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Review: Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy - Xbox 360, PS3

by Steven Williamson on 1 July 2008, 10:10

Tags: Robert Ludlums The Bourne Conspiracy, Vivendi Universal Interactive (NYSE:VIV), Xbox 360, PS3, Action/Adventure

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Warts and all, it's still a blast

The Bourne Conspiracy isn’t without it flaws. Aside from the simplistic melee and shooting mechanics, which hardcore gamers may sneer at, the game suffers with occasionally frustrating camera angles. There were plenty of moments where I totally lost my bearings after a fight due to the ‘Shaky Cam’ effect.

You could also point a negative finger at the linearity of the levels and the rigid mission structure. Throughout the game, you can use ‘Bourne Instinct’ and for a short amount of time you can see your objective, enemies or objects of interest on a circular radar map at the bottom of the screen. Considering you’ll usually only have one place to go anyway and the only side objective in the game is to collect passports that are, not very well, hidden, it’s pretty much a waste of time even including the feature. It also makes the game a little too easy if you use it to search for enemies.

Nevertheless, you can’t deny that The Bourne Conspiracy captures the intensity of the Bourne franchise and does so with some style. The three redeeming gameplay elements: the melee, the shooting and the action sequences seamlessly flow together to create a fast-paced non-stop action experience.

The intriguing plot is just one of the reasons that make The Bourne Conspiracy stand head and shoulders above many other movie-licensed games. Despite its faults, it’s the game’s tempo, the high quality production, cinematic feel and the neck-snapping animations of Bourne that ultimately make the game so appealing. A must for fans of the action genre and thrill seekers alike.

Click for larger image

High quality animation and presentation
Takedowns are awesome
Action sequences add to immersion
Aggressively fast

Hand-to-hand combat is too simplistic
Shooting mechanics and cover system could be better.
Camera angles.

Never a dull moment., The Bourne Conspiracy is an action-packed adrenaline-fuelled ride.

HEXUS Awards

HEXUS.gaming Recommended
The Bourne Conspiracy – Xbox 360 (8/10)

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HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Shame they couldn't model Matt Damon for the character, probably cost too much.
Unfortunately, I'm going to disagree with Steven on this one.

I found the combat to be rather dull and mechanical. Pretty much any bad guy can be defeated by blocking whilst he has his three swings and then just randomly pressing the X and Y buttons to attack… repeat until you've built up adrenaline for a take-down move and start again on another bad-guy or repeat on the same guy if he's a tough cookie.

The combat lacks the vicious, brutal down and dirty feel of the fights in the film… it's almost like a boxing mini-game. There's no control over using the environment as a weapon, so picking up a fire extinguisher mid-fight and battering the guy with it is out… in fact the only time you get to see Bourne use anything other than his fists is when you use the take-down move, but that's just an animation which you have no control over.

With a weapon drawn, control of Bourne is pretty sluggish and even a cack-handed joypad user like myself didn't have too much trouble lining up a shot, though snapping off a quick shot is next to impossible… he just moves too slowly and rotates slightly slowly too.

The detailed looking environment is very nice and graphically The Bourne Conspiracy is a damn good looking game… but the interaction with the environment is minimal and highlighted by the use of the ‘Bourne Instinct’ which shows just how little you can interact with, ie. pretty much nothing… and how rigid and inflexible the game world is.

There's the usual forced linearity too, such as Bourne being completely defeated by a waist high plastic barrier… incongruous considering he can pick locks and padlocks, fight three enemies at once, dodge incoming machine gun fire… but has never been trained how to jump over a plastic barrier.

The car chase sequence is undeniably brilliant and here the user-friendly control system, comes into its own and I agree with Steven that it really is bloody good.

But one chase sequence doesn't justify the whole game and even though I'm a Bourne fan and really like the style of the films and Matt Damon's portrayal of Bourne, I can't help but feel that The Bourne Conspiracy started off with high aspirations and, for whatever reason, got over-simplified in the development process.

With the combat playing such a central role to, and making up the majority of, the gameplay, it really should have been so much more than a rather average button pummeller… If the ability to pick up stuff mid-fight or use the environment as you saw fit was in here, I'd be crowing about how good The Bourne Conspiracy is… but that isn't the case. :(
Shame they couldn't model Matt Damon for the character, probably cost too much.

he refused to be involved in a videogame, since videogames turn people into violent killers.

he refused to be involved in a videogame, since videogames turn people into violent killers.


hang on, he was in the film that portrayed violence.
With one button for a light attack, another for a heavy attack and a button that allows you to block attacks, the simplicity of the controls means that you can string together combos so that you can slap your opponent about with little effort. The lack of depth is easily forgiven because the fights are still highly enjoyable thanks to the superb animation of the fighters. The efforts that have gone into the stunt-man work in the studio can be seen in every punch, roundhouse kick, tumble and fall.

Despite its simplicity, combat is also made more entertaining due to a three-tiered adrenaline metre, which once filled allows you to execute a brief and impressive cinematic sequence known as a ‘Takedown’.

Now, if I was to buy a 360, its a game like this that I'd buy cos I like to win.