Bourne Conspiracy Interview

Interview: Bourne, to be wild?

Bourne Conspiracy is all about capturing the spirit of the films. It's fast, no-messing action, brutal take-downs and Uncharted-like shoot-outs gel together to make what could become a movie-licenced game to take note of.

We recently travelled to Paris to get hands-on with the game (read about that here) but we also spoke with lead designer, Rory McGuire.

Tell us about the focus you've placed on capturing the feel of the films. How confident are you that you've got it right?


Rory McGuire: We've literally spent thousands of hours watching the movies, making sure that we get the camera angles, the pacing and the feeling of the movies right.

We definitely didn't want a situation where the player becomes Bourne and wanders around and environment for 30 minutes unable to figure out what they're supposed to be doing.

That's not Bourne - he's the smartest guy in the room at all times, so we wanted to make sure that the player's always moving, and that they're always pushed forward with a fast pace. Pace and cinematics are key.

And you've used a lot of movie-style camerawork to get that film feeling, right?

McGuire: When the player is on foot, not only do we want them to be able to see the actions, but feel like there was literally a cameraman right behind them the whole time.

So when you're running around you'll see a little leaning on the camera like it's being held by someone, and it flinches when you're in hand-to-hand fights, and the camera cuts around.

The control system and elements of the gameplay feel similar to fellow Unreal Engine 3 game, Gears of War. How did Gears influence the Bourne game?

McGuire: There's a larger emphasis of hand-to-hand combat in our game - it's about 50-50 with shooting. But with the shooting side, we didn't necessarily want to re-invent the wheel. We just wanted to focus on how we present the action. There are plenty of games that do hand-to-hand and shooting - particularly recently. Even Gears did to some extent, with the chainsaw and melee.

But what we wanted to do was refine the transition. In Bourne you'll be running around with a gun, run up to a guy and kick him in the face, get out the gun again, run then grab another guy, throw him into a wall, then back with the gun - and all that happens really fast.

What about Uncharted? Its influcence seems a little more obvious?

McGuire: We've heard quite a few comments about it's similarity to Uncharted. There are many areas in which I think we excel above Uncharted, and vice versa. There's more navigational elements and puzzle-solving in Uncharted, which we don't have quite as much of - again our pace is much higher.

But our hand-to-hand combat is quite a bit more in-depth than Uncharted, and there are a lot of similarities in the shooting.

The case-sensitive takedowns in Bourne are brilliant but something you don't see a lot of in games. Why's that?

McGuire: It took a lot of iteration. There are literally hundreds of thousands of animations in there to make sure everything syncs up properly.

What we did for the transitions is go through the environments and flag up areas for interaction. So not only can players go into cover on objects, but our takedown system knows the wall height, and places an animation on it.

Our camera system looks at the same data as well. The camera is conscious of every game in the environment - it knows all the boundaries. So the camera tries to always be in the right place.

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