Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: While the blood effects are relatively light, and the language is far and few between, the non-stop, devastating blunt force trauma-oriented combat is simply more suited to older teens, and as such, deserves a "Mature" rating, not "Teen." So, I recommend this game for ages 17+.

Blood: The blood effects fly in moderate amounts when the playable character or the enemy is shot or hit—but, unlike many games in it's genre, its blood effects are more realistic, meaning that blood is shed in more lightly, instead of characters shedding a seemingly unending supply of blood. As you fist-fight enemies, their faces do begin to show wear, as their lips starting to swell, eyes bruise, cheeks split open, all the while they look and sound more tired and in obvious pain—it's like watching a boxing match with gloves off. Other than this, you'll be in many fire-fights; even in these portions, blood doesn't shed in ridiculous amounts, just in small puffs when you or an enemy is shot; a brief crunching and squishing sound will be heard on headshot impacts, as the bullets penetrate their skulls. There is no option to turn blood off.

Specific scenes of blood:

  • When the protagonist refuses to assassinate a target (as the man's children are present), he turns his back and walks away. As he escapes, a bodyguard spots and shoots him several times in the back—appropriate blood effects in play. He falls overboard, and is later rescued by a fishing boat; You see a man remove a bloodied bullet from the detailed wound on his back, as he drops it in a tray.
  • After defeating an enemy, the protagonist finds the plane's pilot dead, apparent in his slumped appearance and the moderate blood running down his sleeve.
  • A later scene shows an unknown man approach a side character, and shoot him point blank with a silenced pistol twice in his chest, as you see them penetrate, with appropriate blood effects in play. The assassin then proceeds to shoot him several more times, all the while, the victim lies motionless on the ground.
  • After you defeat the last boss, the protagonist beats him to death with a shovel (with appropriate blood and sound effects), and then uses it to knock him over a guardrail, causing him to fall onto the walkway below; the body's seen sprawled out on the ground with its face visibly bloody and beaten.

Mild language: There are under a dozen uses of hell and d*mn, two uses of God and God d*mn, and one use of a** and bastard. Other than the main script, enemies will frequently say, "God d*mn it!", "D*mn it!" and "What the hell is going on?!"

Use of alcohol and tobacco: In a couple of brief instances, you see an approximate total of three enemies smoking and one enemy drinking—that's it.

Violence: A trained government assassin loses his memory and is now running from the government he once served as he tries to discover who he is. This means you will be beating, shooting, and often killing a variety of multi-national police, government agents and military personel throughout. There are also many flashback missions that take place in the protagonists post-amnesia state, where he served the goverment by assassinating wanted and escaped criminals and terrorists.

You will be fighting and killing the enemy mostly with your fists, but you will aquire a couple of different guns later on. This game is violent, very violent, and has you in a constant state of evading the enemy, which gives a feeling of stressful suspense and near impossible odds. Which brings me to the combat system: it's very fast, and very brutal. You just beat enemies until they die from blunt force trauma, and you can use almost anything in the room(s) to infilct bodily harm; ballpoint pens, desks, radiators, windows, chairs, letter openers, vases, walls (etc.), to bash their head in and/or stab them until they drop. This comes with the appropriate bone-crunching sound effects, as you constantly break the enemies arms, legs, noses, and necks in several places. Gunplay is tame in comparison, and though frequent, it isn't as frequent as fistfights. You can use guns to shoot cars/gas tanks, killing nearby enemies, and since most of the environments are destructable, it can get frantic—lastly, you cannot kill civilians, instead, you'll just knock them unconscious when in the way.

Specific scenes of violence:

  • One flashback mission's objective is to snipe a target and kill any guards in the way. After you have blown up a few cars and killed several enemies, the target tries to escape by car; you shoot him in the head through the windshield.
  • A later level takes place with you in a car, as you race from the police. During this mission, you run into countless civilian cars, while creating mass collateral damage. You also destroy a few police cars in the process before escaping.
  • In one scene, as the protagonist is being pinned to a stairwell 2 stories up by an enemy, another enemy on the ground floor's about to shoot him. Before he can, The protagonist swings the enemy that was pinning him down, and uses him as a shield from the oncoming bullets. He then uses the body to break his fall, as he jumps from the stairwell to the floor, and escapes.

Mild Suggestive Themes: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating) In one scene, after the main character has cut the main female character's hair—for disguise—they start to kiss moderately. The scene fades, and then shows him overlooking her while she sleeps in bed—suggesting they slept together.

Content review posted: 06/09/2008

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