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Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy Review

Author: Franky Moops
Wednesday, 2 July 2008

(Xbox 360/PS3)


Even though The Bourne Conspiracy title is not directly affiliated with any of the movies, it tries to deliver the Bourne experience to players nonetheless. Early in development, MAATT DA-MON decided he didn't want anything to do with the game, which means the Bourne character in the game is an unrecognisable, generic action hero kind of guy. With neat hair.

Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal of substance to this entirely single-player, third-person action adventure, in which you switch between bits of fisticuffs and corridor shooting all the while maintaining neat hair that just doesn’t move. Granted you get to play out some of Bourne’s past (before he got amnesia), but there’s not much else to the story except for the action.

It does, however, win serious brownie points and potentially separates itself from all the other book-to-game titles (book-to-game titles-) with the ability of Jason Bourne to perform ‘takedowns’. ‘Takedowns’ are earned by building up adrenaline and are a cinematic attack which is done like a Hollywood action scene, with quick cuts edits and crazy camera angles. But while they admittedly look awesome, you (as the player) are not actually doing anything; once you press the ‘takedown’ button it simply plays the sequence. The Bourne Conspiracy also has lots of quick time events - moments in the game where instead of simply watching a cut-scene, you also find yourself in a 'Simon-Says' type scenario, pressing buttons as they flash up on screen to dictate what kind of cut-scene you’ll see next.

The environments Bourne races through look convincing enough, the character animations look good from afar, although character close-ups don’t nearly hold up under similar scrutiny. Things move extremely fast so you may not notice, but I have a keen eye (just one) and it never lets me down. The voice acting helps hold the game together, as you receive new mission instructions and bad guys yell at each other, but without MAATT DA-MON it just doesn’t feel like Bourne.

In all, what we’re left with in The Bourne Conspiracy is a game that tries really hard to capture the action of the films, while not completely selling out Ludlum’s novel character.  Sadly the repetitive sections of shooting and fighting makes the game less about secret agent stealth, and more about mindless action. While the films boasted some amazing action scenes, Jason Bourne was also about intelligence gathering and sly maneuvering, and on this count the game falls a little way short of the mark.