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Developer: Reflections | Publisher: Atari
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 06/23/02 | Genre: Driving

Where would movies be without the stuntmen? Movies like James Bond and Battlefield Earth would be horribly unexciting. Wait, scratch Battlefield Earth. While the stars of the movie are off complaining about their contracts, the hard-working Hollywood stuntman films the scenes that put our butts in the seats. The car chases, wrecks, and explosions are what the people want to see. That's the idea behind this newest game from developer Reflections. You step in as the stuntman and work your way through the movies, leaving piles of wrecked cars wherever you go.

There is a variety of different vehicles to drive--from snowmobiles to sports cars. The controls for all of these vehicles are the same. However, they all have different specifications like power and handling. When you drive through the movie set, following arrows and listening to the director's orders for what to do, everything feels like it is moving at a very hectic pace. Either the car you're supposed to be chasing is speeding away from you or the clock is ticking and the only way to get more time is by driving through a checkpoint. This hectic nature is what makes the game so much fun.

Each scene has several stunts to do. There are usually several basic ones, a few bigger ones, and then a huge climactic stunt to finish the scene. Not all of the stunts have to be done though. A few small ones can be skipped. This is probably a good thing since you can save a lot of time by skipping some of the stunts to complete the level. The stunts can range from simple things like driving through boxes and doing 180-degree turns, to very demanding stunts like landing a jump from a corkscrew ramp or jumping out of your car right before a train hits it.

There are six movies that need your driving talents. They are: Toothless in Wapping (A gangster comedy. Think Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), A-Woopin and A-Hollerin (Dukes of Hazzard), Blood Oath (A dead ringer for John Woo flicks), Conspiracy (Drawing Inspiration from the Jack Ryan films of Tom Clancy fame), The Scarab of Lost Souls (not inspired by, but a direct rip-off of Indiana Jones), and the most fun of all the films: Live Twice for Tomorrow, a James Bond-like film. After completing the set of stunts for each film, a trailer for the movie is shown with the stunts you pulled off spliced in. It's very rewarding after spending all that time to feel like you've helped finish a film and see a final product.

The graphics in Stuntman are very well done. The only things that don't look very good are the people on the streets. Unfortunately, just like in Driver, you can't hit them. The vehicle models are also well done. As your car drives through things, the debris flies in a very realistic manner. There are also plenty of good-looking explosions.

On the sound front, this game is also well done. Each movie has one or two songs that fit the scene very well, and the director will shout what you need to do next. The sound can get irritating after awhile, however. The one big flaw in Stuntman is how many times some stunts must be attempted before you can finally pass them.

In order to pass the tougher missions, a state of utmost concentration needs to be achieved. Some people will not have the patience for Stuntman. Others will love the challenge it presents. Many times while I was playing, I would say to myself ì?¬l right, I'll try this one more time and if I don't pass it I'm going to quit.î  Then, I would wind up trying that stunt twenty more times. This is a very rewarding game with a unique concept, and everyone should take it for a spin.

By Jordan Baranowski - 07/25/02
ESRB Details: Mild Lyrics, Violence

Screenshots for Stuntman

The Universal Console

Sky Gunner