|System: X360, PS3, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Paradigm Ent.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
When those who have played the original Stuntman recall it, there's generally one of two reactions. Either they have fond memories of hitting their marks just right or they recall extreme frustration at just barely missing that one crucial stunt to make the scene. Paradoxically enough, both of these feelings were pretty spot on. Stuntman's first offering, nearly 5 years ago, was an extremely fun game, provided you could hit all your marks right on time with just the right buttons. It tried even the most patient person. Fortunately, there's been an upgrade. Stuntman: Ignition has definitely taken some time to develop. But time has done this series well.
In career mode, you'll once again take the driver's seat as an up-and-coming stuntman trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. You'll start work on a disaster flick, and work your way up through different genres including a spy thriller and even a self-professed "redneck" movie. For each scene of the movie that you shoot, you'll be given a score and a one-to-five star rating. These scores help determine how much notoriety you have in the world of stuntmen. But beware, to get a five-star rating you'll have to perform an endless string of stunts, including those not called by the stunt coordinator. This technique, aptly named "stringin' it" will force you to get creative when deciding to hit non-directive stunts, because too long without some sort of daring move, and you'll lose your "string" which is your only ticket to five-star glory.
So, does this sound a little intense for you? Well, don't worry. Stuntman: Ignition makes itself accessible to gamers of all skill levels in several ways. First of all, as long as you clear a scene, you can move on no matter how low your score is. Another way Stuntman: Ignition makes itself accessible is by offering an "easy mode" that can be turned on and off for each scene individually. However, the name is somewhat deceiving because the levels don't become easier once you enable easy mode. If you have easy mode selected for a particular scene, it just means that you will be able to pass it with more mistakes. The only downside to this mode is that it cuts your score in half. But if you're looking to pass that one scene that's holding you back, easy mode is a great way to just blow right past it
And while career mode is certainly the centerpiece of the game, the area where the game really shines is its online, or multiclash, modes. There are three main multiclash modes: backlot battle, backlot race, and movie challenge. Backlot battle is essentially a Burnout-style free-for-all which challenges you to do an insane amount of tricks while simultaneously taking out the competition. The final champion is decided based on the number of points you garner by doing risky moves, smashing into other cars, and of course, hitting those stunts just right. The next multiclash mode is backlot race, and this mode is just as simple as it sounds. You will race around the stunt lot and try your best to get to the goal before your online competitors. The third and final multiclash mode is movie Challenge, which basically takes the material from career mode and puts it in a competitive setting. Of all these modes, backlot challenge is the most involved, but for me backlot race is the most fun. Though it requires little to no stunts, it's interesting to use your stuntman skills in a driving setting.