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Review: Stuntman: Ignition - PS3

by Nick Haywood on 27 October 2007, 09:52

Tags: Stuntman: Ignition, THQ (NASDAQ:THQI), PS3, Racing

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Hit the mark, get the shot in the can...

Ok, so we all know how filming works in real life. Each stunt is performed individually, not necessarily in the sequence they’ll appear in the film, and then it’s all chopped together by the editor into a, (hopefully), exciting action sequence. But that’d make for the most boring of games where you drive for maybe 30 seconds before filming cuts…

So what happens in Stuntman: Ignition is that you’re given a whole sequence of stunts to perform in one long take. The idea is that your hare around the set, side-swiping another stunt driver here, leaping across a gap there, dodging an explosion, sliding around a corner… in fact, you’ll be doing pretty much an entire action sequence all in one long take, lasting about 2 minutes.

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Now, you can make mistakes and miss cues or stunts, with each miss earning you a ‘strike’ from the director. Earn five strikes in one take and the director will order a reshoot, sticking you back at the start of the take. But missing stunts is not the only way to force a reshoot, as going the wrong way and driving out of shot or slipping off the course into water or lava will cause an automatic reshoot, no matter how well you were doing up until then. And, if making the stunts and not going off the track weren’t enough, you’re on a time limit too. The whole take has to be shot in around 2 minutes on average, so going over this, even if you don’t earn 5 strikes, will mean reshoot as the director won’t have the fast paced action he wants. But failing because you’ve run out time is rare as many of the stunts are timed… be too late onto the highway and the car you’re supposed to strike will have gone or the gap you’re supposed to shoot through will have closed…

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Success in a take gives you a star rating and opens up the next sequence in the film. The star rating affects your ranking amongst other stunt drivers and acts as an incentive to replay some scenes where you didn’t do so well as higher ratings means more unlockables becoming available. As you progress though each scene, eventually scenes in other movies become available, so if you get stuck on a tricky scene in one film you can nip over to another shoot and have a go there instead.

There’s no penalty for failing a scene so you can give each one a go as often as you want. But the more you show off, the more points and stars you’ll earn. The director might call for you to just slide around a corner in one section, but if you drift around all your turns, run close to other cars and perform impromptu stunts you’ll earn far more points. This is because the points are based on a ‘string’ multiplier. Basically you have to perform another stunt within a couple of seconds of the last… even something simple such as pulling a wheelie on a motorbike will do it and heavily boost your star rating.

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Once you’ve completed the complete set of scenes for a movie you’ll be rewarded with the trailer for that film. A nice touch is the obvious parodying of big Hollywood films… so there’s the volcano disaster movie “Aftershock”, the hillbilly Dukes of Hazzard rip-off, “Whoopin’ and a Hollerin’ II”, the action gun fest “Strike Force Omega” and so on. All recognisable in their style as being lifted from or paying homage to big Hollywood titles. The director for each is suitably stereotypical, from Aftershock’s impatient snob to Strike Force Omega’s self centred star-turned-director.

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