You like driving games, but you say you want something different? You're a little tired of the super car racing in the Swiss Alps series and you never did care for car "combat" games, either. Meanwhile, you've played everything in your collection and the local video game rental store doesn't have anything new. What are you to do? Find yourself a copy of Stuntman, and do it quick!

Developed by Reflections and published by Infogrames, this driving game will have you hooked. Of course with Reflections behind the wheel, you know this game is going to be a hit. With such classics as the Destruction Derby series and more recently the "must have" Driver series just about anything Reflections puts their name on you know will be a hit. The DVD even has a sneak peek trailer at Driver 3, which is a reason enough in its own to pick this game up if you are a fan of the Driver series (I know I would). But enough about the companies who brought us this game, you want to know game play and all the juicy details.

Stuntman is not your typical automotive game. There are no other race cars to compete against, and there's no way to upgrade your cars performance or even change its color. Stuntman is about being a stuntman, walking a day in his shoes, and getting the job done.

Your career is driving stunts for various movie locations throughout the world. First, you'll learn about the stunt and what the director wants from the stuntman himself, presented as if you were a reporter on set. Then you'll get your chance behind the wheel to perform the stunt, all the while the director telling you your cues. Onscreen visuals also help during "filming." Get the stunt right and you collect your paycheck. Get it wrong, and you get to try it again. When you complete a movie, a preview trailer will actually show footage of your driving skills from the in-game stunts you completed. How's that for way cool personalization?

Stunts range from basic bad guy evasion, to dodging explosions and tackling jumps. The vehicles in the game are varied and quite interesting, and of course they are related to the set you are filming on. You'll start on small films and work your way up in Hollywood. The bigger the movie, the harder the stunts will be. As you complete stunts your hard work will unlock other parts of the game, as well as award you with "toys" for the Stunt Constructor part of the game.

What's the Stunt Constructor, you ask? The Stunt Constructor is an arena where you can practice and build your own stunts with ramps, barrels, explosive charges, and more. Vehicles range from old sedans to a monster truck! The more you complete of the movies the more ramps, barrels, and other goodies you get to play with.

The remaining section of the PS2 disc offers driving games such as Precision Test, Speed Test, and Stunt Test. The Precision Test is one of the more frustrating parts of the game since the accurate driving needed is often hard to accomplish from a gamepad controller. With points being penalized for every cone hit, it takes at least several tries to get through each test. The Speed Test is just that, tests of speed where you have to complete checkpoint style racing within the time limit to advance. Finally the Stunt Test has you racing around picking up tokens. But the Stunt Test has plenty of obstacles and is one of the hardest parts of the game to access since you have to finish everything else and become "Lead Stuntman" before you can access it.

Verdict
Stuntman is a refreshing challenge to the typical car driving/racing game. While a bit too difficult for some, with a little patience and perseverance Stuntman can be tackled. Just don't give up!

Tip
With over 30 drivable vehicles, ranging from motorcycles and snowmobiles to monster trucks and exotic sports cars, it will take more than a few tries to learn the nuances of each vehicle's driving dynamics. Try to find the vehicle's handling and braking limits quickly, otherwise you will be repeating stunts many times and lowering your stunt pay.