuff is really quite addictive. You can lose hours at a time to this game if you get hooked. That initial hook is absolutely vital, and I beg you not to give up on it if you find it too frustrating at first. You get better at driving and hitting your marks, and the movies and stunts you do also get better the longer you play.
Graphics and Sound
The presentation is another area where the game could absolutely crash and burn and not be worth your time if it wasnt up to snuff, but Stuntman: Ignition delivers solid graphics and sound that really make you feel like you are in a Hollywood movie. Each movie you do has a different look and theme and the sets you shoot on are very detailed and nice looking. The vehicles are also well detailed and smash up quite nicely. During a scene, there is usually a lot of stuff happening onscreen which occasionally makes finding your marks difficult, but once you run through a scene a couple times youll know where everything is so it isnt a big deal. The sound is fairly good, but it is usually covered up by the films stunt coordinator screaming instructions at you.
Stuntman: Ignition is a solid game that is worth taking a look at for Xbox 360 owners. The trial-and-error gameplay can be frustrating, but it also rewards you greatly if you stick with it. This game does a lot of things that the original Stuntman didnt, such as you dont have to be nearly as perfect and precise, you have extra strikes so one or two mistakes wont mean game over, the load times are blazing fast, and the stunts are better and more fun overall. Even if you hated the original, give Stuntman: Ignition a try. It is absolutely addictive and fun and a blast to play as long as you stick with it long enough to get over any initial frustration. I highly recommend it.