Not literally, though I did pick up The Bourne Conspiracy today for the 360 only to have my system give me the red ring of death on the second level. There were absolutely zero indications something was wrong with my system but it is very dead now. That’s number two for me, and this one was only a year old and an Elite model.
As much as I love the Xbox 360, I’m astonished at how fragile these systems seem to be. I’ve only had one Sony system die on me, that was an original Playstation. My PS2 and PS3 are doing just fine. And I’ve never had a Nintendo system break. Hell, SNES still works just fine. I really hope Microsoft learns their lessons from this generation and gives us a far more sturdy machine next time.
Anyway, I was lucky enough that Best Buy let me exchange my copy of Bourne for a PS3 version. I’m a huge fan of the movies, particularly the third one, but as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t get into the books, which were extremely different from the movies. That’s why I was surprised to find Robert Ludlum’s name displayed very prominently on the case for the game when the game is very obviously going from the movie. So much so that it recreates shots from The Bourne Identity almost perfectly in the cinema scenes, just with a Bourne that doesn’t look or sound a thing like Matt Damon.
So far the game is pretty fun if not a bit simplistic. Hand-to-hand brawls are very much strike then block then strike affairs. You can also execute takedown maneuvers which replicate the more brutal strikes Bourne uses from the movies. These are suitably painful looking and can even use items from the environment if you’re close to them when you initiate the move. The gunplay is a bit off though, the controls just don’t feel quite right. Ironically, the most annoying part of the game to me is the camera, which is zoomed in far too tight on Bourne and zooms in even further when you pull your weapon out or go into hand-to-hand mode. And like the movie, shaky-cam is in effect as well.
The audio is good, with okay voice acting and music that sounds like it was lifted straight from the movie soundtracks. Paul Oakenfold was brought on board to do the game’s music and when the action ramps up, so does the intensity of the music. Graphically it’s pretty good but nothing spectacular. It uses the Unreal Engine but is obviously not pushing it to the engine’s limits.
All in all I’m pretty pleased with it so far. I don’t see a whole lot of replay value but it’s kept me entertained so far. I find myself really enjoying using the takedown moves to hear the bone crunching as Bourne whips the hell out of whoever is unlucky enough to be in front of him at the time.
Usually I shy away from licensed games like these but this one stands above most of the others. I know that’s not saying a lot, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. I think I’d rather see more licensed games come out after their movies have been around for awhile if only to give the developer more time to work on the product instead of being rushed for it.
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