Many of us have always had the dream of becoming a Stuntman. Ok, maybe not everyone, I know I sure haven’t. But then again the idea of being a Stuntman in a video game now that sounds like a good idea, and something that THQ has taken a few stabs at over the years and has come up with mild success. Now THQ is moving its franchise to the next gen consoles in search of more success with more polygons and more Stuntman action, but does Paradigm Entertainment have the right formula working in this game to make it a must have this holiday season? Read our full review of Stuntman Ignition for the Xbox 360 to find out!
For those who haven’t played the previous Stuntman titles and are wondering where they failed, it wasn’t that the mechanics were at that bad. The driving was pretty good, the concepts were all there, it just was far too frustrating and far too repetitive to hold anyone’s interest for any extended period of time. However Stuntman has always carried that potential, that feeling inside that really tells you that this game could really be something special, but just hasn’t made it over the bump.
In terms of concepts, Stuntman Ignition doesn’t go far from what we have seen in the past from the franchise. In fact, the main underlying concepts are all the same, the main mode of the game is the career mode it is here that you’re given different movies to participate in and to do stunts for. The game starts off rather simply by throwing you in the game, giving a few ideas of where to go from there and then just letting you on your way. In the grand scheme of things, the whole idea of the game is just not to screw up. You screw up a certain amount of times in a level and you have to retry the mission.
In general, the concepts of Stuntman Ignition all work, but like its predecessors the game still struggles at getting the user as engaged in the whole ordeal as it wants to. First off, the game is so strict with each move you make that literally one mistake could have you just ending up retrying the whole event. This becomes a big trial and error sort of situation where you will continue to run through each event just trying to learn every turn, every jump, and every special maneuver you may need to pull off. But in the thick of all this demand for perfection, the game eventually becomes frustrating and unbearable to play, It becomes more and more a chore to try and get through levels as you get into the game rather then enjoy them. There are going to be some that truly thrive off of the challenge of the game, but others who are going to immediately become frustrated with the whole ordeal and want to move on.
For me I pushed through and went through much of the game continuing to learn through each level and understanding that the job of a Stuntman is a lot more difficult than it actually may appear. Each completion of a level is graded on a 1-5 star grading scale. To get high marks you really have to work at it, and although I felt it to be far too frustrating for my own liking, but when I did get my first 5 star rating it was still a major sense of accomplishment and relief.
Like I mentioned earlier, the previous Stuntman games had great mechanics, and thus is the same for Stuntman Ignition. I really don’t have any complaints on the driving, which feels smooth, the courses are built like you would expect a real life movie course to be built and from the ground up the entire game feels really good. In fact, speaking of other positive things in Stuntman Ignition the mini-games and the Xbox Live support are actually quite a bit more entertaining then what we saw in the career mode. You have the ability to create your own Stunt track, go online and compete, and just in general have a much less restrictive feel of Stuntman Ignition outside of the career mode rather then in the main mode. In the end, if you can get over the frustrating nature of Stuntman Ignition there is a good solid underlying title that just reeks of potential.
I have to say that more then anything else in this game, the visuals really stood out to me as being the premiere piece of the title. It makes sense really, a game that thrives itself on being edgy and in almost every case dangerous should have a great sense of style, and that is exactly what this title has. Whether it is the large explosions or just the sheer grand scheme of the sets, this is actually a very good looking game that really holds up well in tough situations. The frame rate is actually very smooth and never seemed to miss a beat from my experiences. Overall it may not be the best Xbox 360 title we have seen before, but it does keep a very good eye on detail and sophistication throughout.
As mentioned before, there is no doubt in my mind that this is a game that is going to test one’s patience and perseverance. If you have that sort of tolerance for games and are able to get past it, then you will definitely be able to really find a good deal to like in this game. This is especially so outside of the career mode where things do loosen up a bit and become more enjoyable. Overall though the game doesn’t frustrate because of gameplay mechanics, but instead more on the concepts that drive the game and the low margin of error that the game gives you.
In the end, I would still recommend Stuntman Ignition. The game has a lot of good things to offer fans of anything to do with being a Stuntman. Heck even if you have never thought about being a Stuntman I still think this is a game that may interest you. If you have tried the series and haven’t enjoyed it in the past, my guess is this title is not going to change your mind. But if you haven’t or find any interest in this game I would still recommend checking it out, you may be the type of crowd this game is looking for.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.