Stuntman: Ignition Reviews

  • KingOfWeightKingOfWeight230,652
    10 Aug 2010 11 Aug 2010
    22 2 3
    Stuntman originally debuted on the Playstation 2, and while the driving game had a novel concept (you were a stunt driver doing motorized stunts for a bunch of different movies), its unforgiving difficulty and slow load times spoiled a lot of the fun.

    Stuntman Ignition is THQ's shot at re-invigorating the Stuntman franchise, and they look to address complaints players had about the first game at the same time. While Stuntman Ignition has some flaws and its repetitive nature means it isn't for everyone, people who stick with the game will find it to be very rewarding and addictive.

    Stuntman Ignition puts you in the role of a Hollywood stunt driver looking to make your way up the food chain. The game is divided into six movies (chapters, if you will), and each movie has six stunt sequences that you have to drive through in order to progress. Earn enough stars with great driving and you unlock more scenes and movies. Get five stars in each scene, and you'll dethrone Sonny Hooper as the best stunt driver Hollywood has ever known.

    The movies in Stuntman Ignition are the typical action-packed blockbusters you see at the movie houses: disaster, superhero, cop, post-apocalyptic, spy, and backwoods hijinks are all spoofed; movie buffs will definitely pick up on what - and who, in the case of the films' directors - is being satirized. Unlike real movie action scenes, which are painstakingly shot piece-by-piece over a series of weeks and then enhanced via editing and special effects, all the stunt sequences in Stuntman Ignition are shot in one take, making most of the levels feel like you're driving through a several-minute-long stunt show at a Hollywood-themed amusement park.. This isn't a game you play to learn about the intricacies of stunt-driving and movie-making; Stuntman Ignition is all about action.

    The goal in Stuntman Ignition is to get from Point A to Point B in each movie scene, be it in a car, truck, hovercraft, dune buggy, or on a motorcycle. In between the start and finish are several show-stopping stunts that you have to perform ranging from jumping over burning buildings, keeping up to a fleeing driver, driving on two wheels between oncoming transport trucks, or weaving amongst exploding streetcars while helicopters fire missiles. Make the stunt and you get points and increase your bonus multiplier; miss the stunt and you get a strike and the multiplier resets. Get five strikes and you have to do the entire scene again. While you'll blow scenes early on and have to re-do them, five chances is pretty generous when you compare it to the original game's "One strike and you're out" mantra. You can even activate Easy mode which gives you a couple of extra strikes at the cost of 50% of your score at the end of the scene.

    Messing up big-time and want to re-try the scene? Restarts are nearly instantaneous in Stuntman Ignition, so you're never out of the action for long.

    And make no mistake, Stuntman Ignition is all about the action: from start to finish, every single scene is an orgy of explosions, fire, collapsing buildings and bridges, shattering glass, crumbling debris, and smashed cars and fireballs raining out of the sky. Sometimes there's so much going on, it's hard to figure out where you actually are onscreen and where you're supposed to go next. As you learn the courses, you'll get better and better at blocking out the sound and fury and knowing exactly where you need to be and what you have to do.

    If you're the type of player who just likes to do the bare minimum in a game and move on to the next one, Stuntman Ignition isn't for you. Stuntman Ignition is for people who like to master their games and discover all the tricks and intricacies that are the keys to getting huge scores. Underneath all the noise and mayhem, Stuntman Ignition actually has a pretty sophisticated scoring system that you'll need to figure out and exploit if you want to five-star each scene and string together an unbroken stunt streak from start to finish. This means memorizing each course by driving it again and again and again. And again. And then driving it a few more times. And restarting when you break your stunt string. And then restarting again. And again and again and get the idea.

    Based on the above paragraph, Stuntman Ignition will obviously appeal to people who don't mind doing repetitive things in their quest for perfection. It's easy enough to get the bare minimum score to advance, but Stuntman Ignition is for people who view "just passing" as failure. This game is a textbook case of putting more into something to get more out of it.

    That's not to say that the less hardcore can't enjoy Stuntman Ignition: the action is well-choreographed and the controls are really good, which makes it easy to zip around like a daredevil. Some stunts might seem impossible at first, but when you finally pull off the death-defying move that's been tormenting you for the longest time, it's a sweet feeling. The game can be tough at times, but is generally forgiving enough in that you can still beat a scene and advance even if you didn't get it 100% right.

    Movie fans will also enjoy the behind the scenes banter and spoofs, and the trailers for each movie are nicely executed.

    When you're not doing movie stunts, Stuntman Ignition offers up some side activities to keep you busy, ranging from filming TV commercials to driving in a stunt show. There's also a puzzle mode of sorts where you have to construct courses out of limited amounts of pieces, and you can make arena stunt courses too.

    Stuntman Ignition has a multiplayer mode, but a scarcity of players makes finding games hard. When you do get into a game you have the choice of doing straight-up races or driving through stunt courses racking up points and trying to steal points from other drivers by ramming their vehicles. Both modes are fun enough, assuming you can find people playing. There are about a dozen multiplayer-only achievements, so you may need to find a friend with the game if you want to get them.

    Graphically, Stuntman Ignition isn't a world-beater. It looks okay, but is nothing special when it comes to visuals. The trade-off to the workmanlike graphics is a solid frame-rate even when there's a lot of onscreen activity. And since there's a lot of onscreen activity nearly all the time in Stuntman Ignition and the framerate never falters, you won't mind that the game doesn't look like Crysis.

