Version Played: Xbox 360
Current CEX Price: £2.50

I never got around to playing the original Stuntman on PS2, though I’d always been intrigued by its premise. So I was extremely excited to get playing the sequel – Stuntman: Ignition – when my good friend ScaredyMat sent it to me to review.

When I mentioned on Twitter that I’d be playing this, I was told that it was overly fussy and required pixel perfect precision in order to progress. Little did I know how true that would be.

Stuntman: Ignition is a game full of promise and one that’s clearly in love with its setting. Playing as the eponymous Stuntman, you’re tasked with performing chains of every more daring and deadly stunts across the sets of six films, each parodying either a familiar genre or specific movie. You’re introduced to the film’s director, the set and the scene you’ll be shooting almost immediately; it all builds up and looks very exciting. The movie sets, stunt set pieces and conversations with the film crew all set the right tone and have you eager to get stuck in.

And then you play. Right from the opening stage, the car doesn’t handle brilliantly and the stunts are incredibly restrictive and overly precise in their requirements. It’s incredibly easy to fail over and over again, even on the very first scene. It’s an exercise in frustration that really should have been avoided; it feels like there’s no easing in to the levels at all. Though there’s an easy mode, allowing players to finish scenes regardless of how many cues are missed, the score is halved and it just feels like an artificial way to progress, rather than working on getting the level design to be more forgiving and – dare I say it – more fun.

It’s a game that frustrates more than anything else – and it’s for that reason that this is a rare Bargain Bin title that I’d suggest staying away from. Quite often, I find redeeming features in the oddest places when re-evaluating games that’ll only cost a quid or two (Mindjack, anyone?) – but I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the developers of Stuntman: Ignition (Paradigm Entertainment, who were also responsible, somehow, for the sublime Pilotwings 64 – amongst other decent games) sucked any joy out of the game’s appealing premise, with the lack of creativity or any sort of forgiving elements in the game’s mechanics. A massive disappointment and a waste of an excellent premise.

In the meantime, you can have fun checking out another ScaredyMat video, seeing as he kindly provided me with Stuntman: Ignition for review! I hope you enjoy this more than I enjoyed Stuntman: Ignition…

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