One of the most underrated games on PS2
The overall presentation is excellent - when you watch the replays of your stunts (or screwed-up attempts at stunts), you truly get the feeling that you're part of a motion picture. The game is very challenging - trust me, you'll be re-doing the same stunt over and over and over... until you finally get it right - but not unfairly so. Since your own precision driving is the sole focus of the game, there are no "opponents", and therefore no AI issues, to deal with. This means that your success in the game depends exclusively on your driving ability. The control is very good and responsive. The replays are awesome. I love the fact that you can replay anything you do in the game - replays aren't just limited to successful stunts. This leads to some pretty funny replays! And you can save any of your replays too. My favorite part of the game, however, is the stunt constructor mode, where you can set up your own stunts in a huge arena. The most hilarious stunt I've done is to set up a huge ramp at the edge of the stadium, so that your car gets launched right into the audience! Believe me, it's hilarious to watch. You can also save these replays and change the camera angles. I also love the announcer in the arena stunts - he sounds like Fred Flintstone on caffeine. Remember the crazy announcer in the PS1 game Destruction Derby 2? I think the same guy does the announcements in Stuntman. It's a riot to watch your car go hurtling into the audience or the press box, and hear Fred Flintstone screaming, "AAAWWWW!!! WHAT A CRASH!!! YEAHHHHH!!!". Finally, the graphics are pretty good - they are pretty detailed, there are excellent shadowing effects, and they certainly have a cinematic feel. The graphics are, however, very jagged and the frame rate slows down sometimes. Overall, this game RULES!
The PS2 is capable of much better graphics, even though they are very good in many ways. I don't like the jaggies in the graphics or the occasional slowdowns in frame rate. I also thought there was absolutely no sense of speed. I guess that would be more important in a racing game than one like this, though. An intense sense of speed would have made the game more hair-raising. When you successfully complete a level, your stunt replays are spliced into a "trailer" or preview film of the movie you are supposedly working on. I thought the idea was cool, but the trailers are a bit disappointing because they don't show enough of your driving. Sometimes, all the effort seems wasted. Many people complain about the game being too hard and frustrating. I totally disagree. Yes, the game is hard, but it is so addictive. I couldn't stop playing because the game sucked me right in, and made me determined to nail each stunt. I didn't find the game frustrating at all, just challenging
The Bottom Line
An awesome action-driving game. The perfect game for people who love to destroy things, watch huge crashes and explosions, or just love complete mayhem. If games like Demolition Racer, Destruction Derby or Totaled are your cup of tea, get this. If I were to rate this game from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I'd give it an 8.5. The lukewarm reviews others have given Stuntman are not justified.