Hollywood Stunt Driver
a simple game that manages to get everything right. It takes the
brilliant concept that Stuntman so brutally wasted and
places it in a much more user-friendly package. Yes, Chase
may merely seem like I-Imagine Interactiveís easily overlooked
answer to Reflectionís failed masterpiece, but itís actually
better than Stuntman ever was and should satisfy gamersí
need for an easily digestible stunt driving game.
of the first things that separates Chase from the Stuntman
is itís much more forgiving Career Mode. Chaseís single
player game unfolds much like Tony Hawkís Pro Skater 3ís
Career Mode. Each level has a list of objectives that you can
complete in any order, at any time. The objectives are listed on the
side of the screen and checked off as they are completed, preventing
the trial-and-error nightmare that was the Stuntmanís
missions. You can handle the objectives one at a time if you like,
as you only have to successfully complete each objective the first
time in order for it to count, and you donít have to complete each
and every goal to move on to the next level either. Missions restart
instantaneously and save automatically, cutting down on all the
waiting-around time that made the Stuntman near unbearable.
These thoughtful additions and improvements give Chase the
edge over the Stuntman.
missions themselves are varied and exciting, with a gradual
difficulty curve that makes starting the game easy, but finishing it
pretty damned hard. Completing each and every goal is a challenge to
even the most hardcore gamer, and finding each levelís hidden item
is even more of a task, but well worth the effort since it helps
unlock some of the gameís many extra modes. These include plenty
of multiplayer challenges (something else the Stuntman didnít
have), like Evil Knievel-style Jump Challenges, Burnout
inspired Stunt Point Challenges (where the most insane stunt wins),
and Hit and Run mode, which is basically bumper cars meets Destruction
donít have to worry about being too overwhelmed by the challenge
of the later levels, though, as a Stunt School is included to get
you acclimated with the gameís controls and the carís handling.
The vehicles handle very well and pulling off specific tricks like
driving on two wheels or barrel rolls couldnít be easier, unlike the
Stuntman whose controls were as unforgiving as its levels.
the only thing Stuntman has over Chase is its
engine. The Stuntman engine was capable of much more
realistic physics, much more detailed car destruction, and much
better collision detection. Also, as a side effect, the reply mode
isnít quite as satisfying as the Stuntmanís either.
Compared to Stuntman, Chase looks and feels much
less realistic overall, and the Replay Theater isnít as flashy or
robust as what Reflections has offered in the past, but these arenít
fatal flaws. If you dug the look and feel of Crazy Taxi and
you arenít married to the idea of incredible replies, youíll
have no problems with this game. If you are looking for something
along the lines of the Driver though, you may have to wait
for something else to come along.
may things can you think of that basically "stole" someone
elseís idea and delivered a copycat that was better than the
original? Not many. Well, regardless of how cruel it may sound, this
is exactly what Chase did; I-Imagine Interactive took
Reflectionís Stuntman concept and did it their way,
creating a game that is a realization of what Stuntman
could have been if it wasnít marred down with frustration and load
times. If you ask me this is an incredible thing theyíve done. It
would be great if they could go behind all the big time developers
and redo their recently over-hyped yet tragically crappy games.
Might I suggest taking a crack at State of Emergency for all
our sakes? How about Toe Jam and Earl III? Lord of the
Rings: Two Towers? BMX XXX? Anyway, itís a real shame
that this game will most probably get lost under the flood of high
profile Xbox titles out there now, like Splinter Cell, MechAssault,
Unreal Championship and the like. This game is very fun, just
challenging enough, and deserves to be in a few peopleís
- Like Stuntman, only better in nearly every way.
on the load times.
forgiving gameplay and objective structure.
modes are always a plusÖ
is the ability to play MP3s from your Xbox hard drive.
isnít quite up to Reflectionís quality.
arenít as good as Stuntmanís.
probably be overlooked by the buying public for more hyped
there are any Xbox owners who thought Stuntman looked
super cool, this is the game for you. If there are any PS2 owners
who were summarily let down by the Stuntman, this is the game
for you. If you are looking for a fun driving game about car wrecks
and explosions, this is the game for you. A very solid title and
well worth checking out; definitely recommended.