That’s pretty much the game. You move from one fairly linear area to another, having punch ups with people who – curiously – often appear from nowhere, then having shoot-outs with other people who have now popped into the vicinity. There’s little in the way of sneaking or ‘traversal’ (as game designers like to call jumping and climbing these days) and amazingly Bourne, a man blessed with the skills of a top Parkour athlete, has trouble getting over things like stacked crates, piles of suitcases and barrier ropes. Yes, those same ropes you’ll find outside the doors of cheesy nightclubs are such an impediment to Bourne that he has to find an alternative route through the level. Who would have thought he’d find taking the hook off the post such a challenge?
Again, we shouldn’t go overboard with the Bourne-bashing here. The Bourne Conspiracy is at the very least competent, even when it’s at its most uninspired. There are a few levels where it all comes together and you actually feel some excitement creeping in, and if you wait long enough you’ll eventually come across a fine section based on the car chase from the first movie. All the same, this is a game that starts off feeling reasonable, but soon drops to average then mediocre. At its worst, it’s mildly annoying. The early levels are fairly generous (even overly generous) with checkpoints, but later on the flow stems, meaning that a sudden attack or an unforeseen explosion can mean slogging through the previous ten minutes of action all over again. And shouldn’t it be a golden rule by now to always checkpoint before a boss battle?
You see? Maybe Matt Damon was right, Maybe a Bourne game where you do what he does in the movies and use your brains and the tools around you to get out of tricky situations would have been more fun than this slightly lobotomized effort. Of course, a little gunplay, fast driving and fisticuffs might not have hurt, but by making the action the sole focus of the game, High Moon has lost the heart and soul of the films. The Bourne Conspiracy is not a bad effort, and it has caught enough elements of the Bourne cinematic style to keep the less discerning Bourne fan happy. All the same, it could have been so much more. To my mind, Bourne deserves better.
A competent action game that captures something of the style of the movies but little of their drama, ingenuity or edginess. Bourne was never boring, The Bourne Conspiracy sometimes is.
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