What happens when a writer for the UK’s biggest PC gaming magazines decides he is going to make a game? You end up playing something known as Gunpoint, described by creator Tom Francis as being as “2D stealth game about rewiring things and punching people.” Steven will be delivering his Verdict very soon, but for now, hit the jump to read Our Thoughts.
I’ve not completed this wonderful little game yet but I have no doubt that I will soon as I am extremely keen to get back playing it. It is a 2D side-scrolling stealth-em-up that is absolutely gorgeous backed up with a tremendous mix of music and sound effects.
You take control of Super Secret Special Agent Conway (I might be slightly overdoing his job title) as he attempts to clear evidence tying him to a murder scene. How did he come to be in the murder scene? He was trying on some high-tech jumping and wall-climbing trousers which sent him flying into the basement of the building the murder took place.
To clear his name and find the true perpetrator of the crime, Conway must use his trousers and special hacking abilities to complete jobs for a variety of unsavoury, and possibly savoury to continue the turn of phrase, people. Jumping through windows, call elevators to a room three floors away, electrocuting guards who turn on a light switch are just a few of the tricks of the trade I’ve picked up so far.
I have to say, finding the trick to completing the level is very rewarding in a way that not many other games manage to achieve. That lightbulb in a thought cloud, that eureka moment, that time you allow yourself to shout out “I am invincible!” with arms raised in the air, those are the moments that spring to mind when talking about the reward of completing a very challenging level.
Two other bits I need to mention personally, I love the addition of a colourblind option. I don’t think I would have been able to get as far as I have so far without it. Second, the conversations you have with your employers are hilarious. I love some of the replies that you can come up with as Conway. All in all, I love it and I can’t wait to go back through and listen to the developer commentaries and early builds that I get access to with the super-duper special edition version of the game. Buy it now I say.
Tom Francis is a man that understands fun. Even a brief look over the Suspicious Developments manifesto makes it clear that he’s approaching game development as a man with a vested interest in gaming, not as a business expecting seven digit profit margins. If the one happens to conveniently lead to the other, that’s all well and good.
Gunpoint is fun. It’s not a life-changing experience that you will speak of on your death-bed, instead it’s the kind of game that sets out with a simple objective of providing an enjoyable experience without saddling players with tedious tutorials, hand-holding gameplay or intrusive DRM measures. In short, it’s a game that works, and works well.
The key feature of Gunpoint’s game is the infamous cross-link, an impressive device that allows you to wire electrical devices to each other – light switches to cameras, cameras to electrical sockets, lifts to scanners. It’s an amazing device, (just don’t ask how it works) but more importantly, it gives the player freedom to approach a level however they want. Whereas most puzzle games leave you scratching your head about what you’re supposed to do, Gunpoint instead takes a relaxed, laid-back attitude, just being happy to let you get on with things.
It’s this laid-back attitude that Gunpoint holds that makes it such a refreshing experience. As the devices at your disposal grow in number and power, your options of how to play the game grow in turn. It’s the complete opposite of what I generally expect to encounter in a puzzle game, which generally do their best to restrict you to definitive ‘solutions’.
Whilst I do think the game could have been longer, nevertheless it was an enjoyable experience. I’m fascinated as to what will be next from this blossoming developer.