Written by Clare (aka EffEmmGee)
I have to admit that before I even played this I wasn’t looking forward to sticking it into my 360. I even downloaded the demo from the Xbox Live Marketplace when that was released and never tried it. Why? Well firstly I have never seen any of the films (shock horror!) and personally I’ve never been a fan of Matt Damon either.
This game really surprised me. I was expecting the usual problems that comes with most film to game conversions. Instead I found myself playing a really good 3rd person action, shooting, sneaking, fighting, driving game with the odd QTE (Quick Time Event) thrown in there for good measure. Sound slightly confusing? Let me break it down for you.
For the most part this is a 3rd person action game, this is how you move around and you can choose to be stealthy or go out all guns blazing, although running out like a loony will most likely get you killed more often than not.
When it comes to taking out enemies you have a choice of using guns or your fists. There are a few weapons to choose from (these you pick up from enemies) ranging from a simple yet powerful pistol, an assault rifle, shotgun and sniper rifle. There is no auto-lock but you shouldn’t need it, plus your aiming reticle will turn into a small red circle when you’re lined up for a headshot. You can also choose at will which shoulder the camera is looking over which personally I found really helpful when navigating corridors and wanting to know what is round the corner, failing that you can always hug the wall to see if there’s anything there. Killing enemies will fill up your Bourne Instinct Meter and if you’re in the middle of a gun fight you can use this to pull off some pretty impressive 1 shot kill moves.
If you get close enough you will automatically change into a fighting stance you can then either choose to throw in punches at random or you can input 3 button combinations (using only the X and Y button, ie XYY, YXY etc), also blocking is as simple as holding the A button down, trust me you will need to block when fighting some enemies. Successfully hitting your target will also fill up your Bourne Instinct meter and you can also use this to do some pretty powerful punches, or even better you can use some of your Instinct to use the environment against your enemy, but at the same time your enemy can do the same to you. If this happens you are given a chance to counteract this with a slo-mo button prompt. Various QTE events are scattered throughout the game and they normally appear when something least expected is about to happen to you. I personally think that theres just the right amount of QTE’s in The Bourne Conspiracy but if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like them then maybe this game isn’t for you, which is a shame because you would be missing out on the rest.
I’ve mentioned this Bourne Instinct twice now, when not attempting to kill anyone you can simply press the Y button to go into an ‘Instinct mode’, the screen changes what you see slightly and highlights points of interest such as weapons, switches, doors and explosives as well as enemies nearby. This also helps guide you to your next destination if you get stuck.
There is also a driving section in here too which isn’t excellent but it didn’t make me want to stop playing either. Whilst it isn’t the best driving section in any game my only gripe is that there wasn’t more. Throughout the driving section you’re being chased (if you’ve played the demo on Xbox Live Marketplace you will see what I mean here) and your exit to the area is conveniently blocked by something so you need to keep driving until thats been cleared, thats basically what the driving sections are all about. Fun but too short for my liking.
There’s plenty to do to get achievements here too ranging from simply completing levels to collecting a set number of passports in every level (collect these to unlock concept art) so whilst it not an easy game to grab all the achievements on its not impossible either.
Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Conspiracy can eat the hours away yet it is also a game you can dip into as the checkpoints are quite generous. If you like fast paced action that’s very cinematic and that feels and looks like a lot of hard work has gone into its making, I would recommend this one. At the very least you must rent it.
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