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whatshot The Bourne Conspiracy PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 8.7
Graphics 8.8
Sound 8.9
Value 8.8
Distributor: Vivendi
Review Date:
July 2008
Edwin Millheim


The Bourne Conspiracy

The Bourne series made popular from Robert Ludlum's books, and the movies adapted from those, now makes the debut in video game form. The result is a nail biting thrill ride with the character Jason Bourne that even a few repetitive game actions cannot dilute one bit. The short version of the back ground for this adventure; if you happen to be someone that knows nothing about the character, books, or films goes something like this...

Jason Bourne is nothing more than one of many personalities or covers for a Secret United States Governments killing machine (Agent). During a mission the character has a bout of morals and hesitates and does not take out his target. If you have not seen the films or read the books I wont go further, other than to say somehow after a narrow (Well maybe not even narrow) escape, the character looses his memory.

During his search for who he is, he finds out about the name Jason Bourne and it sticks. Now the people that trained him are out to kill him, thinking he is nothing more than either a malfunctioning weapon, or worse gone rogue. The game adventure plays out allot like a movie in that it is both told in the here and now of the game and in flashbacks as the character remembers past missions.  This is all done pretty well and never does loose site of the ultimate goal of who the hell is Jason Bourne and why is his employers out to kill him? With a mix of adrenaline pumping action that pounds through your veins, from heart stopping car chases, gun battles and even the brutal yet realistic hand to hand fights, Robert Ludlum's the Bourne Conspiracy while to some may seem short; is well worth snapping up for your gaming library.

The PS3 version showed a few annoying instances when the camera view would swing around and throw you off in regards to directional awareness. While not a huge rampant issue, on occasion depending on how close the character is to the edge of the screen or a building at the edges the camera view would swing around and cause some disorientation. Just enough for the character to get killed and have to start the last save point in the game. Once in a while there does seem to be some ever so minor clipping issues where a rifle or something is dropped and it sticks into the ground and seem to rotate of it's own accord.

On to the meat of it then, controls are pretty easy to get the hang of. With some basics such as movement and camera control being controlled by the sticks respectively. The X button is used to interact with things in the environment, such as picking a lock or grabbing hold of a rope, or even jumping from one ledge to another.  There thankfully is a sprint control. Pressing and holding the R2 button and pushing the directional movement stick in a certain direction sends the character running. This is good, especially when people are shooting at you.  The O button is used for take downs when the icon flashes on screen showing you, it is available.

Being successful in combat helps build up the adrenaline meter, which in turn enables Bourne to perform some wicked cool take downs and even sprinting take downs. There are even fast weapon take downs, known as shooting take downs, though they are not as impressive looking as the hand to hand take downs. More often than not they involve the character rack and clearing the weapon he is holding and then firing at a enemy. While it's pretty much the same animation each time, it can come in handy rather than spending allot of rounds trying to take a target out, taking them out in one move conserves ammo. 

Then to assist the player even further in tight situations there is something called the Bourne instinct. Much like a super sense of what's important in a scene or the best direction to go, as seen in other games such as the Spiderman series and even in a past James Bond Game, certain things glow in highlight to assist the player along. (See my game rant in the game articles section about the upcoming James Bond game and other goodies.) there is a down side to Bourne instinct use, or at least something's that should be managed. Using Bourne instinct depletes adrenaline when the game is played at higher levels of difficulty.

Quick action scenes come into play here as well, and seem to work out allot better than in other games I have seen this used in. Quick action prompts appear as the scene slows down ever so slightly, not so slow that it makes it a cake walk, but slow enough for you to take action. A button flashes on screen and you have to hit that certain button and even sometimes button sequences to make it through the scene.

Keeping with the nail biting spirit of the character and the Bourne books and films, the quick action buttons seem to randomize. So if you miss it and the character dies and you have to start off at the last check point, the button may not be the same when the scene rolls around again. It really keeps you on your toes during a game. Forcing you to pay more attention and to get involved with the events unfolding.

Graphics look up to par with allot of the newer games that take advantage of the power of today's gaming systems. Again, there are a few minor glitches with odd clipping here and there with objects such as weapons that bury half way into the ground and then just sit and spin, but rare and far between.

One such clipping event took place in the car chase mission, two vehicles seemed to meld together and just sit there. This happened once and on the next play through it did not happen. Shadows play out well and the cities and locations are all rendered very nicely, all lending very well to the events that play out in the game.

The sound all the way from gun fire on to simple foot falls all are top notch. Explosions have a satisfying mix of debris and deep guttural impacts of
 objects being torn apart by the blast.  The music as with any really good game or movie, seems to hang in the back ground and you don't even realize it is there. It is that much a part of the over all experience of this game. It becomes naturally a part of the events that play out. Be that tension, drama, or nail biting action.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy is a satisfying punch to several senses, all but way too short as with the case with more and more games these days.  I for one would like to see some follow ups to this character, if this was a one shot deal then that is a shame indeed.

Have fun, play games
Edwin Millheim 


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