    The audio in Stuntman Ignition is respectable, with nice-sounding vehicles and environmental effects. Each movie has specific theme music and it does a good job of being original while also referencing the particular movie that is being sent up at that particular time without ripping it off. While you might find the voice of the stunt co-ordinator a bit annoying due to his repetitive chatter (fortunately, he can be muted by plugging your headset into the controller and then turning the volume off), the voice performances of the various directors and hangers-on you encounter are well-done and funny.

    Stuntman Ignition has 50 achievements to obtain, ranging from easy (setting your car on fire; driving into a hazard) to difficult and time-consuming (getting five stars in all 36 scenes). If you want to get them all, you'll be at it for awhile.

    If you look at Stuntman Ignition as a puzzle game where you drive a car and not as a Burnout knock-off, you'll probably get a big kick out of it. You'll have to put a lot of time into the game, and if that doesn't bother you then you may want to take it out for a spin.
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Chris1984ukI already have Stuntman Ignition but I like reading what other people thought about it. Quite a solid review and exactly my thoughts about it too. Great read!
    Posted by Chris1984uk on 10 Aug 10 at 11:56
    BigSalad87fancy boosting this anyone?? let me know. ps good review.
    Posted by BigSalad87 on 11 Aug 10 at 12:35
    Joe da ImmortalGood read, thumbs up! This game has some fun moments, but is annoying as hell. If anyone is up for boosting, then let me know.
    Posted by Joe da Immortal on 23 Jan 11 at 19:07
  • CassiopeiaGamesCassiopeiaGames173,310
    05 Mar 2012
    9 3 3
    What to know
    You're playing as a stunt double, so the famous actors won't get hurt. You will have to avoid explosions, get your car flying on breathtakingly high jumps, make near misses and just generally drive like a maniac; all of course while you're abiding the orders from the director.

    The short description
    To progress in the game, you earn stars in the levels, and levels open up as you beat them. The highest you can get in a level is 5 stars, and you gain stars by "stringing" your stunts together. It's acceptable to miss the ordered stunts, and you will still be able to get 5 stars, but be warned - the director demands a re-shoot if you miss too many ordered stunts, or if you drive out of the scene.

    I simply loved the gameplay, and it was a blast to play this game. It is nothing like a normal racing game. You have to predict and time most of the stunts, and many of the scenes was amazing to watch. Only a few things got a little annoying, like the directors voice - the french director was by far the worst to listen to - repetitive lines and catchphrases. However, the voice overs changed from movie to movie.

    Most of the constructor challenges were frustrating as well, because if there is a thing in games that annoys me, it is building. Constructor challenges are raced in an arena, and there are stunt places marked around the arena. You then have to place different props to get all the stunts, while stringing the whole time to 5 star the challenge.

    Many people find this game very hard, but for some reason I didn't find it very difficult. Sure, there were a couple scenes I had problems 5 starring, but it was manageable. The best strategy would be being stubborn and trying over and over again until you get it right.

    Playing with friends
    Quite fun multiplayer modes, but since the game is so old, there's almost no one playing it online. The modes include: doing the movie scenes from the singleplayer levels, simple races or battles. The battles are counting points, not position on the race, and it's possible to steal points from other racers by hitting their car.

    The blasting sequences and the skills vs. time requirements were making this game out to be one of the best car/racing games I've played to date.

    Another thing that made me smile were the movie references throughout the whole game. Some I didn't catch, but I did recognized the Batman, Dukes of Hazzard and James Bond imitations.

    For eyes and ears
    The graphics and physics have a moderate arcade styling, but I do believe that's because of the age of the game. Also, all games don't have to be simulations to be good games, and this game doesn't exaggerating the arcade style and feel. Graphics are actually quite good and the music can become a bit repetitive, but almost all games do that.

    Gamer goals
    A few achievements are hard to get, and are skill based. Certain levels are hard to 5 star, the only vital thing you have to remember is making near misses when there's no stunt possibility, so you can keep your string the entire scene. There is no grinding achievements and no achievements that tells you to play for a certain amount of time or times. There's only one achievement that tells you to host a certain amount of games, but this is easily obtainable, as when you boost the other online achievements, it'll pop. Matchmaking is easy, mostly because you don't have to lobby fight or deal with randomers.

    For completionists: Easy to boost, only need one friend, easy matchmaking, and about 10 playing hours for two players to get all multiplayer achievements.

    Glitches and mistakes
    No real errors or glitches, although the game felt a bit short once it has been beaten, but I think I tend to feel that with all games I get 100% achievements in.

    As mentioned, the director's voice can get a bit annoying (especially when you try to 5 star one of the harder levels!), and the building element in constructor challenges can be boring, depending on what people like in games.

    Highest score, as the game succeeded to keep me interested for many hours before I wanted to play something else. It was so much fun trying to be at the right spots at the right time, and the nearby explosions made it even more exciting. Finishing this game was incredibly satisfying as well. Getting all the stars possible in all movie scenes and watching the star meter reach the top limit made a good feel of finishing the campaign.
  • TriggerHappyOliTriggerHappyOli285,196
    24 Mar 2009
    14 13 3

    Remarkably stressful- but in a fun kind of way.

    The graphics are ok- not below standard, but not above it either. 8/10

    Gameplay/ Difficulty
    Controls are easy to learn, but difficult to master. 8/10
    Whilst getting one to four stars is pretty easy, the 5 star 'strings' are, on average, very difficult and much repetition of a course is needed usually before mastering its layout and getting the 5 star rating- however, this feels like the real gameplay, and, once done, gives an immense feeling of achievement and relief. 8/10

    Dead online nowadays- and I can't imagine it being booming upon release.

    Worth a pop now its cheap, but you'll need a boosting partner for multiplayer, definitely. 7/10