Hello ladies and gentleman. How have you been? I have been doing great. In no small part I’ve been feeling great due to this excellent game I just finished playing. It’s Gunpoint. Let’s take a look at it shall we?
Picking indie titles always carries some risk. Indie games often aren’t as polished as AA games*, but sometimes you can find great gems in the drek of the Steam Store.
One of these games is Gunpoint. Added in a whim on my wishlist a couple years ago, back then the game stood at a 60% review score. What made it appealing to me at the time were the pixely graphics, as well as the Steam Workshop support (hey, I was 14 back then. Back then one of the things I enjoyed the most was user-created content in video games). Ever since then, the game had been lingering a bit on my wishlist. Always being there, but I had found other games at the time that were appealing to me, and it’s 7 euro pricepoint was a bit steep to me for a pixel game. That is until this summer sale. The game was on sale for 3.50 (that was with a DLC), and in a whim I bought it, along with some other games. And yesterday I finally got the chance to sit down and play it.
Gunpoint is a stealth puzzle game. You control Conway, a detective/spy with an affinity for trenchcoats and fancy hats who is tasked with finding the murderer of… someone. A first criticism I have of the game is that it’s story, clearly in the genre of Film Noir is a bit drama heavy and very much on the melodramatic side. Thankfully, ofsetting the drama is the ability for the player to give their own input, ranging from the expected answers, to sassy answers and the “I don’t know what this is about” answers. It shows that the developer at least at some point realized that he made the story way too complex and was self-aware enough to reflect it in the game. The final criticism on the story is that it wraps up way too quickly. I finished the game in a day, and the only reason it was an entire day is because I had to work in between. Adding a couple levels wouldn’t have been very hard, and I think the game might be better if it had a couple more levels.
Gameplay is without another word… fluid. You have the ability to walk and jump (the latter is explained in story as being a special pair of pants that allow you to break fall damage and jump very high. I know, a bit on the weird side, but it’s fun), as well as a hack-o-vision which allows you to rewire the electricity inside the building. That last one is your primary way to get rid of Guards, the enemies that patrol around the buildings. Quite simply put, if one spots you, he will shoot at you and you are toast. With the hack-o-vision, you can for example rewire a light button to an electrical outlet, and once the guard walks by, you can pres the button, causing an electrical spike at the outlet, knocking out the guard. Of course, if that isn’t possible, you can always jump the guard, knocking him down and with a punch you can then knock him out (or you can keep punching him, which will eventually kill him and you can even keep punching him after he’s dead).
One disappointment is that, in spite of the name, you usually don’t hold enemies at gunpoint. There is a gun available, although it’s not from the start and firing it causes the cops to appear after x amount of seconds (amount depends on the level). If they show up you cannot complete the level. Holding the guards at gunpoint though prevents them from firing at you.
Later levels ramp up the difficulty, although barring the final level, I never really got stuck on a point of “how do I approach this”. The games difficulty ramps up naturally (again barring the final level), with later levels introducing new variants of Guards and closed power circuits which you need to wiretap before you can access them.
As for the level editor… eh. It’s quite limited in what it can do, and doesn’t contain nearly as much options as you have in the main game and it bugged out on me more than once. I recommend using PointEdit instead. It’s just as easy to use, and has all the backgrounds and options available in the main game, including a special option that used once in the main game.
Just for fun, I decided to make a level in said editor. You can check it out below. It’s quite a good show of how the game works.
Buy this game. Like, if you even like puzzlers a little bit, buy it. It’s a fun game that will keep you hooked for an afternoon. If it’s 7 dollar entrypoint is a bit too high for you, buy it while it’s on sale, where it drops to 1,50 .
Needs more holding guards at gunpoint/10.