Reviewed: June 30, 2008
Released: June 3, 2008
It is time for you to become the perfect weapon. It is time for you to become Jason Bourne. Ever since The Bourne Identity came out, everyone has wanted this opportunity and in Robert Ludlumís The Bourne Conspiracy you get to follow the path of Jason Bourne in finding out who and what he really is.
Now for those of you who just watched the movie you are in for a big shock. Yes this game does follow the movie, and you will recognize a lot of the levels, but Conspiracy is a book adaptation first and foremost. So get ready to embark on a journey to find out how you became the assassin everyone has come to love and fear!
Unlike the movie, the game starts you out with the only mission you have ever failed. You start out in the streets of Marseille. Here you must track your first boss to get some information on where your true target is. You quickly engage in some hand to hand combat. Here is where the tutorial begins.
You have many different ways to execute an attack. Like any other game ever created you have light and fast attacks, and then you have slow and heavy attacks. To execute a fast attack you simple press the square button. Then to execute a heavy attack you press the triangle button. What you need to learn quickly is how to perform different combo attacks by mixing the two.
You have up to eight different combos you can use. You can perform all fast moves, all heavy moves, or any other combo you can think of. You must switch up your moves because your enemies quickly catch on to repeated combos and will just deflect your attack. Also, the more combos you use that are not repeated the more your adrenaline builds up. You can also block for as long as you want. This is done by hitting the X button. Timing this correctly allows you to perform a counter attack and really beat up on your enemy. Be careful though, your enemies also have this counter attack in their arsenal.
As you are fighting your way through enemies you build up your adrenaline. You have three tiers of adrenaline and the more you build up the more takedown moves you can perform. Once you have enough adrenaline built up you will have a prompt show up in the corner of your screen telling you to press the circle button. Once you have activated the takedown the game goes into a slow motion mode and you watch a cinematic of you kicking the crap out of someone and knocking them unconscious. You can perform up to three takedowns in one session and they will all be different.
Now after a couple of fight sequences you will come to find that you lose your target. That is not a problem. You are equipped with a Bourne Instinct. This is activated when you press the triangle button while not in a combat situation and it does use some of your built up adrenaline so you canít abuse it too much. While in Bourne Instinct mode you will have three different icons that pop up on your radar; a green diamond, a green X, or a red dot. A green diamond indicates navigation markers to locate objectives. The green X tells you where your primary objective is located. Then finally, the red dots indicate where your enemies are located to give you the upper hand in the fight.
After you defeat the first boss you travel to the Marseille Docks. Here is when you are able to pick up and use a gun. To draw your gun you need to press L2. After you are done using your weapon you can holster it by pressing and holding L2. You are able to hold onto two different types of guns at one time. To switch between the two you press L2 again while your gun is drawn.
You will find problems with using this button to do both functions and sometime you run into the problem of switching guns instead of holstering it. Once your weapon is in hand, you can aim using the L1 button. The only problem with this is that you canít zoom in any more than what you have. This makes using the gun a lot harder but also more realistic. Once your aim is on the desired target to fire your gun all you have to do is hit the R1 button.
You will notice that when you fire your weapon you will see a number in the right hand corner of your screen go down. That icon shows you what type of gun you are using, how many bullets are in the clip, and how many bullets you have collectively. If you run out of bullets in the clip, you automatically reload. If you donít want to wait until then, to reload manually you must hit the square button.
At times there will be multiple enemies in one area and you need to take cover to keep from dying. By pressing the X button while you are approaching cover you will cling to the object. To shoot from cover you need to press and hold L1 and fire quickly. By releasing L1 you will duck right back behind the cover. Once you have defeated all the enemies you just need to press the X button and pull away from the cover.
Once again you also have the ability to build up your adrenaline. Once you have built enough up adrenaline you get the same prompt. By pressing the circle button the game again goes into a cinematic and you get to watch Bourne reload his gun and take out the enemy with a head shot. You also can use Bourne Instinct to help with an auto-target and to cycle through enemies. Your instinct allows you to find your targets easier and once you have killed one it will show you where the next closest is located.
Just about two-thirds of the way through the game you get to participate in a car chase through Paris. During this high speed chase you must combine stunt and precision driving to escape all the police cars. While driving you use the left stick to steer your car. To accelerate you use the R1 button. Depending on how much you hold down the button controls how fast you go. If you need to brake for any reason all you have to do is hold down the L1 button. You also have an emergency brake that you can use for drifting and for any other way to get out of a jam.
To activate this brake you will press and hold the circle button. Your adrenaline will build up while you are driving like a mad man. There will be time when you have to use it to get through traffic jams and other road blocks. When you activate this sense everything goes in slow motion while you are just going on as if nothing was different. I was really excited about this part of the game but it was a little unfulfilling and a little short.
Throughout the game you will quickly realize that it is extremely repetitive. Yes, the hand to hand combat is a lot of fun. But you do it for so long and all you have to do is block then attack, block then attack. You have some extremely long fights and they get a little boring. You will have to be extremely patient while playing this game. There are some passports throughout the levels that you will want to pick up. They are hidden pretty well and you will have to look for them. These will unlock extras.
This game looks great but is only running at 720p. You can really notice this with all of the neon lights in the alley ways. There are a lot of jaggy lines. Even around most of the characters you have jaggy lines. I will tell you that the cinematic movie clips look fantastic.
What really blew my mind was the environmental involvement in this game. After performing a takedown, usually you threw your opponent into something and it would fall down, have a hole put in it, or you would even use something to finish your takedown. Then after that environment was affected during the cinematic movie it would remain the same right after you are done with that cutscene and would stay that way the rest of the fight.
Throughout the whole game you will hear the same great music from the movie in the game. What I loved about it was that it really sucked you into the game and got you pumped up at times. You could actually feel like you were Bourne at times.
The player sounds were great too. You could get into the voice acting and you didnít feel like they tried too hard. Everything felt smooth and really added to the moment and to the game. You have the heavy breathing when you have been sprinting or your life is low. You hear the sound from every connected attack. If it was to the face or to the body you could hear the difference in the blows. Everything was done with a realistic feel and truly added to the game.
The biggest thing here is that you will have no desire to replay Bourne Conspiracy any time in the near future. It is extremely repetitive and it doesnít change that much throughout the game. You have to be extremely patient when fighting. When you get further into the game you have to block so much more and the final boss all you do is block and pick your times to attack. The game is dragged on so much more do to this and to be honest I donít see a lot of people finishing it due to this fact.
There are some cool features that help you unlock extras. As talked about earlier, you have passports on every level except for the Paris chase level. The more passports you collect the better the unlockables. You also get to unlock things by how you fight the enemies in the games. The more hand to hand combat kills you have, the more head shots, the more takedowns uses the better. The nice thing is that you can see a running total any time you want to. The goals are right there for you to see and can help motivate you to play the game a little differently based on what you want to achieve.
As stated numerous times before, The Bourne Conspiracy is extremely repetitive. You have a great length and well worth the price in that category but I really donít see the average player finishing this game due to doing the same thing over and over again. There were some really cool things dealing with the environment that totally blew me away and I loved it no matter how repetitive it was. I love how this game follows the book instead of the movie, even if both overlap at times. You really get to see the fall and then the rise of Bourne the way it was intended. But with all that aside this game is truly a rental until the price drops considerably.