Originally published July 1, 2008 at 1:34 p.m., updated July 1, 2008 at 1:34 p.m.
The Bourne Conspiracy (360)
The Bourne series seems like it would be a no-brainer for a videogame adaptation. They're filled with action, espionage, and its fair share of high-speed car chases. Six years after the first film was released, Sierra presents The Bourne Conspiracy, although you won't be seeing Matt Damon's likeness anywhere near it. Things start promisingly enough, with the game showing off an admittedly impressive hand-to-hand fighting system. It really does a good job of simulating the quick-cut, high intensity bouts from the three films, utilizing tons of different objects in the environment. You'll throw baddies through windows, slam their heads into tables, and dozens and dozens of other attacks. Unfortunately, the game slips fairly deep into mediocrity once the sluggish gunplay rears its head.
MLB The Show 08 (PS3)
After playing the lackluster MLB 2K8, I was ready for a competent videogame incarnation of America's pastime. Luckily, MLB The Show 08 provided me with virtually everything I could have ever wanted out of a baseball game (despite the fact that Kauffman Stadium isn't updated with the 2008 renovations). You'll immediately be blown away by the visuals and various animations, and at times it almost looks like you're playing an interactive version of an actual MLB game. Most faces look incredibly similar to their real-life counterparts, and the players are complete with authentic batting stances. Pitching, fielding, and batting all controls incredibly smoothly, and the amount of options is ridiculous. You can choose to go through a straightforward season without much customization, or you can take the reins and micromanage your team if you're the obsessive type. Online leagues extend your playtime even further. If you're looking for a quality baseball experience on a gaming console, this is the one you must pick up.
Enemy Territories: Quake Wars (360)
If you're going to release a multiplayer-only game, I think there should be two cardinal rules: 1. - Make it cheaper than $60. 2. - Offer many different modes and styles of play, ensuring that the multiplayer experience stays fun for quite some time. Warhawk had the right idea. It was offered at a cheaper rate, and was robust enough to last a long time (it's still fun today). Quake Wars fails on both accounts. It's a full-priced game that features flawed multiplayer that feels dated when stood up against vastly superior titles such as Call of Duty 4 (which managed to have both incredible multiplayer and a fully fleshed-out single player campaign). On top of the sub-par gameplay experience, it looks like it should have been a launch game, complete with muddy textures and character models that lack detail or polish. Should be overlooked by anyone that's not a Quake fanatic.
It's a good thing Metal Gear Solid 4 is available now, because it was about time Sony had an exclusive title that actually worked out well for them. Lair was a miserable failure of a game, and Haze isn't much better. It's a terribly generic and mediocre attempt at the "space marines shooting aliens" FPS genre that's so popular with casual gamers and frat boys. If the demographic wasn't obvious enough, the idiotic marines are constantly chest and elbow-bumping while yelling nonsensical frat-boy phrases like "BOOSH!". I didn't know if I was supposed to shoot the aliens or invite them up to my room to talk about how awesome Jack Johnson is before I date-rape them into submission.