Sierra Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy
A movie tie-in that doesn't suck
- Melee combat system is awesome, the gameplay definitely has its moments
- Storytelling is uneven, camera and gun targeting issues, repetitive combat
Its flaws can be frustrating, but its worth checking out (especially if you're into the Bourne movies)
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Movie licensed games have gotten a bad rap, and deservedly so-aside from a few notable titles like Chronicles of Riddick, games based on movies generally suck.
The Bourne Conspiracy, which is loosely based on the events of the first movie, doesn't suck. In fact, it's pretty good. Sure, it's not a true blockbuster but it's not total garbage either.
Straight to video (game)
Rather than a straight video game adaptation, The Bourne Conspiracy is more of a retelling of the first Bourne movie. It doesn't have Matt Damon's likeness and the narrative takes a lot of liberties with the storytelling, but it manages to retain just enough of the movie's grittiness and action packed thrills to keep you going.
I personally thought the storytelling was little uneven, as it's rather stilted and the cutscenes do a horrible job of segueing from one level to the next. I also spent way too much time battling nameless grunts and fighting camera issues. And why the developers didn't put in an auto-lock feature for the gun battles was beyond me. There is a pseudo-auto target feature but it doesn't really work.
Fists of fury
However, the game does do a few things right. The Unreal Engine-based graphics are decent and the hand-to-hand combat is ridiculously awesome. It's fairly limited-press and hold A to block, press and hold X and Y for light and hard attacks — but it's handled really well. The best aspect is the ability to launch a bruising finishing move once you've built up your 'Adrenaline Meter'. Activated with the B button, this results in a flashy animated sequence in which Bourne knocks out his opponents with a variety of moves, including the use of environmental objects. The meter has three tiers so if you build it up and activate it at the right time, you can take out a group of enemies in a very impressive manner.
The melee combat does get repetitive but it's worth it just to see the takedowns. There's also a vehicle-based level that's interesting but ultimately forgettable and lots of timed-button sequences where you have to quickly press a specific button to trigger certain actions. It isn't particularly meaty or deep but like the movie the game is based on, it keeps the action moving at a brisk pace.
Where is my mind?
The Bourne Conspiracy isn't perfect. There were definitely moments when I wanted to chuck my controller across the room because one of its minor design flaws sent me to a cheap and unfair death. And yet, there were also moments when the game clicked for me and I really did feel like I was a damaged super spy on the run. Conspiracy is a flawed yet slick action title that has just enough going for it for me to recommend you check it out, especially if you loved the Bourne movies.
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