A stuntman's life is never easy. Risking everything in car crashes, explosions and other maladies just so that the hotshot film star can get the big screen credit. Well it's about time the humble stuntman got some glory, and that's exactly what THQ brings with its stuntacular vehicle-based action title.
Lights, camera, traction
As a fresh faced Hollywood stuntman working on six individually themed film sets, your job is to perform a number of high risk manoeuvres ranging from the relatively innocuous such as doing a reverse 180 degree spin in a certain area, to jumping flaming hazards without gaining a scratch.
But budding stuntmen can't get away with just being reckless for the sake of it. These daredevil tricks are set against a schedule where timing and speed are just as important as successfully performing the stunt itself. With the film director screaming instructions in your ear, each move has to be done at the right moment within the sequence, all within a time limit. Mess up too often or take too long and it's back to the start for dreaded re-shoots and some rather terse words from the boss behind the camera.
Petrol meets head
It's all great fun, however. The fast paced nature of Stuntman: Ignition makes for an utterly engaging blast of high octane excitement, as crazed tasks are thrown in your path in quick succession. A nitro-boosted jump is swiftly followed by two overtaking manoeuvres, then a drift turn, and maybe - if you're lucky - smashing through some flaming wreckage, just to round things off.
There's even room for improvisation, made more enticing through the chance to link stunts one after the other and rack up bonus points through a score multiplier. This is particularly satisfying when you've mastered a scene complete with insignificant accidents, which you can then replay and save in its entirety.
More than a mere stunt double
Impressive performances earn achievements and unlockable goodies, such as awards, custom paint jobs and trailers, but most of the longevity will come from the different modes and options available. Over 25 vehicles can be taken out for a spin, all relevant to the film genre they're parodying (James Bond and Mad Max are but a couple of the movies to earn a cheeky wink), each offering a different feel and style of play for diversity and challenge.
It's not all about creative destruction either, as there's a construction feature to build your own stunt arenas which you can then race on. Numerous multiplayer options and challenges also keep things engaging long after the massive career mode is finished.
With its intuitive controls, quirky sense of humour and blistering pace, Stuntman: Ignition ticks all the right boxes for anyone looking to mix the thrills of death-defying driving with the spills of spectacular stunts. Strap in and prepare for a heart-racing ride.