The Bourne Conspiracy is a 3rd person fast-paced action game, mixing shooting, a little bit of driving (one level), and hand-to-hand combat. The player controls Jason Bourne, an assassin trying to uncover his past after being injured and losing his memory in a failed mission near Marseille, and now wanted dead by his former employers.
A key component is the “Bourne Instinct” feature, which enables him to recognize threats and objectives, and perform devastating takedown moves using the environment. When you successfully shoot enemies, throw punches and kicks against your opponents, or break destructible objects with your car, an adrenaline meter fills in; as soon as one of the three segments is filled, you can issue a one-button takedown and get rid of one of your foes, or decide to wait until you accumulate multiple segments to neutralize several opponents at once. In the driving level, the Bourne Instinct is used to slow down the action for a few seconds, allowing you to avoid traffic more easily.
The combat system works in the following way: one button triggers a light attack, another button throws a heavier attack, and a third one is used to block. Mixing up the first two button presses allows to make eight different combos. Sometimes, in the middle of a fight, a sound will warn that the opponent is about to perform a takedown: the player then only has a couple of seconds to press the button corresponding to a flashing indication on the screen, and counter the move. These quicktime events are also present in a number of interactive cutscenes, where the proper buttons need to be hit within the correct timeframe or the mission will fail.
Some missions take to the action seen in The Bourne Identity movie (such as the escape from the Zurich embassy, or the Paris car chase in Marie’s Mini), while others are flashbacks featuring Bourne at the time he was a cold blooded assassin working for Treadstone. In most levels, there are passports lying around, and collecting them all will unlock the bonus features: some concept art, music tracks, as well as an opportunity to replay the cinematics and boss battles directly from the main menu.