Chase Hollywood Stunt Driver
by Bam! Entertainment
Not long ago we reviewed Stuntman for the PS2. Not to be outdone, the XBOX now has it's own stunt driver game in the shape of Chase Hollywood Stunt Driver. The game places you in the role of Chase Corrada, a female stunt driver who is attempting to impress Hollywood in her bid to become the premier stunt driver. During the game you will take part in four films and for each film there are four scenes in which Chase must perform. Let's take a look and see how Chase Hollywood Stunt Driver measures up.
Despite what some reviews have claimed, Chase isn't an attempt at emulating Stuntman for the XBOX. With five minutes of play this becomes obvious. In Stuntman you have to perform each scene to perfection and while completing a scene is richly rewarding for some it might prove frustrating as one slip-up means that you'll have to do the whole scene again. Chase isn't like that. The format of the game, for the Career mode, is kind of like the one used in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater in that for each scene there are a number of goals that must be met and you can pick them off one at a time. Providing you actually finish the scene it doesn't matter if you completed all the goals or not. For each goal there is a certain number of reputation points that can be earned. Initially you only have access to the first scene of the first film. You gain access to the other scenes and films by having the required number of reputation points to unlock them. This is a far more liberating approach to the realistic one used in Stuntman.
As well as the aforementioned Career mode there is also a Challenge mode and a Multiplayer mode. The Challenge mode is made up of a Jump Challenge - where you have to jump over an increasing number of buses; Stunt Point Challenge - where you have to create a high scoring stunt combination in an arena and Stunt Race - where you race against stunt master Baen. The Multiplayer mode also comprises three elements. There's a kind of stunt car tag called Hit and Run, a Stunt Dual in which the one with the most points wins and Stunt Race which obviously, is a race between you and your friends.
Throughout the game the subtitle provision is excellent with director's comments appearing in the bottom left of the screen. The goals are given in text before the start of the scene and instructions are given on the director's clapboard before the action commences. A Crazy Taxi style arrow points the direction that you should be travelling in very efficiently. In fact for a deaf gamer the game provides full access.
One thing that is pleasing about Chase is that the cars handle very well and very easily. Performing the stunts is no problem at all. Barrel rolls, two wheeled driving and other stunts don't take too much effort to perform and you are usually rewarded for these kind of stunts as well as completing the scene with a certain amount of surplus time.
The graphics look OK but do not compare to titles such as Project Gotham Racing and Wreckless. The visual lack of brilliance could be excused if the framerate was immaculate but it is not and on some scenes you'll notice it chug a bit which is disappointing in a game that relies on smooth and precise movement. The vehicles have a damage model but although you can smash them beyond all usefulness and fail a scene as a result of the damage, the damage models are not realistic (not that this makes much difference).
Apart from framerate issues my only niggle with the game is that the longevity of the title may be a little suspect. With four films on offer, 16 scenes in total, the length of the game doesn't seem to be too bad. However within about 90 minutes of play I had finished the first film (four scenes) completely and was advancing through the second film and although the difficulty had increased a little it still wasn't proving to be too much of a problem. Part of the problem is that once you get into the game it becomes an addictive experience and thus you'll find yourself feeling that there should have been a lot more on offer.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10 Framerate issues and length are the only things that count against an otherwise enjoyable game.
Deaf Gamers comment: No problems at all.