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"[Game] The Bourne Conspiracy"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'The Bourne Conspiracy'.
Mon 22/03/10 at 19:52
Regular
Posts: 5,630
After a hugely successful series of movies, The Bourne Conspiracy is Robert Ludlum’s ass kicking hero’s first foray into the world of videogames. The Bourne Conspiracy expands the story of The Bourne Identity and the genesis of the character, delving even further into Jason Bourne’s early missions at Treadstone and the story presented on film. Incorporating many of the films finer points (most notably the bone crunching fight sequences and pulsating music score), The Bourne Conspiracy does the character, and the films, justice. Often overlooked, I’m here to extol the virtues of what I believe is a hugely enjoyable game.

I’ll go out on a limb and say if you’re reading this review the chances are 99.9% that you have seen the film, so I won’t spend a long time recapping the story. In much the same way as Goldeneye on the N64 allowed you to play through level and environments seen in the film, building mission objectives around those sequences, The Bourne Conspiracy allows you to play through escaping story milestones such as the US Embassy, the Paris car chase, the farmhouse chase etc. The Bourne Conspiracy actually goes one step further and introduces new levels based on Jason Bourne recollecting past events, for example old missions, many of which are rooted in the Bourne story (for example, the assassination of Wombosi, glimpsed briefly in the film, is expanded to a full level here).

These non-canon story missions are well developed but at times feel a little disjointed from the main story. In terms of a fun gameplay experience, some of these levels are a standout. One relentless chase through Zurich Airport to apprehend an assassin, during which you have to take out multiple enemies through gun and hand to hand combat, destroying the airport as you go through, is a particular highlight. The level design itself in the missions are fairly linear, without much scope for exploration or experimentation, as you are often directed from point A to B without much deviation. The biggest mis-fire is a poorly conceived driving level. Out of place with the rest of the game, it’s a poor imitation of the film’s Paris chase and would perhaps have been better left out.

The best aspect of the game is definitely the hand-to-hand fighting combat. During the fight sequences, the game switches from the default third person perspective to a side on view a la Street Fighter. From there you have the option of a delivering a heavy or light punch, a kick or a block. With low level enemies you can dispatch them quite easily but some of the bosses (notably the Apartment fight) require a heavy use of the block button and a variation in attacks and combos to defeat, especially when they are wielding weapons (which in true Bourne style is often found in nearby environments).

Furthermore, there is a ‘takedown’ meter which is filled up as you make contact with normal punches and kicks. Upon filling the meter, you can unleash a lethal Bourne style takedown e.g. a flurry of brutal punches or smashing your opponent into a table, oven door etc. Should you fill the meter up to three times you can take up multiple adversaries at once. This is unquestionably the most fun to be had in the game, really making you ‘feel’ like Bourne, which is very satisfying. The only downsides are that once locked into the camera angle its still possible to take damage from shots elsewhere, which can be frustrating. Also depending on your opinion, quick time events either rear their ugly head or make a welcome appearance. I would argue that with a fight system this well developed they weren’t really required, as it takes player control and immersion away after crafting a combat system designed to give it to you in the first place.

Another key feature is the ‘Bourne Instinct’. When triggered, it gives you a heightened perception of the nearby environment, highlighting enemies and important items such as Passports, which are collectible throughout the levels (although with multiple identities already, not really sure why he’d want even more of them).

One particular sadness on my part is that some core elements of the movie franchise aren’t included, although to be honest that may not be the fault of the developers. Firstly, unless you’re a massive fan of Richard Chamberlain and the 1988 TV movie, Matt Damon *is* Jason Bourne and its disappointing that his likeness isn’t used in the game to further heighten the experience. From what I understand, he was concerned about the game’s violent content (quite bizarre when you consider it’s only based on what he himself has done on film).

Secondly, as a big fan of John Powell’s score from the movies I was a little disappointed that didn’t crop up in the game as well. However, Paul Oakenfold delivers a similar sounding score of at least comparable quality, which helps to keep the adrenalin flowing during the missions. This is aided by some superb sound effects. Much like the films, when you punch an enemy or rattle them across the head with a nearby item, you really feel the effect of it.

