First Exams
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‘The Bourne Conspiracy’ Demo Impressions (360)

Being somewhat a fan of the Bourne trilogy of films, I decided to check out the demo for the new Bourne game on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Luckily, this is not some film adaptation, it is based on the likeness of the character in the books, not Matt Damon. The developers (High Moon Studios) have created a new story with a lot of influences from the books and movies. The demo goes over the shooting, evading, fighting, and driving portions of the game. Sadly, the only fun part is the fighting, and even that gets repetitive after you take a guy down fifty times.

I played through the three levels the demo gives the player, and overall it was pretty interesting, but also quite a letdown. Let’s start with the good points. The cinematic gameplay is top-notch. It really captures the feeling of an interactive movie, with some really intense fighting sequences. The reason the Bourne series is good, is because of the wild cat-and-mouse chases, and this game seems to capture that very well. The player always feels like they have to be moving…stand still for a few seconds and most likely you will be capped by a security agent packing an assault rifle. The fighting in the game is done rather well. There is a lot of polish put into the combos. As you fight and block an enemy, you build up a meter that lets you unleash a “Takedown” move by simply pressing the B button. These moves are really amazing, because no matter where you are, Jason Bourne will use his surroundings to put the enemy in his place. As I played through, and performed takedowns, I ended up smashing guys heads into glass cases, busting them up with fire extinguishers, and kicking them out of the back of a cargo plane.

A Takedown involving a sink and an enemies head

Now for the bad points on the game…it really is quite under whelming when you get past the cool combos. The shooting portions of the game feel very off. For some reason, wielding a gun feels very loose as far as targeting goes, and there were points were I shot an enemy in the face a few times and he still did not go down. Hopefully the team works on that a bit, because it was starting to get pretty frustrating. Also, I would be in a gunfight with three enemies, one would get close, so it turned into a melee fight…yet, the other enemies could still shoot me. Another section of the demo involves you driving your Mini Cooper through the streets, being chased down by cops. It’s a bit more exciting than it actually is, because the handling is atrocious and again, it feels loose, just like the shooting portions. One of my biggest gripes about the game is the interactive cut scenes (a la God of War). I’ve never been a fan of them, and in this game you see them a lot at the most random times. I actually put my controller down, because I thought I was just watching a cool cut scene and then BAM, I had to hit the X button repeatedly. If you miss these button prompts you will automatically fail the mission most likely, and be asked to restart from your last checkpoint. I don’t think anybody has high hopes for licensed games, so no need to get your hopes up about this title. However, it does seem to do things a bit more differently than a lot of other lackluster licensed games, and brings some good action to the table. As far as it goes right now, I will most likely rent the game and beat it over a weekend. Seeing this game as more than a rental is hard to say, because the replay ability seems extremely low. There is no multiplayer in the game, which is one of the biggest letdowns to me. The developers said they wanted to focus more on a single player campaign and that multiplayer modes probably would not work so well. If you ask me, I think they should of maybe added a mode where one player is Jason Bourne, and everybody else has to track him down. Nobody asked me, so I’m keeping my mouth shut about it, and seeing if this single player campaign is going to be good enough to keep game sales afloat.