I went into The Bourne Conspiracy, admittedly not expecting much, and came away pleasantly surprised. Robert Ludlum’s: The Bourne Conspiracy is a solid action game that comes close to delivering on all the potential of the literature and films. Developer High Moon Studios did a more than admirable job in creating an exciting, action filled world for gamers to play in for a few hours.
The Bourne Conspiracy isn’t perfect, but it definitely has more positives than negatives and never over stays its welcome. Far too often it feels like developers make their games unnecessarily long so gamers will feel like they get their money’s worth. I like a game that doesn’t feel like it takes half my lifetime to finish. There are no boring filler side-missions, and there are no hour long cut scenes. The Bourne Conspiracy is quick and action packed, and it deserves credit for that.
As far as gameplay goes, The Bourne Conspiracy is more hit than miss. The controls are all responsive and easy to learn. The game mostly focuses on hand-to-hand combat, and all the moves from the punches to the context sensitive takedowns feel heavy and absolutely brutal. Fights are cinematic and always tense, especially when the developers throw in some chase sequences. While the fighting is the best part of the gameplay it does manage to get somewhat tiresome after a while because there are only two buttons for punches. There is some variety in the fights once you start using combos, takedowns and one kick, but it’s still hard not to feel like the developers could have done more with the fighting controls.
The firearms in the game are a mixed bag. Shootouts are a great change of pace from the fights, but you’ll quickly find the shooting mechanics are a bit slow and clunky. It also would have been nice if a few more types of guns were in the game. Crouching during firefights is oddly done in that if you’re squatting but want to move, you can’t stay crouched, you’ll automatically stand up. While this may not sound like a big problem, it does become an issue on harder difficulties when enemies become deadlier shots. Other problems synonymous to the shooting are the buggy cover system and no real zoom with guns for fine aiming. The shooting related controls aren’t terrible, they just leave a good amount to be desired.
There is also a driving section of the game that surprisingly enough, plays pretty well. Some critics and gamers may dismiss the driving level in The Bourne Conspiracy, but to me they are missing out on what was done right. Couple the crazy driving/chase with the fact that the level is on the short side, and you get a quick and cool section of the game instead of it becoming drawn out and uninspired.
Some problems I did have with The Bourne Conspiracy are that the story never really comes through as well as it should have especially considering all the source material the developers had at their disposal, the main character Jason Bourne has too little personality, and enemies always know they can shoot at you when you’re reloading no matter how far away they are.
Another problem I had with The Bourne Conspiracy are the collectables in the game. With all the advances in gaming technology why are we as gamers still made to go on meaningless scavenger hunts in videogames? Collectables in games are just as tired as, exploding barrels, moving boxes to solve puzzles, and backtracking in games when you finally find the keycard. Why can’t developers put a little more thought into their games to make the player explore and enjoy the levels? I am tired of missing bonuses and achievements in games just because I missed one or two collectables out of 50.
All this being said, The Bourne Conspiracy is definitely worthy of a rental for fans of action games. It’s a short game that pretty much does what it sets out to do, which is entertain. The Bourne Conspiracy isn’t perfect, but it is a non-stop action packed game that’s much better than most of the other movie based games out there.