It was only a matter of time before we saw a game based on the Bourne franchise. In fact, it's a wonder we haven't seen one sooner. Fortunately, developer High Moon won't be resting on the laurels of the famous novels. Instead, it is bringing a unique combination of firearms and hand-to-hand combat to Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy. We had a chance to talk with the creative minds behind this Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game.
We first saw a one-minute trailer meant to introduce us to the over-the-top action featured in The Bourne Conspiracy. It starts off mysteriously, with an apparently dead Jason Bourne floating in the ocean. Soon, however, the trailer cut to a series of fast-paced action sequences with plenty of explosions. We noted at the time that the trailer featured a mix of shooting and melee combat, which it also seemed to show them in equal parts.
Well, there's a reason for that: High Moon considers both kinds of action to be equal pillars of gameplay that are not only satisfying on their own but also work together in tandem. If you prefer hand-to-hand combat, a two-button attack scheme will let you kick, punch, and block enemies. As Bourne, you will be able to think just like the famous character when entering an area. Just as he would survey the room to determine what he could use to take down an enemy, so too will you be able to grab an item and whack your enemy with it or smash your enemy into a television screen.
But what about guns? They are covered as well, but Bourne is not a walking arsenal, so you won't have a virtual backpack full of weapons. When you bring the two pillars together, you get a package deal that lets you smoothly transition from one attack to another. Furthermore, you have an adrenaline meter that gets filled by bashing and shooting your foes. Once it's full, you can perform a sleek takedown move. All of these options will combine seamlessly, keeping the pace moving. High Moon states that it wishes to remain faithful to the quick tempo of the films, so you should expect to keep pushing forward in a mostly linear fashion.
If you're a fan of the movies, you'll be glad to know that High Moon is working closely with fight choreographer Damon Caro, who has worked with Matt Damon in the Bourne films. Their goal is to create a cinematic experience using the kind of clever moves you would expect from Jason Bourne, the "30-million dollar weapon." To help things along, every move will have a custom-tuned camera. The developers feel strongly that the camera shouldn't be annoying or distracting to the player, but they also wanted to simulate the pace that the film's quick cuts establish. Screenwriter Tony Gilroy is also working with the team on the story, and we are hopeful it will hold true to Robert Ludlum's vision.
If you're an amnesiac, don't forget: The Bourne Conspiracy is due to hit store shelves in mid-2008. We'll bring you more on this single-player action game when it becomes available.