Stuntman (video game)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
Stuntman is an action-adventure racing video game that was developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Atari for the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance. The game focuses around the career of a motion-picture stuntman. It takes the player through various movies in which they perform dangerous stunts as called by the game.
Critical reaction to Stuntman varied. The game was hailed for its innovativeness, good physics engine and unique gameplay, but was criticized for being linear, too difficult and requiring too many retries, making it a frustrating experience. The game was followed up with the sequel Stuntman: Ignition in 2007 under THQ as opposed to Atari.
Stuntman has three single-player modes: Stuntman Career, Stunt Construction and Driving Games. In Stuntman Career, the player must attempt a series of car chase stunt scenes. Each track has several stunts, which are indicated with visual cues and in voice. The player must complete each track in a limited time and with a specified accuracy of the stunts to be able to proceed to the next scene. After all the scenes of the film are completed, a theatrical trailer of the film is shown that combines pre-rendered scenes with highlights from the car scenes based on the actual performance of the player. After succeeding a scene, the player is rewarded with money based on accuracy and time,and unlocking of vehicles and tools for the construction mode. After completing a scene, the player can watch a playback and optionally save it.
The career mode allows the player to participate in six films, each filmed in a different location and in a different genre. Toothless in Wapping is a gangster film made in London and resembles Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. A Whoopin' and a Hollerin' is inspired by Dukes of Hazzard set in rural Louisiana. Blood Oath is filmed in Bangkok and is inspired by John Woo-films. Conspiracy is a Tom Clancy-type thriller where the player uses a snowmobile in Switzerland. The Scarab of Lost Souls is based on the Indiana Jones films where the player uses a jeep and troop carrier in Egypt. Live Twice for Tomorrow is a parody of James Bond where the player uses sports cars in Monaco. Between films, the player must perform stunts in front of crowds.
The Stunt Construction mode allows the player to create their own stunts by placing equipment in an arena and then perform the stunts. The Driving Games mode involves tests of vehicle control, such as maneuverability, precision and timing.
During the E3 2006 Expo, it was announced that THQ had acquired the rights to the Stuntman franchise. Also announced was that the a sequel for next-generation systems is in development at Paradigm Entertainment. On 28 February 2007, THQ announced Stuntman: Ignition was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 on 28 August 2007.
The game received generally positive reviews upon release. The Metacritic aggregate score for Stuntman is 71%—the reviews ranged from 35% by TotalPlayStation and Gamecritics to 93% by Game Informer. The Entertainment Software Rating Board gave the game a "teen" rating, for mild lyrics and violence. While the car scenes only depicted accidents, the lyrics and violence is displayed in the theatrical trailers.
Gamespot gave the article an 8.0 of 10, appraising the game for its innovation. The game was acclaimed for its "unique gameplay mechanics, great graphics, distinctive style, and terrific vehicle physics". The game was criticized for being an "exhausting exercise in trial and error" because "[y]ou won't really know exactly what you'll be doing until you're actually in the middle of a trial run, and there's hardly any room for making mistakes." IGN described the game as "refreshing", pointing to the unique gameplay
Gamecritics slaughtered the gameplay, giving Stuntman a 3.5 of 10. The game was reviewed as "linear and restrictive, making the entire game feel instructional rather than entertaining." The game was criticized for requiring too many retries and "just get[s] too frustrat[ing] [...] waiting (read: reloading) at [the] next chance to drive through a frustrating trial." Criticism was also aimed at the game requiring the player to manage each stunt in rapid succession. The extra material was regarded as "unflattering" and the construction mode criticized for not being interesting until components had been unlocked by playing through the career mode. However, Gamecritics appeased the game's graphics, interesting scenery and physics.
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