When Stuntman first graced our screens, the seemingly universally appealing role of playing a Hollywood stunt driver was dogged by the painfully short threshold for mistakes. Whilst some gamers enjoyed the trial and error style of play, most found it incredibly frustrating. Stuntman: Ignition veers away from this style and in doing so creates a more dynamic and entertaining game.
The bulk of the game is featured in the career mode, where you take on the role of an amateur stuntman trying to make it in Hollywood. Begging with Aftershock, you’ll work your way through 6 shameless movie parodies including Never Kill Me Again, the latest in an obvious James Bond like series and the comic-book inspired Night Avenger. Fans of the original will also notice Whoopin’ and a Hollerin’ II, a sequel to one of the original Stuntman movies. Each of the six films is compromised of six scenes, with each scene being a stunt sequence going on for several minutes.
The scenes take place on huge sets filled with explosions, actors, buildings, bridges, other drivers and unimaginable set pieces. You’ll have to navigate through this obstacle course whilst performing a wide range of stunts. These vary from jumps, barrel rolls and wheelies to drifts, crashes and car chases. There are also vehicle specific stunts like sliding your motorbike under obstacles, shooting from cars or triggering explosions! The director calls out stunts prior to you having to perform them. Each stunt is worth points, and stunts can be strung together to perform huge combos. Missing a stunt however will earn you a strike, 5 strikes and the director will call a re-shoot.
At the end of each sequence the director will give you a grade from 1 to 5 stars. In the early stages of the game 2 stars can be enough to scrap by with, but as you progress you’ll find yourself going back and improving old performances to raise your rating and get you accepted into bigger budget films. Another way to raise this rating is by completing odd jobs, one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Here you’ll have to complete a few one-off stunts whether it be for a commercial shoot or for a stadium of fans. These stunts, while harder, are short and sharp and extremely fun. The nifty feature of tutorials through rehearsals adds an extra bit of realism to Ignition.
Outside of career mode is multiplayer/Xbox live. This includes two different types of race Backlot Battle and Backlot Race. In Backlot Battle you compete online performing stunts whilst completing laps and going for the high score. Backlot Race is equally enjoyable where it’s solely focussed on speed and nitro whilst completing laps.
The Constructer mode is a real time consumer building your own stunt setups within empty stadiums and arenas.
The graphics are certainly very good. The detail in the vehicles is impressive across the board be it motorcycle or monster truck. The environments and their subsequent destruction are also impressive. The Frame rate however stutters under these environments and can lead to some frustrating and ugly looking sequences.
The sound plays a major role in Ignition. The directors for each of the movies are uniquely cast and brim–ming with personality. The same stunt co-ordinator for each film however can become irritating. The background score for each movie feels appropriate. A fun feature is when the headset is plugged in; all of the commands from your co-ordinator are heard through the headset, allowing you to immerse yourself in the game.
Stuntman: Ignition is in the end great fun. The little details combined with great gameplay makes Ignition a total blast!