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Stuntman: Ignition

As we said before, Stuntman: Ignition is many games in one... and not simply because of the different genres and the diverse levels. During our extensive hands-on, we discovered that the experience changes drastically over time, too. This is important because, trust us, you will be playing the same small segment of the game over and over and over.

Your first go through a sequence will, without a doubt, be a complete disaster. You'll miss most stunt markers and slam head-on into most obstacles. The levels are just too intricately designed, and the director's directions too last-minute, for any mortal to navigate a section with no prior knowledge of what lies ahead. Plus, with game over after only five mistakes, there's extremely little room for error. Call this the "learning" stage of Stuntman. Or the "frustrating" stage.

After, say, three or five or ten attempts, you'll finally have the level layout and stunt sequence memorized enough to make it to the end. We call this the "sweet spot" stage of Stuntman. If you have the patience to make it this far - honestly, some probably won't - the game rewards you. Everything comes together and, like a real stuntman, you instinctively know what you're supposed to do at every turn. You hit every mark. You trigger every explosion. You single-handedly create the entire film. It's a hard-earned feeling, but it's definitely satisfying.



Finally, a third stage exists for the perfectionist driver - it's called "stringing." Even if you've mastered every stunt, you haven't necessarily mastered the game. A legendary stuntman creates his own stunts between the official ones. Every car on the road, every pile of boxes in a back alley and every parking meter on the sidewalk is a potentially daredevil act waiting to happen. By swerving close to or bumping these environmental objects and others, you can rack up extra points. For example, when we completed "Chaser" without a single error (as seen in the video on the previous page), we received only 500,000 points. By stringing, you can earn up to 8 million.

Clearly, there's some replay value here, but we're hoping to see even more soon. Stuntman's other four movie genres haven't been revealed yet. There's also a possible fourth "stage" of gameplay in the Stunt Constructor. When we have access to these levels and features, you'll be the first to know and the first to experience them with more custom gameplay footage. Stuntman: Ignition is scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PS2 in late summer.

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