The Bourne Conspiracy Review

The Bourne Conspiracy is interesting in that it is a movie game that really is not, but manages to be more of a movie game than most others.  Let me explain.  There have been three Bourne movies so far, but if you've been paying attention you'll know that none of them have carried the title "The Bourne Conspiracy".  That is because the game is not directly based on any of the movies, although it shares a few of their story elements.  You'll also notice that Matt Damon is nowhere to be found in the game; something very rare indeed for a movie-related game, but a decision that makes it easier for you to feel as if you are playing as Bourne himself rather than as Matt Damon playing as Jason Bourne.

So that's how it's not a movie game, but what about it being more of a movie game than most?  Well, the game's designers have a firm grip of cinematography and everything from camera angles to the lighting is expertly chosen to create a compelling visual experience.  This is one of those things that if it's done right you don't notice it at all unless you take the time to pause and appreciate it.  Since this is a fast-paced action game it isn't easy to do that, but it certainly adds to the game's immersion factor even though most gamers won't be able to put their finger on why this is the case.  Now this is all well and good, but it doesn't mean much to gamers if the game's not fun to play.  Anyone who's played Lair could tell you that "looks pretty, plays ugly" does not make for a fun game, so let's take a look at the gameplay and see if the game's fun to play.

Bourne Supremecy's a third person action game and the emphasis is certainly on the action.  There are no quiet moments when you're exploring an area or taking the time to think your way through a puzzle solution.  You're constantly running and are constantly under attack.  Jason Bourne is always focused on an objective in the books and movies and it is that way in the game as well.

The game certainly has its share of gunplay, but by and far it is a brawler at heart.  Bourne's hands can be lethal weapons, but he can also weaponize just about every mundane object in the environment around him.  When you begin to fight an enemy the game locks you into the melee, making the game's fight engine resemble more of what you would find in a boxing game than in a traditional action game brawler.  The game gives you a block button and light and heavy attack buttons that cab be hit in sequence to launch combos.  Both attack buttons can be charged to release powerful kicks, but you're open to attack while they're charging up.  As you land blows you build adrenaline - fill your meter and you can unleash a deadly finishing move.  The meter has three stages and if you let it charge to the next stage you can finish off multiple enemies in a single sequence.  It's the takedowns that are at the heart of the game's signature style and then can be pretty impressive.  The game doesn't make you watch the same canned sequence over and over again.  Instead the takedowns are context sensitive to the surrounding environment.  In addition, if you unleash the takedown near a highlighted object, Bourne will use the object in the takedown.  There are an enormous number of these objects in the game; Bourne can kill with a keyboard, microwave, wall panel, and even with a pen.  If you're locked in one of the game's challenging mini boss or boss fights, then the environment will be so packed with objects that you can replay the fights several times and have them play out differently each time.  The takedown system not only gives the game style, it's its saving grace as well.  There are many fights in the game and the core fight system is pretty simple, so without the takedowns the fights would become repetitive relatively quickly.  Even with the takedowns you will still feel like things becoming repetitive at times, particularly on the longer levels.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · PlayStation 3