As I start the next stage of Stuntman Ignition, a flashy announcer tells me in his huge Hollywood wash-out voice “The Director wants both barrels, a non-stop flurry of action-packed performance…”, it’s then I realize. This game is awful. Every single level is designed for you to master your ‘strings’ (we’ll get to that) and you’ll keep cracking yourself every time you miss a checkpoint by a few meters. It’s the bad kind of fun, the dirty fun, the fun that isn’t the normal fun. Not real fun, but a different kind of fun. It’s an awful game, but it’s awfully fun.
Stuntman Ignition tells the tale of blah blah blah. Why bother with a story in any driving game? Why bother? I don’t need back story on why I’m doing what I’m doing, I don’t need a ‘rise to the top’ motivation, I just want to drive the goddamn car! I hate games that do this: sports games, skateboard games have an unnecessary story bolted on to them which is usually “rise to the top to become the number one.”. Sometimes, it’s OK, it’s not in your face and it’s just a minor nitpick that I’d usually do, but in Stuntman Ignition. GOD! Every single race “This will help your reputation.”, “You can rise to the top!”. SHUT THE **** UP! RAAAAAAAAAAGE!
Okay.. okay… now we’ve got that out of the way, let me introduce to the actual premise. You are a stuntman… blah. Clues in the title. In fact, while we’re on the subject of the title, why’s it got the sub-title of ‘Ignition’… why don’t they just call it Stuntman 2? How do we know it’s not a spin-off or a new game series, the first Stuntman wasn’t that much of a hit… so why bother with a sub-title? Anyway, there are films, scenarios, with scenes in which you actually play. There’s a lot of variety of locations and each has it’s own presentation and flavor. It actually gives each film/environment some actual character. Pretty nice touches.
You drive a car: beep beep vroom. You drive through explosions and special events, which you trigger yourself to get the right timing. It’s all pretty standard stuff, standard controls, it’s the explosions and set pieces which make it ‘unique’, if you would call it that, there’s no real stand-out big boom boom. The finales of scenes are exciting, I have to admit, and the jet-ski section is a real highlight of the game. You’ll see what I mean if you’ve played it. You have a couple of chances to do the whole scene, and once you’ve spent them up, that’s it. Start the scene again. Now that’s just… ugh.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”, it’s the foundation of most games. Addictive gameplay which makes you try when you fail, but in this game it’s just the biggest pile of trial and error. Ever. You fail a scene, so you think “Okay, checkpoint.”, sometimes that happens before a massive jump or set-piece or something… it resets the whole SCENE! I can not even begin to explain how frustrated you will become when you play this game. In fact, don’t play this game. There’s a reason why people don’t play these things anymore.
What else can I say about Stuntman Ignition? The ‘create-a-stunt’ feature in the original, which I loved to bits, is back and awful. It takes so long to load up anything, the controls are sticky, there’s no real point or fun in it anymore. It’s all been ruined and I don’t see the point in any of the tacking on, in any game for that fact. Why tack on a feature like this, when it is so obviously bad. When you’re developing a game, you’re going to be playing it, so did you find this fun? If you did, then you’ve got pretty low standards of ‘fun’, even my ‘fun’ doesn’t go that low. In fact, it goes side-to-side… and doesn’t have a ”rise-to-the-top!” storyline.