Reborn: The Bourne Conspiracy Interview
High Moon tells us why you'll want to keep an eye on this new Jason Bourne adventure.
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The Bourne Ultimatum, due in August, marks the end of actor Matt Damon's involvement with the high-velocity Bourne series. But that's not the end for the amnesiac leading character.
Next year High Moon Studios will release The Bourne Conspiracy, a new game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 that has been designed at every level to put you into the character's foggy head.
"Usually movie licences and games, they don't really translate too well," concedes Chris Ulm, the chief development officer at High Moon. Which is why it's good news that the wellspring of ideas for the game doesn't begin and end with the flicks.
High Moon has been granted access to the full Bourne canon, and what the creators have come up with is a story that lets you play the best bits from The Bourne Identity but that also takes you back into Bourne's past.
"We really wanted this game to be about what happens when he's a functioning 30 million dollar weapon," says Emmanuel Valdez, chief creative officer at High Moon. "What was Bourne like before the events that happened in the Bourne Identity, when he was an assassin?"
The goal of expanding on the Bourne mythos is achieved through missions that bracket the opening of The Bourne Identity. You'll play parts set during the first flick but also others that take place before, such as the assassination of Wombosi. Throughout the game there will be flashbacks to times when Bourne was at his peak.
"We don't want you to play a movie, we want you to be inside a movie and feel like cinematic elements are happening and they're all under your control," says Ulm.
To make sure that the game brings with it that same infectious energy that earned the movies so many hundreds of million of dollars at the box office, the creators of The Bourne Conspiracy went to the people that helped the movies do so well.
Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of all three movies, chipped in on the game, helping to flesh Jason Bourne out and bring him to interactive life. Ditto Jeff Imada, the fight choreographer on the movies. He made sure that when you tackle enemies in the game, it feels just as impressive as watching it on the big screen.
Throughout our talk with High Moon, both Ulm and Valdez emphasise the importance of accessibility, making the game easy enough to get into that it won't scare off casual players.
"We didn't want to make a hardcore fighting game," says Valdez. "This is a third-person action game. We wanted to make it as approachable as possible."
The result of this consideration is a bifurcated approach to combat. There's the direct route, in which you control the action on-screen using light and heavy attacks, inching up an Adrenaline meter that lets you unleash the real flashy moves through the Takedown button.
And then there's what High Moon is calling Quick Action Events, contextual scripted actions that you control by pressing buttons in sequence a la Shenmue. What makes them different is that in Bourne Conspiracy the environment is brought into play.