Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: The Bourne Conspiracy

1:54 PM on 06.06.2008 // Anthony Burch

erere

I really, really, really like the Bourne movies. I tell you this because if I didn't, I'm not sure I would have even tried to review The Bourne Conspiracy, or even play it.

Were it not for the fact that I could re-enact the scene where Jason Bourne stabs a guy in the hand and arm with a ballpoint pen no fewer than three times, I probably wouldn't be all that interested in The Bourne Conspiracy. But since I am the type of guy who relishes the opportunity to re-enact those moments from one of my favorite trilogies, I thought I'd take the plunge with this sadly Matt Damon-less entry in the Bourne saga.

But was it any good? I suppose you'll find out, if you hit the jump. 

The Bourne Conspiracy (PS3, Xbox360 Reviewed)
Developed by Sierra Entertainment

Released on June 3, 2008

Games like The Bourne Conspiracy make me absolutely hate the numerical score system in game reviews. Its gameplay mechanics are abysmal in almost every conceivable way. Its story is nonsensical at best, sacreligious at worst. Its entire running time is completely disrespectful to the player's intelligence, assuming that if the character models and locations change, the player won't realize he's getting into the exact same gun battles and fistfights he engaged in at the very start of the game. Looking at The Bourne Conspiracy as a list of bullet points, it is an undoubtedly awful game.

But why, then, did I have fun with it?

For better or for worse, Conspiracy attempts to marry the visual sensibilities of the first Bourne film with the limited interactivity of a bad videogame. Every action the player takes is bookended by short, noninteractive cut scenes; if the player wants to jump onto a platform, he runs toward the platform, presses A, watches a heavily-edited cut scene where Bourne jumps onto the platform, maybe has to engage in one or two QTEs, and then finally gets control of the character back. The entire game follows this format, as cut scenes and QTEs take over for any and all player actions that aren't shooting or hand-to-hand fighting.

erere

This may sound abysmal, but (for the first third of the game, at least) it kinda works: the transition between player action to cut scene to QTE and back happens so quickly, and so seamlessly, that I initially felt like I was watching a cool action movie and just happened to be helping it along with my occasional input. The actual stuff I was being asked to do was pretty ridiculous (there's a protracted sniping sequence which, rather than allowing the player to control a sniper rifle as a normal game would, reduces the entire thing into one elongated QTE), but its pacing and seamless integration with the rest of the gameplay never really gave me enough time to realize how absurd my actions (or lack of them) were. The Bourne Conspiracy was feeding me anchovies, but I was chomping it all down so fast that I initially couldn't distinguish it from King Salmon.

Yes, that was a metaphor. I'm trying to expand.

The player only does two things in Conspiracy outside of the cut scenes: punching and shooting. The fighting system is incredibly simplistic but, thanks to the fantastic character animations and innumerable environmental takedowns, much more visually stimulating and therefore entertaining than it really has any right to be. As with the rest of the game, you'll only be pressing a few buttons at a time, but the visual rewards make the experience a lot more satisfying than the actual gameplay might suggest. 

The shooting mechanics just plain blow.

erere

There's also one driving mission in the game, ripped straight from The Bourne Identity. It's pretty silly, but appears at just the right point in the game (about halfway) to feel like a welcome change of pace from all the shooting and slapping the player has engaged in for the past two hours.

After the chase, however, everything goes sour. Not because the actual game mechanics get worse, or because the story takes some sort of disappointing turn, but because the repetitive, samey, intrinsically boring game mechanics simply wear out their welcome. For up to two hours, I had no problem with the fact that every single hand-to-hand fight felt exactly the same, regardless of how many enemies surrounded me or how well-armed my opponent seemed to be. For up to two hours, I was willing to slog through the boring, derivative gunfights. For two hours, I thought the integration of QTEs with cut scenes with regular gameplay fun, cool, and charming.

None of it was charming after two hours. I could predict every combat animation before it happened; every enemy's placement in a gunfight; every QTE event in a bombastic cut scene that generally had nothing to do with the events of the film. Conspiracy's ability to gussy up horrendous gameplay with cool visuals and slick pacing completely breaks down around the game's halfway point, at which time the entire package becomes so frustrating and dull that I was actually happy to find that the entire game was only about four or five hours long, if only to keep the tedium at a minimum. 

erere

Overall, The Bourne Conspiracy is not really worth a purchase, and probably not a rent, either. If you're a huge fan of the Bourne movies, you'll be irritated at the liberties they take with the characters and themes; if you're not a Bourne fan, you've got no real reason to care about the character or what little story there is. The kinetic visuals and fast pacing make the game almost a joy to behold in its first half, but even the veneer of cool editing can't mask the fact that, sooner or later, the crappy, repetitive nature of the actual game mechanics becomes totally overhwelming. I had fun, but not enough fun to warrant the $60 I spent on the game.

If you've got access to Xbox Live or PSN, then just play the demo; it's got the single best level in the game (the Zurich Embassy), and includes enough of the underwhelming gunfighting and driving levels to likely dissuade most consumers from actually purchasing the game. 

Score: 3.0 (Bad - Some aspects are terrible, others are either so-so or kind of fun.)

ere






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
The first thing I do when I see clickbait is click on it and complain about clickbait.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Wow, uh, after having a lovely time with Kirby Air Ride, I decided to try playing some melee, for old times sake... I pretty much disliked my whole time with it. More details in a comment if I get around to it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Help me gather games for a new blog series - "Worst Sequels Ever"
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
The backend code on the site so fun to read. Going through some of Julio's old stuff: if($vars["fappers"]){ $fappoids = 0; $_xt_loop_name = "fappers"; $vars["fappers_cnt"] = count($vars["fappers"]); reset($vars["fappers"]);
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Watching the second Guyver Movie: Dark Hero, starring David -Solid Snake- Hayter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Roie47-Cuk
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
You didn't think I forgot what day it is did you?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Gonna retire the MOARgasmic avatar for awhile.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Will you be mine?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got out of Deadpool. It definitely was a movie with Deadpool in it. Some parents were shocked to learn it was also rated R for a reason.
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So... gender and biology. All I'll say here is please respect people and their identities and don't try to push assumptions as fact. It doesn't need to be said to most here but denying people their identities is pretty harmful and very unpleasant.
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Any PS4 recommendations for a guy who can't afford PS+, since all I've got is Battlefront and there's next to nothing to do in that game?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
if you were experiencing lag with the dev site today, can you please try again? I moved some js around and am loading smaller avatars for people. some quickpost photos are scaled from gigantic raw uploads so we are optimizing those next to zip things up
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's happening people... they're gonna kill off my favourite character... but he's taking someone else with him *massive spoilers in video*
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Can I just say that I really dig the intro music for Yakuza 5? It's pumping!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Hmm... yeah, this seems right.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Would anyone be willing to help out dear ol' Dreamweaver with Destiny? Need a partner to tackle 7+ matches of Crimson Doubles for that 320 Light Ghost Shell. Will have to work on Comments of the Week first, but will be on later. I suck at the game though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm not digging Trine too much. It has really screwy controls.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Sonic the Hedgehog's Twitter account gave dating advice here: http://www.gamesradar.com/dating-advice-real-sonic-hedgehog/ I am now significantly less bitter about Valentine's Day.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Tried out The Lost Vikings for the first time in Heroes of the Storm. Lots of fun, but I've got a long way to go before I could consider myself remotely good with them.
Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -