After playing through the first three or so hours of The Bourne Conspiracy, my first impressions of The Bourne Conspiracy’s hand-to-hand combat is that it’s too simple. There’s nothing here that makes you feel like a multi-million dollar assassin capable of extreme ass kickery. It’s all flash. It looks good, but you start to wonder why your average soldier is performing the same moves as Jason Bourne, a multimillion dollar assassination machine.
You’ve got two striking buttons, and that’s the depth of the hand-to-hand combat. Part of what you see Jason Bourne do on the silver screen is based on kali. It’s likely a blend of various arts including Israeli Krav Maga and Filipino Kali. I believe I saw a touch of Jeet Kune Do too.
These arts have a fair, if not heavy, emphasis on counter attacking. They all share the efficient philosophy of defending yourself while attacking your opponent. Yet we don’t see a shred of that in The Bourne Conspiracy. Fights boil down to holding block until the opponent is done with either a two or three shot combo, then pulling off one of your own. You can’t even move when you’re blocking. How are you supposed to move around the environment to pull of those cool moves?I would’ve liked to see a much deeper hand-to-hand combat system. Parries and counters could work out beautifully if done correctly. For example, just throwing some ideas out there, you could press a grapple button while blocking. When used in conjunction with a direction, you could throw your opponent in that direction. Simply adding the opportunity to counter attack with a well timed punch during the block would add a lot more depth.I also find it absurd that Jason Bourne would die after getting punched. That doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe he could get knocked to the ground and the enemy would straddle him and try to finish him off with a knife in the throat. You’d get an opportunity to fight him back and get back up. To add to the tension, the enemy could occasionally decide to shoot you in the head instead. This gives the player incentive not to just let his ass get knocked down since he could potentially die.
Eventually, Jason Bourne must whip out the pistol and shoot his way through his environment. Well, I must say that the firearms combat is clunky. The cover system is wonky, and aiming doesn’t feel very precise. Scoring headshots just doesn’t seem elegant enough. Jason Bourne should be able to walk towards two or three guards and take them down with a shot to the head each. I should be able to pull that off without needing to press the takedown button.
I just hope that this game gets better. Having some new flashy martial arts moves isn’t going to save this game.