Volume 96, Issue 7
Tuesday, September 10, 2002

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Hey kids! More ways to smash things up!

Stuntman
Reflections/Atari
Playstation 2



By Chris Hodge
Gazette Staff

Cautious drivers beware – Stuntman is probably not the video game for you.

The new game from the makers of the successful Driver series is everything that the title implies. You are a professional stuntman and your job is to jump, crash and swerve your way through a variety of death defying stunts. And yes, you get paid to do it.

The problem with most driving games in the past is that no matter how much the graphics may have evolved, the object of the game remains the same: drive as quickly as you can from point A to B.

Stuntman breaks up the monotony by offering you two different modes of play. First there's the Career mode, in which you are a stuntman paid to perform a variety of stunts for a big budget Hollywood movie. Every stunt is different and often involves everything from cars, to bikes, to snowmobiles.

In order to advance in the game, you will need to accomplish the majority of each stunt successfully. Otherwise, the director will make you do it again and again and again – you get the point.

The movies you will work on during the course of your career in this game are actually based on real films and genres. There's a movie similar to the Indiana Jones series, complete with a motorcycle with a passenger car attached.

The second mode of play is the Arena section, where you can screw around with all the cars and ramps you've won during Career mode.

This is where the game really shines. It's like a "Sim-Demolition Derby." Here, you can create your own mini stunt show using a variety of ramps, crushable objects and other such toys.

The only drawback to Stuntman is that each toy and car can only be acquired if you successfully complete each stunt in Career mode with a high percentage rating. That is, of course, assuming you don't use any of the cheats that can easily be found on the Internet.

One of the only downsides to the game is the repetitive nature of many of the stunts you perform during Career mode. As you progress further into the game, you often need to successfully complete about 95 per cent of the stunt in order to be able to move onto the next stunt. That means you often have to perform a stunt dozens of times before you get it right. And, as you get further into the game, the stunts get more difficult.

All in all, Stuntman is a thoroughly enjoyable game. It appeals not only to die-hard racing fanatics, but to anyone who enjoys the idea of driving a car off a bridge onto a moving train, all from the safety of their own living room.

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2002 THE GAZETTE