Innovation & Design

The Bourne Conspiracy


You won't hear Matt Damon's voice in the forthcoming videogame, but the series' screenwriter will be making sure the game version of Jason Bourne will have plenty of fun weapons to play with

It's funny that a video game based on the Bourne action spy series should appear a year after the final movie from the blockbuster trilogy released, but better late than never. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy combines plot elements taken from both the books and movies to tell its own unique story. Players start Jason Bourne's career as a Treadstone agent, an elite government-sponsored assassin before moving through the three movies and ending sometime after the trilogy ends. Although many fans may be disappointed, this version of Jason Bourne won't be voiced by Matt Damon, nor does the character bear any resemblance to the actor. However, the lack of star power shouldn't diminish the action found in a Bourne game.

Unlike the action expected from James Bond games, Jason Bourne doesn't rely on any special gadgets or super high-tech weaponry. The always serious character turns anything he finds within arm's reach into weapons. In the fast-paced fights, Bourne can smash his opponents' faces into walls and railings. He can also tear down picture frames and use them for defense, or disarm his enemies to use their own guns against them. Similar to the movies, the games put heavy emphasis on melee combat, where Bourne uses a series of heavy hits and takedown moves to bust up his enemies. Takedown moves translate into maneuvers that instantly cause enemies to fall, like a kick to the groin or a punch to the throat. Players will have to watch the screen for button icons to flash and press the corresponding button at the right opportunity to perform a takedown. Not to underestimate the master assassin's skill, Bourne will be able to do multiple simultaneous takedowns, but it is unclear at this time if those tasks require some more complex button mashing. Tougher boss characters won't be easy to take down, and will usually absorb the moves as damage instead of becoming incapacitated. Fight scenes will also use some similar up-close and shaky camera work from the movies, but not as intense.

Although the hand-to-hand fighting usually takes all the attention, complete with time slowing bullet time, no one can forget that Jason Bourne is also a weapons expert. The game will switch between armed and melee combat, leaving players free to decide how they will deal with each situation. They can shoot everyone in sight, disable a few then shoot, or possibly disable everyone. However, Bourne's arsenal is limited to common weapons like pistols and shotguns instead of flamethrowers or rocket launchers.

Familiar scenes, like the escape from the embassy from The Bourne Identity, appear, but they're ramped up with more combat sequences. Inspired by the many narrow escapes from the movies, players can expect a good number of situations that they need to get out of within a time limit. There will also be assassinations, including the botched Wombosi assignment that leads to Bourne's amnesia, turning him into a rogue agent.

Tony Gilroy, the main writer for all three movies, will handle the game's script. Additionally, stunt coordinators from the movies will be motion captured to ensure that the fight sequences closely resemble what fans expect to see. Jason Bourne is due to rediscover his identity in the summer of 2008 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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