I'm sure by now most of you are familiar with the genius cell phone PR stunt that Sierra threw together for the upcoming Bourne Conspiracy game. While it was cool, the real question is, how was the game? I met with some of the developers from High Moon Studios to check out the game being played and get some explanation of was all about.
The Bourne Conspiracy is somewhat an amalgamation of the three Bourne films although the books are used as reference pretty heavily. You'll find no Matt Damon character models here! They really wanted to make this as entrenched in the Bourne lore as possible and as such there is very little gunplay involved. You must rely on your McGuyver like wits to help you make your way through the game, using the things you can find around you and your trusty fists to their greatest use. Remember that pen stabbing scene?
The first level we watched was a flashback based on a short segment from the first Bourne film that had been expanded upon to create more gameplay. As in most games, Mr Bourne has light and heavy attacks as well as the ability to block. Running and fighting will build up your adrenaline which will allow you take out up to three enemies at once.
One of the main fighting mechanics here is the Takedown. Standing near almost any object, window or piece of furniture while you attack will cause you to grab your opponent and pull off a special attack on them. For instance, want to fry that guy who's trying to tear your face off? Simply back up near the electrical box, grab your opponent and watch the fun as you smash the guys head into it and the sparks fly. The boss battles use the same mechanic, allowing you to use the surroundings to deal damage and each boss has his own signature set of takedowns. The environments are so full of these Takedown moves that it would be impossible to use them all in any one single boss battle. So the game allows you to go back and repeat boss battles and levels once they have been unlocked so you can try and make use of all the environments have to offer.
Bourne Identity also contains one driving level that involves a red and white Mini Cooper, but unfortunately it wasn't there for us to check out.
The camera work in this game is pretty amazing and when you go into these take down moves, the camera switches angles several times, mimicking tricky movie camera work. I've never seen it employed in a game quite like this before and it was pretty impressive looking. Artisitc players can also play cinematographer by opting to take control of the camera themselves during these scenes and checking out the action from any angle. Music plays a large part in the game as well with tunes by Paul Oakenfold who provides a different soundtrack song for each of the game's many levels.
Ultimately, this Bourne game is a single experience, so don't look for any co-op or vs modes. At the present time there is no DLC planned nor is there Home support for the PS3. Those things aside though, the game itself looks great and while I didn't get to put my own hands on the controller,the movement was smooth and it seemed like it was easy to pull off the Takedown moves. It's really nice to see a game taking advantage of environmental attacks like this rather than relying solely on an arsenal of guns. So, if you want to check out what this game is all about for yourself before purchase, a demo will be coming to your PS3 and 360 early next month.