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Stuntman: Ignition review

It takes unfairness to the extremes, but we almost don't mind

You see, the director doesn't actually know what's best for your score. It's entirely possible to miss four crucial stunts (miss five and you have to re-shoot the whole thing) and still get a perfect award, because Stuntman: Ignition's not about hitting each objective; it's about chaining them from start to finish. When you get your head around the fact that it pays to ignore the director, the game suddenly becomes interesting. Scenes stop being about driving from stunt to stunt and instead are all about seeing where the next trick is coming from - using the debris that litters the movie set to continue your combo and pulling off cheeky drifts at every bland corner to increase the multiplier. But you only see this side of Stuntman once you've invested eons of your precious time and you're officially in the zone.

It's a massive shame, because getting there is just too infuriating, frankly. There are 36 scenes spanning six movies (with a few extras tacked on the end), but none of them really stand out as anything special. Each movie may look pretty different, but your tasks are always the same: drift right here, reverse here, go under this truck, smash through that obstacle, launch yourself into this helicopter... and then again!

Thankfully the handling of each vehicle, be it car, bike, hovercraft or truck, is nigh-on perfect, although a few too many collisions can throw you off course or stop you dead for no reason. And because everything that happens around you is scripted, the only thing that results in failure (once you've memorised the track) is your lack of composure. You can't blame the AI for messing up your run because there is no AI; the events are exactly the same every time, and as each little mistake results in drastic results the only option is to restart and curse your own lack skill. More than anything else, Stuntman is about self-deprivation; each restart is a punishment and an admittance of failure that smarts every time. It's a wonder that restart isn't mapped to a face button as it's used so frequently.

Thankfully the handling of each vehicle, be it car, bike, hovercraft or truck, is nigh-on perfect, although a few too many collisions can throw you off course or stop you dead for no reason. And because everything that happens around you is scripted, the only thing that results in failure (once you've memorised the track) is your lack of composure. You can't blame the AI for messing up your run because there is no AI; the events are exactly the same every time, and as each little mistake results in drastic results the only option is to restart and curse your own lack skill. More than anything else, Stuntman is about self-deprivation; each restart is a punishment and an admittance of failure that smarts every time. It's a wonder that restart isn't mapped to a face button as it's used so frequently.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionWith a few pitfalls from the first game ironed out, this death-defying stunt sequel should be an exploding barrel-roll of petroleum-flavored fun.
PlatformXbox 360, PS3, PS2
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date28 August 2007 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
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