Stuntman Ignition PlayStation 3
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Paradigm Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
There can be no denying that the Stuntman series, where you play as a movie stunt driver is one that you’ll either love or hate. The reason is that it’s a game that based on trial and error. You either love the challenge of replaying the missions over and over again slowly perfecting your performance or you’ll hate having to play the missions knowing full well that you’ll make a mess of them until you’ve played them three or four times. Whatever your take on the series you can’t deny that when you do get a mission spot on, it’s a very satisfying experience.
As the name of the game suggests, you’ll play as a stuntman doing a multitude of driving scenes for a collection of movies and commercials. Each movie has half a dozen scenes that need to be completed. In each scene you’ll have to perform the required stunts such as jumps, driving close to other vehicles, driving under truck trailers, driving on two wheels, doing handbrake turns or driving through narrow gaps in the required time. Each scene is packed with action and there are all kinds of obstacles in your path to make the scene more intense and, of course, more difficult to perform the stunts. You’re allowed to make five mistakes (you get a red cross for each mistake) before you’ll automatically fail a scene. There are some things you can do to automatically fail a scene however. Going the wrong way or driving into a hazardous substance such as lava will instantly fail a scene.
The key to success is to know the route you’re driving and the stunts that need to be performed off by heart. You can score a maximum of five stars for doing everything spot on but in order to earn the five stars you’ll have to do what is known as Stunt Stringing. Essentially Stunt Stringing is doing consecutive stunts within two seconds of each other. Naturally this means that in addition to performing all of the required stunts in a scene, you’ll also be doing some risky driving in between the stunts to keep the stunts flowing. Whilst you might get through all of the available scenes in a week casually playing the game, it’s going to take much longer before you’ve completed every scene with a five star rating.
Stuntman Ignition is the first game in the series to arrive on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and as such it’s no surprise that the game looks much better than the first Stuntman game that appeared on the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 3 version looks very good and it’s impressive to see just how much action is going on during a scene. The frame rate is quite good throughout although there are noticeable dips on occasion. Thankfully these never cause any problems. Load times are a little on the long side although to be fair, if you need to restart a scene the restart is pretty much instantaneous.
Given that the original Stuntman was subtitled, it’s fair to say that most would be optimistic that Stuntman Ignition would also be subtitled. However, the PlayStation 3 version has no subtitles at all. To say this is disappointing is definitely an understatement and it’s a game that deaf gamers should treat with caution. The tutorial messages, the mission intros and the director’s comments are not subtitled. The co-driver comments are also not subtitled, which is unfortunate as these are very important because your co-driver will call out the instructions. You can figure out what needs to be done if you learn all of the game icons by heart but it’s nowhere near as effective as being aware of what the co-driver is saying. In short, Stuntman Ignition is a very awkward experience for deaf gamers and only those who are dedicated will persevere with it.
Stuntman Ignition is a good sequel to the original Stuntman but the lack of support for deaf gamers is disappointing. In addition to the Career mode there are also a few multiplayer modes (which are passable if nothing else) and a Constructor mode that allows you to create your own stunt setups in an arena. What we said at the beginning of the review about the Stuntman series being something you’ll either love or hate still applies to Stuntman Ignition. The game is still heavily based on trial and error and if you didn’t appreciate the original Stuntman, there’s absolutely no way you’re going to get on with Stuntman Ignition. Those who did enjoy Stuntman will definitely enjoy this sequel. It’s both challenging and satisfying and the multiplayer modes are a good inclusion too. It’s just a crying shame that isn’t subtitled. Deaf gamers are probably going to have a hard time with Stuntman Ignition and only dedicated fans of the original game will have the patience to put up with a game that doesn’t cater for them.