Stuntman: Ignition - hands-on

No matter what the DVD, as long as it contains some sort of manly action sequence, the first thing everybody hurriedly goes for in the Extra Features section is the bit that shows how amazing stunts were pulled off. No one cares whether the director felt a red lens filter added to a particular scene; what really matters is just how close the stuntman who flung himself and his car over a 200-foot cliff came to grim death.

When Stuntman was released over five years ago on PS2, there was a similar buzz of excitement - until people played the game and found that it was a horribly stilted, often broken affair which was an unforgiving chore to get through. The premise should have made for videogame dynamite: give the player an undiluted diet of explosions, mad chases and cars hurtling through the air at gravity-defying angles. It should have been great. It blatantly wasn’t.

That there weren’t groans of resignation when Stuntman: Ignition was announced for the PS3, PS2 and Xbox 360 was due mainly to the strength of that basic idea. It has the legs - all it needs is a developer to come along and make them run without tripping over themselves. Aside from football player and rock god, the job of professional stuntman would be close to the top of many kids’ (and mid-twenties games journalists’) dream job lists, so naturally loads of gamers are eager to see such a game turn out well. With Ignition we could be shown how cool a job like that would be in the best way possible, namely without the inconvenience of smashing our faces on actual steering wheels.

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