Sometimes the best things in life, take you by surprise.
Gunpoint was not a game I had been following for any length of time nor was it something I had ever heard of prior to its release. When the social media storm took root upon the PC game’s release on Steam and due to all of the great things I had been hearing about it, I knew I had to investigate. My first time diving out the window of a three-story building and smacking the ground only to stand up without a problem is when the game hooked me for good.
Essentially, Gunpoint puts you in the shoes of Freelance Investigator/Hacker Conway as he tries to sort out a messy murder that quickly spirals into something much larger. The writing is hilariously clever and the dialogue options given to you during conversations with characters allows you to really hone in who you want Conway to be. Do you want him to be a snarky and sarcastic individual or how about a more straight to the point investigator? It’s all there for you. Ultimately though, it’s the gameplay that’ll steal your heart along with the retro style graphics that go hand in hand.
What’s interesting is that Conway is basically a super hero as he’s able to climb walls, jump extremely high distances, and is able to fall great distances without getting killed all thanks to his high tech pants. While that may sound cool, he’s also extremely human as one bullet is all it takes to ruin his day. Ultimately though the game isn’t about violence and falls more under the stealth category. Conway is equipped with a hacking device called the crosslink which lets him manipulate electronics such as light switches, doors, security cameras, and a host of other things. The objective in a level is finding a terminal that needs to be hacked for all sorts of oddball characters that’ll contact you through your journey. The tough part is navigating through the host of security guards and traps like cameras and motion sensors. It’s here that this puzzle game really takes shape and becomes fun.
Levels define the end goal but how you get there is up to you. Using the crosslink is extremely simple but how you accomplish the goal can be accomplished through your creativity to get around level obstacles. Since direct combat is out of the question, you’ll have to get fancy hacking devices or using your spring jump to pounce on an unsuspecting guard at which point, a single mouse click will deliver a knockout blow. If you’re feeling particularly aggressive, the game allows you to click as many times as you need to as the punching sound is just so satisfying. Who knows, the game may even break the fourth wall to get you to stop punching the man’s face so much (hint hint).
Figuring out these levels is extremely satisfying and experimenting with different solutions such as wiring a door to open just as a guard walking into it, knocking him out cold. Pulling off comical feats like this is part of the fun and will make you want to replay each level to see how you could change the outcome or even see how fast you can pull off the hack. As levels ramp up, so do the obstacles, so thankfully, the more missions you complete, the more money you earn to purchase new gadgets and items like the ability to rewire guard’s guns (firing a gun now turns the lights off!), the ability to crash silently through windows, and even a pricey gatecrasher upgrade that lets you just bash down doors. It’s these options and the diversity of the levels which really helps the replay value as Gunpoint is a fairly short game.
Gunpoint ultimately really makes you feel like the deadly and sarcastic Inspector Gadget you’ve always wanted. It’s a game that encourages creativity, experimentation, and will never leave you with anything less than a smile on your face. Gunpoint is definitely recommended and you can download it now via the website or from Steam.