• Seeing any stunt performed in a movie usually results in a jaw dropping experience, so being able to be play the part of a stuntman in a game should really equal huge amounts of fun. But, and while there is fun to be had, unfortunately, Stuntman Ignition in the main boils down to an incredibly frustrating affair.

    Where the original Stuntman made gamers want to pull out pieces of hair, now and even under a new developer Stuntman Ignition while being every bit better than its predecessor… the penalties for making any mistakes are back and result in constant replays until you get it right. This quite simply means you will either have the ability to suck it up and put up with this style of gameplay or you will hate it with a passion. I and if I can, sort of sit in both categories, and while I have patience and patience needed for this game I did at the same time start to grow quickly tired of having to constantly replay a sequence because of a couple of simple mistakes… Stuntman is a good game that you can have fun with, but dear Lord it is frustrating as Hell.

    In stuntman ignition you will play the part of an up and coming stuntman making your way from movie plot to movie plot as you go. Movies will include; Aftershock, Whoopin and a Hollerin II, Never Kill me Again & Night Avenger to highlight just a few. The idea here is fairly simple… You’ll have six scenes to complete on each movie and you will be rated as you go. Complete your work with the necessary grade and you will then unlock the ability to try out the next movie. Rinse and repeat is the name of the game, but that’s where the simple part stops.

    Stuntman: Ignition

    The mechanics in Stuntman Ignition work on a basis of performing stunt after stunt, after stunt and receiving a score. Your score can jump in leaps and bounds with multipliers if you can chain stunts together and you do that by constantly keeping the chain moving by performing one stunt and then instantly another. The larger the chain – the larger the multiplier therefore the larger the end score and at the end of each scene you will then be rated on a star system from one to five. Getting to unlock subsequent career opportunities will ultimately rely on your star grading and getting better and better as you progress through your career – so pushes back the need to perfect each routine in order to obtain the highest score you can.

    When you start each scene you are shown roughly what is expected of you, and then it’s a go, go, go. You will be required to pull off stunts such as passing close to a vehicle or object, pulling a 180 turn, smashing through and into objects and pulling off some crazy ass jumps. Then you also have an action button assigned to certain scenes which could mean you blowing your car up at the necessary moment or dropping the bike down to be able to slide under a truck rig. All of this action when you can get the stunts right make this game a joy to play and with the explosions on the set going off all around you as you perform stunt after stunt after stunt makes for the ‘cool’ factor for any gamer.

    The problem here is that each scene is several minutes long and you will be asked to perform a whole host of stunts with very little breathing room or most certainly thinking room in between and failing to hit a stunt correctly or within a given time frame results in the director issuing a strike call. Get too many strike calls and you have to start all over again. You have to see it to believe it and while getting it right makes the game look sexy as hell, moving from a jump stunt, instantly to a slide, through to a shave stunt, through to a 180 all before you can react as you would like, causes the frustration I mentioned above. Now, and this could just be me, but more often than not I could not react quick enough, and I would constantly miss a stunt or be too late to pull the stunt off, and as you can imagine leaving me groaning at having to do the whole deal again.

    My second issue with Stuntman surrounds the vehicles you control, and I can only best sum these up as twitchy. Most feel like you are driving on ice with some that feel clunky and clumsy meaning someone like me spent most of my time bumping into objects that I was not supposed to. I do have to say a few of the vehicles are well done and were easy to control but I found the majority of them to be horrible and when you couple that with the speed and fluidity of the stunts coming at you one after the other, a badly behaved vehicle only added to my frustration or as I should say at this point – anger!

    I can forgive the game for a certain number of retries as you will need to spend initial amounts of time on each of the six set pieces on each movie, just to get used to (a) the vehicle and (b) what is expected of you. But when you have this and the fact that most of the cars behave badly and you need to move like road runner to get the job done, you start to forget that the game can be fun to play and it just becomes another frustrating game that you end up never wanting to play again.

    When you are not ‘trying’ to complete a movie scene you will also have the chance of some odd jobs, with the likes of TV Commercials and Exhibition work. While fun to do these pieces are just as hard if not harder than your movie work as one single mistake results in a complete retry. But the forgivable piece here is that they are usually very short and as such you don’t mind the mistake coming after ten seconds and to have another pop.

    Stuntman Ignition also offers full Xbox LIVE Multiplayer support, albeit, with only two race modes. Backlot Battle focuses on the player being able to perform as many stunts as they can within a set number of laps with the second game mode being Backlot Race where you earn nitro boosts from performing stunts and using the nitro to get yourself ahead of the pack. Multiplayer is best summed up as frantic fun and is certainly good for a few laughs.

    Looks-wise Stuntman Ignition is sharp and loading with tonnes of eye candy detail. From sets to vehicles to full blown explosions, nothing here disappoints and certainly is a job well done. Audio is also very neatly done, although personally having to repeat a scene a tonne of times – I certainly did get sick of my stunt co-ordinator barking at me all the time. That of course is not to say that the voice over work is bad, it’s not, it’s actually very well done… I just grew tired of the voice booming out at me at the same point for the tenth time on a stunt I was trying to perfect.

    Summing up Stuntman Ignition appears to be an amazing package, and one I can say yes to that being true… but only on the basis of when things go right. The problem here is that you get around twenty percent of things right first time and spend the other eighty wanting to smash your head against a brick wall – because you failed a scene, again, and again, and again. This game could have quite simply been “superb” but the frustration factor from how unforgiving the game is… is, quite frankly crap and as such has left me with no desire what so ever to play this game again.

    Score: 5/10

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