The Bourne Conspiracy ReviewDustin Wright
The Bourne series of movies has been widely hailed as being smarter than your average run of the mill action movie. However this is not what the Bourne Conspiracy is, falling into more dumb action movie genres along the same lines as Strangehold (although for what it was, was a great game). This is not necessarily a bad thing however, as it is still an enjoyable experience.
As you first begin playing The Bourne Conspiracy, chances are you will be impressed with the possibilities the game brings to the table. Literally within the first five minutes, you are escaping from police, running, jumping, shooting, and fist fighting in a desperate attempt to reach safety. You even get to fight a mini boss in the first few minutes of gameplay! Which leads the gamer to think something along the lines of, “if I'm already fighting a boss, how much crazier can this fast paced game get?” The answer: that's about as crazy as it gets.
Don't get me wrong, The Bourne Conspiracy is a fairly enjoyable game, just a little repetitive. What you do in the first ten minutes of gameplay is literally what you do for the rest of the game. Sneak around walls, sneak up on enemies, shoot, knock out, get into a fist fight, and a ton of QTC events is the just of what you will encounter in the entire game. Sure the scenery is changed here and there, but they are bland and uninspired. On top of that, the presentation of the story isn't all that it could be, with it feeling boring and tacked on almost all the way through.
Where the game does shine is its controls. The Bourne Conspiracy is a third person shooter, and its controls could not have been better. The ease of being able to pop a shot off using a good cover system with excellent destructible cover is what places this game into the “must try” category. Also worth mentioning is the driving sequence that recreates the famous driving scene in The Bourne Identity. Although it is nothing more than a QTC event, it is handled very well, and in a game where QTC events are everywhere, to make this one lone driving sequence feel fresh, especially when it is later in the game is a great achievement in itself.
As great as the aiming and cover system is, the fist fighting aspect is far from perfect. It's not badly done, just very repetitive. The takedowns, which is fueled by a meter that fills up as you lay more damage to enemies, are a nice addition. It looks really nice when you use one and Bourne slams an enemy into a steel pipe, then again into a guardrail, then another time through a glass window; every takedown is usually different depending on what area you are in. As is said, the fist fighting is bland, consisting of block, kick, punch, then the running variations of kick and punch. If you're a fan of fighting games, you will absolutely hate this aspect of the game.
The camera in The Bourne Conspiracy is good, but not excellent, just what you would expect from a third person game. It's worth noting that as the gameplay style changes, so does the camera. So say you sneak around a corner and look to the side, the camera pans and looks much like in Metal Gear Solid, while sneaking and walking is much like the camera view used in Metal Gear Solid 4 or the Splinter Cell series. As you fist fight, the camera makes a drastic change, going from a Splinter Cell type of view to a more Soul Calibur type of 3D fighter view. And it works very well; there are no messy camera angles here.
All in all, I would recommend The Bourne Conspiracy to anyone who is slightly interested, just be sure you rent it first. It isn't anything mind blowing, and though in a lot of places bland, but in other places you will get a sense of satisfaction. It isn't the greatness that was the Bourne movies in video game form by any stretch of the imagination, but for what it is, it is an overall satisfying experience.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.