We Run Game: The Bourne Conspiracy Review
From books to movies to now video games, Robert Ludlum’s CIA-operative/feared assassin Jason Bourne is a man to be reckoned with. But, this is not a re-tread video game of “The Bourne Identity”. Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Conspiracy is not yet another movie tie in game but much more. Using parts of the movie version of “The Bourne Identity”, Jason’s memories trigger to operations he had prior to losing his memory. It is in that one key element, which makes this game different from most movie to video game products.
Also, the actors in the movie were not used nor were their likenesses. In that, it’s not even an extension of the movie to have you listen to Matt Damon and Julia Stiles reprise their roles for a more “complete” experience with the Bourne brand. You could have watched the movie a thousand times, there are battles in this game you have yet to witness and hence lies the drama and the fun. The Bourne Conspiracy has three different components: fighting, shooting and driving. The driving element is minimal and very basic. If you have played Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, you have a grasp on the shooting element but it’s not nearly as crisp or precise as the targeting system for Uncharted is. There is one thing that helps the shooting and driving elements but it is with the fighting aspect of the game that this product truly shines.
High Moon Studios has captured the unique fighting style of Jason Bourne completely. Although you only have to use two basic buttons to hit, one to block, it is that fourth button that will have you blurting out certain expletives when you see them on screen. As Bourne’s adrenaline meter rises, you will gain an ability called a “takedown”. Once you use that, the game takes over and Jason uses whatever is available to take his opponent down: a desk, a laptop, a pen, whatever. Or you simply beat the crap out of the guy. Once you’ve mastered this and understand how to use it, the fun begins.
You will start to run up to shooting opponents just to have them drop their weapon and fight you. If you stored enough adrenaline, and you have multiple enemies, you can perform multi-opponent takedowns. Also, some of your opponents have this ability as well but if you hit the right button or button sequence, you can block and use their attack to your advantage. This also holds true for shooting. You can gain the ability of a shooting takedown and again follow the button actions and watch Jason Bourne do the almost impossible.
The other key component of the game is “The Bourne Instinct”. Once you activate this, Bourne is alerted to his enemies’ positions and key objects he can use at his disposal. The Bourne Instinct does use up some adrenaline so use cautiously especially if you need a quick takedown.
As for boss fights, they usually can take more damage than Jason can, so only takedowns help regain health. Also, those pesky timed button presses will occasionally pop up with little to no warning, challenging you to evade a sniper’s shot or an assassin’s bomb. Getting ambushed by these events keeps the tension running high, and they are infrequent enough that they don’t feel annoying. The only part of the game that is annoying is the passport component. Throughout missions, you have a certain number of passports that unlock options such as music, art, etc. Sometimes it becomes bothersome that in the middle of a firefight, you need to break cover to get the passport or to run around looking for a passport while you’re busy chasing down opponents.
The graphics are excellent although the camera angles can sometimes be a pain. There are times when Jason is initially out of the shot or your opponent is out of the shot and you’re fighting blind. The sound quality and voice acting is decent also, especially the sound effects. You can hear the reloading of a gun and the bullets flying past, etc. The player also has checkpoints that are auto-saves that mean you don’t have to start from scratch if you are killed.
Small glitches aside, this is a wonderful and intriguing spy game to play and High Moon Studios should be commended. It is definitely a must rent and if you are a fan of Jason Bourne or fighting games, it is a must buy.