It's an interesting title that isn't it? Why would one of the best spy movie/book series equate to one of the best sci-fi epics in gaming history? Let me explain, and also state this post contains massive spoilers of both the Bourne movies and Halo games and books.
First of all let me say that I know that The Bourne series is a book and movie affair, while Halo is a FPS video game and book series. However, this is about the lore, the core tenant of both that makes them so compelling to millions of people around the world. I watched the latest movie, The Bourne Legacy on Tuesday night, and I really enjoyed it. It was a really good action movie, not the best in the series by a long shot but very cool. However, one part of the lore got me thinking about Halo.
Aaron Cross, The Bourne Legacy's protagonist, is part of a shadowy CIA intiative to create the ultimate agent, much like Jason Bourne before him. Both were subjected to behavioural modification and enhancements, with Cross having his IQ and body chemistry altered to make him the perfect Assassin, however this also resulted in a dependancy on chems to keep him both controlable and alive.
Now lets look at Halo. The protagonist is Master Chief John-117, a Spartan - the next generation super soldier created by Halo's version of the CIA, ONI, which also had its version of Operation Treadstone (the program that created Bourne) called Section III.
A member of ONI, Dr Catherine Halsey set in motion the Spartan-II program to counter a growing civil war across the galaxy, and the UNSC was getting desperate to over come this threat, long before the alien enemy of the Covenant was encountered. So ONI, after a careful screening process, kidnapped children from different worlds, took them to Reach, robbed them of thier identity (apart from their first name) and started training them from the age of just six.
Now the protagonists of Bourne were not trained from such a young age, however, they were robbed of thier identities, Jason Bourne was originally David Webb and Aaron Cross was Kenneth Kitsom. Both also had Army careers before being recruited into the programs that created Bourne and Cross, so were heavily trained before being dramatically altered by Treadstone and Outcome (Treadstone without the 'inconsistency').
At the age of just fourteen, the Spartan candidates were given biological enhancements, along with augmentations to allow for advanced communication and battlefield awareness. Thier skeleton's were heavily augmented, and this resulted in 33 of the final 75 actually surviving - including Master Chief.
In the Bourne series, no one is quite sure exactly how many 'program participants' Treadstone and Outcome used, but it is more than just Bourne and Cross.
Now I am not saying that Halo was directly influenced by the Bourne books, but it is easy to see why they could have been, the similarities between the two are certainly compelling. The genetic and biological enhancements, behavourial modification and 'living weapon' ethos covers both universe's, and it could be argued that hundreds of years before Dr Halsey came up with her Spartans, Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross were the first tentative steps towards true super soldiers.
Could they be the same universe just at different times? Well sure they could. The reality is somewhat different, but what if during a future Halo title you come across ancient ONI files that make mention of the CIA and a strange program called Treadstone and its successors? that would be very cool. It won't happen, we all know that, but it would be cool.
The Bourne Legacy and Halo, not as different as they first appear are they?