Stuntman: Ignition

Format: PS3

4 005209 092470
Age Restrictions: 12+
28 September 2007

Take on the adrenaline fuelled role of a Hollywood stuntman as you work for a series of directors over the course of six blockbuster movies. Each film consists of six scenes and in each one of these you will drive a different vehicle. Hit your marks successfully and you'll rise through the ranks of the movie industry. And, if you want to really impress the filmmakers you can even throw in a few extra stunts that aren't in the script...

Stuntman: Ignition is the latest instalment in the Stuntman franchise. The game plunges you into the adrenaline fuelled role of a Hollywood stunt driver, challenging you to pull off the most breathtaking, death-defying stunts ever filmed. Showcase their skills in a wide variety of big-budget action films, commercial shoots and tournaments while commanding more than 25 unique vehicles, including exotic sports cars, motorcycles, trucks and hovercraft.

The first level sees you performing stunts for a disaster movie - where an active volcano is destroying the local area. You must perform various stunts to a suitable level in order to complete the scenes for the movie. Easier said than done. After playing for about 15 minutes you'll quickly discover whether this sort of game is for you. Repeating the same segment of a level over and over and over again, until you get everything right, is not something that everyone will find enjoyable. I have to admit to becoming more frustrated with this game than any other I've played. But this also means that when you finally complete a stunt you feel a sense of achievement... but more often than not you'll want to replay the stunt again as there will be some elements of it you'll want to fine tune.

The aim of the game is pretty simple. Complete a series of prearranged stunts for a segment of a movie. You have to successfully complete manoeuvres like ramming other vehicles, sliding turns, passing close to vehicles and explosions, jumping over ramps, and crashing through props. In later levels you can also perform nitrous boosts, perform reverse 180 degree turns and drive on two wheels.

You have a number of strikes, which means that it doesn't matter if you miss a handful of stunts, as you can still complete the level. Of course, the more stunts you pass the more the director will be impressed. At the end of the sequence you are awarded a rating out of five. I have to admit that I found this rating system not to be all it was cracked up to be. On one of the Never Kill Me Again segments I totally messed up the last three stunts - making a complete mess of the sequence - but was still awarded a four star rating. This was in spite of the fact that I later went on to complete the sequence much quicker and cleaner and never managed to get more than three stars.

To improve your rating you can also link together all of your stunts. As you complete each stunt you get points, complete another stunt in enough time and you start to form a string of stunts. If you break the string, then your end result will not be as high. Performing additional stunts not on your check sheet, like passing close to other vehicles or smashing through boxes, gives you additional points too, as well as keeping your string going.

After you complete all the stunts for each movie you unlock the trailer for that particular film. This is quite interesting as it shows you how all your stunts fit together in the finished movie.

My personal favourite level was the Bond spoof Never Kill Me Again. This has some of the most impressive stunts and explosion, as well as a soundtrack that sounds like it could well have been composed by David Arnold.

There is a lot more to Stuntman: Ignition than I was expecting. The ability to create your own stunt arenas is a welcome addition, as is the multiplayer and online levels. Multiplayer mode allows rival stuntmen to battle it out on the film sets and custom built back-lot arenas, or players can devise their own insane stunt runs and challenge other stuntmen at their own game.

If you enjoyed the original Stuntman game, then you'll really get a blast out of this. However, as I mentioned before, it won't be to everyone's liking. Getting stuck in a sequence that you can't master can be extremely frustrating and you will find yourself switching this off, and revisiting later, much more than most other games. If you're new to the franchise I'd seriously suggest you rent this first.

Nick Smithson

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