Bourne Conspiracy: First Reviews Edition

The first review of Bourne Conspiracy is in, and they confirm, it is not your typical movie game.

As the bold-faced centerpiece of The Bourne Conspiracy, the taut and intense melee combat does a superb job of tying the whole game together. Combat in Bourne puts an almost oppressive pressure on you due to its penchant for brutal impacts and visceral takedowns. Excellent camera-work and lighting show off the beauty of Bourne's graphics engine as well as the designers' keen grasp of photographic and cinematic composition. Film geeks will also appreciate the game's mindfulness of a cinematic concept called "mise en scène": the ability to assemble a scene or shot that takes in all necessary focal points without drawing too much attention to the fact that it's being done -- or, put simply, a attempt to ensure that everything in its correct place, from a visual standpoint. . . .
At around 10 to 15 hours, The Bourne Conspiracy isn't exactly a brief experience, but its addictive and gratifying combat can certainly make it feel so. As visually appealing as the game's graphics are, they are dwarfed by the entrancing core melee gameplay... which is no small feat. Whether or not you follow the films and books is irrelevant to your potential enjoyment of The Bourne Conspiracy, because it so brilliantly communicates the story's themes. The resulting combination of fierce fighting, fantastically integrated interactive cut-scenes and just plain awesome graphics punctuate the sad story of this amnesiac elite operative in a thoroughly entertaining package.

If you prefer mainstream reviews, this comes from The Wall Street Journal:

The game The Bourne Conspiracy, based on the popular spy-noir novels by Robert Ludlum, hopes to build off the fanfare from last summer when the third part of the film series, "The Bourne Ultimatum," hit theaters. The game captures the manic desperation of its titular hero, Jason Bourne, as he attempts to reconcile his past life as an assassin. Conspiracy, to be released June 3 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, relies heavily on ingenuity -- you can use Bourne's instincts to turn parts of your surroundings into weapons. I thoroughly enjoyed dashing through the hallways of foreign state buildings, wildly looking for a fire extinguisher to double as a club or dodging policemen. Conspiracy is also fueled by hand-to-hand combat, a refreshing change from the ubiquity of first-person shooters . . .

Movie-based games can't depart too far from the films that inspired them because they typically reuse the same characters and loosely adopt the same plot. There have been experiments to infuse such games with new content such as Enter The Matrix, but the best games of the genre, such as Bourne, know when to borrow and when to bail.

I haven't seen a review say this sort of thing about a movie game since Chronicles of Riddick . . . also Vivendi.

It comes out on June 3, download the demo now, a million people have, buy on Tuesday.


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