The Bourne Conspiracy can’t really be called an AAA title, in the sense that the level design is a little unambitious and the visuals, whilst serviceable, aren’t really up there with, say a Gears of War which is told from a similar third person perspective. However, Jason Bourne is undoubtedly one of the coolest action heroes to emerge in cinema in the last decade and any opportunity for us mere mortals to be in Bourne’s shoes, even if through a videogame, is one worth taking up. By delivering a fun, visceral, adrenalin-filled exciting experience The Bourne Conspiracy does a great job of making us feel like Bourne, and for that reason it’s highly recommended.
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 22/03/10 at 19:52
Regular
Posts: 5,630
After a hugely successful series of movies, The Bourne Conspiracy is Robert Ludlum’s ass kicking hero’s first foray into the world of videogames. The Bourne Conspiracy expands the story of The Bourne Identity and the genesis of the character, delving even further into Jason Bourne’s early missions at Treadstone and the story presented on film. Incorporating many of the films finer points (most notably the bone crunching fight sequences and pulsating music score), The Bourne Conspiracy does the character, and the films, justice. Often overlooked, I’m here to extol the virtues of what I believe is a hugely enjoyable game.

I’ll go out on a limb and say if you’re reading this review the chances are 99.9% that you have seen the film, so I won’t spend a long time recapping the story. In much the same way as Goldeneye on the N64 allowed you to play through level and environments seen in the film, building mission objectives around those sequences, The Bourne Conspiracy allows you to play through escaping story milestones such as the US Embassy, the Paris car chase, the farmhouse chase etc. The Bourne Conspiracy actually goes one step further and introduces new levels based on Jason Bourne recollecting past events, for example old missions, many of which are rooted in the Bourne story (for example, the assassination of Wombosi, glimpsed briefly in the film, is expanded to a full level here).

These non-canon story missions are well developed but at times feel a little disjointed from the main story. In terms of a fun gameplay experience, some of these levels are a standout. One relentless chase through Zurich Airport to apprehend an assassin, during which you have to take out multiple enemies through gun and hand to hand combat, destroying the airport as you go through, is a particular highlight. The level design itself in the missions are fairly linear, without much scope for exploration or experimentation, as you are often directed from point A to B without much deviation. The biggest mis-fire is a poorly conceived driving level. Out of place with the rest of the game, it’s a poor imitation of the film’s Paris chase and would perhaps have been better left out.

The best aspect of the game is definitely the hand-to-hand fighting combat. During the fight sequences, the game switches from the default third person perspective to a side on view a la Street Fighter. From there you have the option of a delivering a heavy or light punch, a kick or a block. With low level enemies you can dispatch them quite easily but some of the bosses (notably the Apartment fight) require a heavy use of the block button and a variation in attacks and combos to defeat, especially when they are wielding weapons (which in true Bourne style is often found in nearby environments).

Furthermore, there is a ‘takedown’ meter which is filled up as you make contact with normal punches and kicks. Upon filling the meter, you can unleash a lethal Bourne style takedown e.g. a flurry of brutal punches or smashing your opponent into a table, oven door etc. Should you fill the meter up to three times you can take up multiple adversaries at once. This is unquestionably the most fun to be had in the game, really making you ‘feel’ like Bourne, which is very satisfying. The only downsides are that once locked into the camera angle its still possible to take damage from shots elsewhere, which can be frustrating. Also depending on your opinion, quick time events either rear their ugly head or make a welcome appearance. I would argue that with a fight system this well developed they weren’t really required, as it takes player control and immersion away after crafting a combat system designed to give it to you in the first place.

Another key feature is the ‘Bourne Instinct’. When triggered, it gives you a heightened perception of the nearby environment, highlighting enemies and important items such as Passports, which are collectible throughout the levels (although with multiple identities already, not really sure why he’d want even more of them).

One particular sadness on my part is that some core elements of the movie franchise aren’t included, although to be honest that may not be the fault of the developers. Firstly, unless you’re a massive fan of Richard Chamberlain and the 1988 TV movie, Matt Damon *is* Jason Bourne and its disappointing that his likeness isn’t used in the game to further heighten the experience. From what I understand, he was concerned about the game’s violent content (quite bizarre when you consider it’s only based on what he himself has done on film).

Secondly, as a big fan of John Powell’s score from the movies I was a little disappointed that didn’t crop up in the game as well. However, Paul Oakenfold delivers a similar sounding score of at least comparable quality, which helps to keep the adrenalin flowing during the missions. This is aided by some superb sound effects. Much like the films, when you punch an enemy or rattle them across the head with a nearby item, you really feel the effect of it.

The Bourne Conspiracy can’t really be called an AAA title, in the sense that the level design is a little unambitious and the visuals, whilst serviceable, aren’t really up there with, say a Gears of War which is told from a similar third person perspective. However, Jason Bourne is undoubtedly one of the coolest action heroes to emerge in cinema in the last decade and any opportunity for us mere mortals to be in Bourne’s shoes, even if through a videogame, is one worth taking up. By delivering a fun, visceral, adrenalin-filled exciting experience The Bourne Conspiracy does a great job of making us feel like Bourne, and for that reason it’s highly recommended.

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