Codex Gamicus

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy is a third-person espionage video game developed by High Moon Studios and published by Sierra Entertainment[1] for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.[1] The game expands upon Robert Ludlum's character Jason Bourne, and immerses the player in a cat and mouse style espionage action adventure.[2] The game was released in North America on June 3[3][4], June 5 in Australia[3][4] and June 27, 2008 in Europe[5]. The game used Unreal Engine 3[6] with the PhysX physics engine also being used. The game was released on BD-ROM and Dual-layer DVD discs.[7]


Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy mostly derives from the film version of The Bourne Identity. Although the game does not use the likeness of Matt Damon (who portrays Bourne in the films), due to creative differences with the actor;[8] it does derive more closely from the film storyline than from the novels, and features musical themes from the films.

As in the movie, the player character begins as an amnesiac found off the coast of Marseille, but as the game progresses, the player is provided with more clues to Bourne's true identity.

Jason Bourne's senses are an important part of surviving the game, with noteworthy items or locations highlighted - when a switch to this sense is triggered, the visual style changes, with important elements much brighter. A third-person espionage action game, the player encounters armed and unarmed combat, the latter usually resolved through quick-time events, and driving sections, also often dependent on quick-time events.

There are three difficulty settings which the player can choose from when playing the single-player campaign: Trainee (easy mode), Agent (normal mode) and Assassin (hard mode).

The game also contains a boss battle feature, allowing the player to fight the boss without having to complete the entire level again, although some boss fights last entire levels. The game also contains a music player feature that allows the player to listen to music from the game. It includes an original score for the game written by Paul Oakenfold and performed by Cee-Lo Green.[9]


The game takes place prior to, and during the events of, the first film. In addition to scenes from the film, several chapters also reveal some of Jason's backstory and missions that take place prior to the beginning of the game.

It begins with Jason Bourne, the protagonist, trying to assassinate African dictator Nykwana Wombosi, who knows too much about Treadstone, the black-ops organization that Bourne works for and threatens to publish what he knows. After fighting his way through Wombosi’s guards and several mercenaries, he confronts Wombosi, but is unable to kill him, because Wombosi’s children are present. Bourne is shot in the back as he staggers out onto the deck of Wombosi's boat and falls into the sea.

Bourne survives, and makes his way to a bank in Zurich, where he keeps a safety deposit box full of money and passports-along with a semi-automatic pistol he leaves in the box. On his way out, the police attempt to detain him, but he escapes to the American Embassy. There, the Marines attempt to detain him. He escapes from the embassy, then asks Marie Kreutz, whom he met in the embassy, to drive him to his Paris apartment, offering a large sum of money in return.

Once at Bourne’s apartment, Marie accidentally informs Treadstone that Bourne is still alive by picking up the phone in the apartment, triggering a silent alarm. They send an assassin to kill Bourne, but Bourne subdues the assassin after a lengthy fight of fists and nonconventional weapons Jason uses. The assassin then throws himself out the window to avoid interrogation. Bourne and Marie escape from the Paris police, who were alerted after the assassin killed himself, then travel to Marie’s friend Edmond’s house in the countryside.

They spend the night at Edmond’s house, but before they can leave the next morning, they are attacked by another assassin who uses a sniper rifle from the surrounding hills. Arming himself with a double barreled shot gun, Jason blows up fuel tanks to create cover and makes his way into the hills where several shots he fires forces the sniper into a barn. After making his way into the barn Jason has a brief fire fight that ends with a fist fight as the barn is lit on fire. Once they both inadvertently escape the barn in their struggle, Bourne stabs the assassin to death with a sharpened piece of wood, then sends Marie away as he goes to Treadstone to confront the people who have been chasing him all over Paris.

Once there, he warns his former boss, Alexander Conklin, to leave him alone. Instead, Conklin escapes and has several dozen Treadstone agents attack Bourne. He incapacitates the agents through various means and in fire fights or fist fights as he makes his way down out of the building and into the streets, then chases Conklin into an alley. As they struggle, another assassin appears and shoots Conklin. Bourne pursues the assassin into a church undergoing construction and has a brief gun fight before he causes an explosion that knocks the assassin off balance, allowing Bourne to tackle him and send them both into the grave yard behind the church where Bourne is almost strangled to death but uses a shovel as a club to send the assassin over an edge and break his neck. The game ends in Greece after Bourne vanishes before the Police arrive, and Bourne and Marie are reunited in the shop Marie has opened, they embrace as the game fades out.


The demo was released on Xbox Live on May 5 and PlayStation Network on May 8. There are three levels in the demo: the escape from the Zurich American Embassy, a past assassination on board an airplane, and a part of the Parisian car chase that was featured in The Bourne Identity. It was also released in the issue #85 on a playable disc that comes with the July 2008 issue of the Official Xbox Magazine.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic PlayStation 3: 70[10]
Xbox 360: 72[11]
Review scores
Publication Score C+[12]
Edge 4 out of 10[13]
GamePro 3.8/5[14]
GameSpot 8.0/10[15]
GameSpy 4/5[16][17]
GameZone 8/10[18]
IGN 7.5/10[19]
Official Xbox Magazine 7.5/10[20]
X-Play 3/5[21]

Reception for The Bourne Conspiracy has been generally positive. IGN praised the hand-to-hand combat and story, but criticized the shooting and driving mechanics and camera angles hampering the gameplay.[22] X-Play, G4TV's game review show, gave it a 3 out of 5, also praising the hand-to-hand combat but criticizing the shooting and driving mechanics, short game length, and problems with the camera.[23] GameSpot nominated the game as one of the most surprisingly good games of 2008, but it lost to Air Traffic Chaos, a game for Nintendo DS, and "Best Boss Fights" where it lost to Metal Gear Solid 4.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Bourne Conspiracy Announced". 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  2. "Sierra Announces The Bourne Conspiracy". 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy for PlayStation 3 - Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy PlayStation 3 Game - Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy PlayStation 3 Video
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy for Xbox 360 - Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy Xbox 360 Game - Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy Xbox 360 Video Game
  5. "Sierra announces 'Bourne Conspiracy'". Digital Spy. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  6. The Bourne Conspiracy Hands-on for Xbox 360 - Retrieved on 2008-06-05
  7. The Bourne Conspiracy Page. GamePro. Retrieved on 2008-06-02
  8. "Matt Damon: Bourne video game too violent for me". 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  9. Paul Oakenfold Scores The Bourne Conspiracy
  13. Edge. 191. Future Publishing. 2008-08. pp. 94. 
  22. IGN: Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy Review. Retrieved on 2008-06-05
  23. G4 X-Play Reviews: Bourne Conspiracy. Retrieved on 2008-06-05

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