At first glance of seeing this game second hand for a few coins at EB games, the game didn't have a cover, so I didn't even know if it was a stunt driving game or a guy that runs around and crashes through things? I checked it out when I got home and the first screen shot of it I saw, I had to ring EB Games and make sure they still had it till I got there. It looked great, but there was up and down reviews? But now, I'm here with my own review.
Whenever people recommend car games on PS2, they always say Gran Tourismo, Need for Speed etc.. but this game here is nothing that should have it's nose turned up at. I knew THQ could make decent racing games, even tho I haven't played one since Destruction Derby on the n64 (which was pretty cool but lacked options). THQ have done something not too distant from that game, but used modern day graphics and specs to invent a Stunt Driving experience of a different sort.
Many people may have played "Stunts" back in the old Dos days, a game where you could build your own tracks and race on them, but quite frankly, making them was a lot more fun that actually driving on them. THQ have incorporated that game as a bonus next to the real game here.
In career mode you are a new stunt driver in Hollywood and are out to make a name for yourself. You are hired to be a stunt driver on a movie called "Aftershock" which I am guessing is based on the Perice Bronson movie "Dante's Peak". Your goal is to reach the end of the coarse, however, you must hit your marks and preform certain stunts when they appear. They are not random, so don't think it's one of those 50/50 chances of winning games. The first level alone see's you start off by jumping through a sign, hitting a ramp and flying over hot lava, setting the car on fire, cooling it off in a carwash and finally just exploding it through the air in the end. Of coarse, this is not based on reality, so keep in mind it's just for fun, and thats what it is. A lot of fun if these games appeal to you.
As you progress you open up 6 stunt scenes for each movie (or 6 levels to each area)... unfortunately you have to complete the first to open the next. which is something I could see some people getting irritated at, or kids of a very young age not being able to figure out how to do such and such, but in the end, I managed to complete the whole thing i'n about a week... however, I wasn't playing it non stop, just in my free time, so it's possible someone could do it in a few hours, or a day or so.
The next set of movie scenes are "whoopin and a hollirin" which is pretty much a take on the Dukes of Hazzard. Chasin down the bank robbers, making jumps through town etc... yee ha[...] "Strike Force Omega" is a type of Mad Max meets The A-Team sort of situations. Screaming through the desert on bikes, buggy's and trucks while rockets and helicopters chase you down. "Overdrive" reminds me of "Bullit" with a bit of classic 70's cop chase scenes involved, as well as something I can't quite put my finger on, but give it a go and see what it reminds you of as you run down trams and tankers in San Fransisco in a Fire Engine. "Never Kill Me Again" is pretty much James Bond. It has some pretty cool challenges in this one and one of my favorite levels of this game. And finally "Knight Avenger" which I was hoping would be "Knight Rider" but it was actually "Batman", I should have guessed, but it was cool none the less.
Overall career mode is cool, but the only thing you are going to achieve is unlocking a few cheats you will hardly ever use or probably have already been using via finding out through a cheats website. The only decent one worth having is "nitro addiction" the rest are pointless. And by the time I finished the game and had those codes unlocked, I was done with career mode and couldn't care less if I had to enter a code to use them now or not.
There is a multiplayer mode that I have not tried. And there is a create a track mode which I can't seem to figure out how you are supposed to set it all up, drive it, and win... better instructions there would have been good.
Final Thoughts: I great game while unlocking the next level. But once it is completed, I don't see much point to coming back again and again. I'm not saying I wont, I will turn it on to try and beat my previous high scores etc.. and possibly multiplayer will be good? But upon completion, I expected something great to be unlocked like "choose whatever vehicle you want for whatever movies scene" but oh well. It makes me wonder if there is even more to be seen in this game on the PS3 version? One day I may find out and review that.