This weekend I took about a hour long break from GTA IV to check out a title that I really wanted to see, The Bourne Conspiracy. I downloaded it from the PlayStation Store and then did the install (which took 5 mins or so) and was pleased to see there were 3 levels in the demo. With my heart racing, I launched into the game and decided to try the easiest difficulty setting…trainee.
I started out in the familiar Swiss bank scene from the first movie and was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with three bank guards. Just as promised, the action was fast and brutal. The moves were quite easy and I felt like a semi-Bourne right away. I did get punched a couple times though. Then came some guards with guns so I had to make my escape. I sprinted out a door and up some stairs where I was computer guided into taking a guy down (this happens a lot) and then I had to used “Bourne Sense” and run down a hallway.
A barred gate then starts to close and I had a 20th of a second to hit the X button. FAIL. I had to try that again, this time running to the gate and I hit X, but darn it…I was supposed to hit the triangle button. FAIL. I then realize it’s a random button of the four. PASS. Then more running and fighting. Either I was getting beat by a boss bad guy (FAIL) or not hitting said buttons fast enough when they came at me (FAIL) but it became a nightmare. One leap from and outside balcony to another was like a standard X button jump and then on the other side it was a random button that I had to hit in that short span to trigger the jump. FAIL and FAIL. I found the sheer randomness of it all frustrating. Why can’t one button just be the jump button dammit?
Then came a subway tunnel and some guns. I ran down the tunnel to beat the first guy I saw senseless and as I’m fighting him a train comes along and hits me. FAIL. Then I dodged that train the next time and ended up in a clumsy shootout. I finally killed the two guys and headed for another section. I dodge 2 more trains (this tunnel is busy!) and raced up some stairs only to be shot. FAIL. Then I was slower on the stairs and killed a couple guys only to be surprised with a guy in my face. Yes! Brawl time! While I was going all Jason Bourne on him, another guy behind him calmly approached and shot me in the head from a foot away. FAIL. Three more FAILS in this area finally got me through to the plane that was taking off.
I fought a couple guys in a great fight on the plane, but oops I missed the 20th of a second button push to dodge an APC they roll at me. FAIL. Then another brawl and a boss bad guy. FAIL. Then onto a car chase where I missed some button press to enter a tunnel. FAIL. Followed by a button press to reverse gears. FAIL. Followed by a button press to spin the car and complete the scene. Yep, you guessed it. FAIL.
A quick note about the car chasing action. It sucks. The roads are big and wide and stupid looking. The car handles like crap too.
Although I really (really, really) wanted to love this game, the act of failing something every minute to minute and a half of game time on the easiest setting was maddening. Yes, the fighting is awesome and made me feel like Bourne when I was able to use a fire extinguisher from a wall to bash someone, but it just wasn’t quite enough to sway me into thinking this would be a game I would own. I’m saddened.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 12th, 2008. You can follow any responses to this entry through the Comments RSS 2.0 feed.