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DEVELOPER: Reflections   |   PUBLISHER: Atari   |   RELEASE: 06/23/2002

Let the bassline hit ya, three hundred pounds of pressure. After spending countless hours with Stuntman you will be hating those lines. The overly techno anthem that blares during most of the game including the track editor and title screen. The annoyance doesn’t end there, but inside this ball of agony and pain lies a solid title that just fell short of what it could have been. From the makers of Driver I present to you….Stuntman!

First let’s start with the graphics, sure anyone can argue that great graphics do not make a great game but they sure as fuck don’t hurt one either, and nothing against the talents at Reflections Studios, but this game is far from pretty. From the bland textures to the iffy frame rate you sometimes wonder what system you are running this game on. Sure it isn’t down to Playstation standards, but there sure are a lot better looking games on the PS2, such as 80% of them to be exact! The engine resembles Driver down to a science, from the funny wheel movements to the graininess this game could have been Driver 3:The Stuntman LOL. The saving factor? Well the replays are nice and there are a lot of particle effects with lots of items being destroyed on screen, yet it could have looked a lot better.

I am sure you are familiar with my love for the opening song. It is absolutely annoying and the in-game music isn’t much better. You are presented with rhythms accustomed to the movies you are making, such as the Dukes Of Hazzard rip-off “A Whoopin’ and a Hollerin'” Now there is some originality. In this movie all of the music tracks are twang style beats that simply gnaw at your brain until nothing is left to salvage, such a pity as my brain use to function quite nicely. The rest of the music is also of the same quality which in our terms means…it sucks.

The premise of Stuntman revolves around the career of one daring young man determined to make the best action sequences ever seen in a Hollywood production. You take the role of this man and try to perform just what the director wants, if you mess up then it’s back to square one and you must do the entire stunt all over again. After playing several stunts this became tedious for one, there is no explanation of what to expect before the stunt starts. This leads to basically playing the stunt 4-5 times and memorizing where all the action takes place so you can do it perfect. This is drug out by the awful load times, this game loads forever and what is funny is that it takes longer to load the cut scenes than the actual game!! Two, you have to repeat any stunt that you fail, some of these stunts are long and tedious which makes doing them over more of a chore than actually fun to play.

The few things that can actually salvage Stuntman are it’s awesome replays which make you feel like you are really a part of the Hollywood action scene. Secondly the stunt track editor is very cool, but as with anything cool there is limitations. For instance when creating a stunt course you are only given the toys you have unlocked in career mode, which takes ages to do with the difficulty. The next bad part? Well you are limited on how much stuff you can throw into the arena, and trust me it is extremely limited. The PS2’s memory is so low that this game tops out after 15-20 pieces which makes for some boring stunt courses.

After all of the bitching and complaining you are wondering what was all of the hype around this game? Well it is a fun game with some definite originality. With a few tweaks here and a few bugs worked out here this game could become a household name. The main problem is that even with so many issues the public will probably still eat it up. I have already seen our competition’s reviews and am amazed at the scores they have been giving. Not a bad game, yet not a classic, this game is pretty much what you would expect and that is what disappointed me the most. My suggestion is to rent it first and then decide.

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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