Review: Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy

Filed under: , by: Grundy the Man

On the surface this looks like an interesting game. It debuts a hand-to-hand combat system designed by HighMoon Studios, specifically for this game. This system tries to encapsulate what it would be like to fight as Jason Bourne. Your character will fight using highlighted objects in the environment as weapons, a trait highlighted in all of the films.

When you are not in the hand-to-hand combat mode, you find yourself traversing levels in a over-the-shoulder third person perspective. This is very much in the same vein as Gears of War. They have also stolen/borrowed the cover mechanic from Gears, with one minor tweak: If you press down on the left control stick, you will change which shoulder the camera is viewing. It is very useful in the intense firefights that are encountered later in the game.

The plot of the game seems to coincide with the general plot of the movies. Man forgets who he is, man tries to find his identity, man kicks ass of anyone who gets in his way. And boy is there a lot of ass-kicking. This actually becomes problematic as the game goes on because
every single boss battle in the game is a hand-to-hand encounter. This combat is downright unwieldy and difficult to use. It doesn't help the matter when the camera control is mapped to the right stick. This is the same thumb that you have to use to actually mash buttons to punch and block. The result is a lot of fights end up being lost when your enemy works the player into a corner and the camera is not smart enough to correct itself. You instead end up looking down on your fight from above, not being able to direct your player in any way. I died so many times on one boss battle, that I damn near destroyed my controller!

As for the enemies, it looks like there is a factory that is manufacturing identical clone cronies. It is rather ridiculous to have to kill the same enemy over and over again. The AI was decent, but nothing to write home to your mother about. Gun wielding enemies would take cover when necessary, but had a nasty case of "short bus syndrome" when it came to keeping their hear out of the line of fire. Frequently firefights would degenerate into a target practice session where the player would end up shooting at a slivers worth of an enemy's head, sticking out from behind cover.

Overall, the game has a decent story and a moderately compelling main character. Unfortunately the combat ends up being a tedious exercise in repetition. It would be difficult to justify spending your hard-earned sixty bucks on a game that has flaws of this magnitude.
You can rent this game if you are a die hard fan of the Bourne movies. Instead, I am going to save my money for the upcoming Bond game.

Below is the premier trailer for the game James Bond: Quantum of Solace.