Gunpoint is everything an indie game should be: new, exciting, fun and full of surprises. Gunpoint features a ‘why hasn’t this been done before’ gameplay mechanism called the crosslink. Essentially the ability to hack electronic devices and cause them to do something they shouldn’t. Want to rewire a light switch to open a trap door, sending a poor guard unknowingly to his death? Or rewire a security camera to electrocute a power socket to send a poor guard unknowingly to his death? Of course there’s a lot more possibilities than just rewiring devices to send poor guards to their unknowing deaths, but they are normally the most entertaining.
At its core Gunpoint is part puzzle, part stealth game. You play as a freelance spy hired to steal sensitive data for your clients and it’s essentially up to you how you approach each mission. There’s a number of fantastic gadgets to utilize, each one bringing a different approach to the missions. And more chances to have a blast mucking about. The bullfrog gadget allows you to spring jump around the levels, up walls, on ceilings and into poor guards sending them through windows. Before being levelled up, it takes a second or two to charge (in which time you’d be gun down if seen by any guards) which gives each action a risk/reward factor while ensuring you’re not just spring jumping your way into trouble.
The gadget levelling system works amazingly well – for the first few levels you’re forced to utilize the crosslink and adapt your way of thinking towards how the game works. However, by the end of the game when you have everything unlocked and maxed out you can revisit the earlier levels and tackle them (literally if you’re using the bullfrog to spring jump into guards) with a completely different approach. This not only encourages replayability, but also subtly introduces you to the games systems and mechanics and gets you to use them the way you want to use them, rather than how they should be used.
It’s not just the gameplay which makes Gunpoint stand out however. Featuring fantastic graphics, a great musical score and brilliant sound effects you can immediately tell the amount of effort that’s gone into the game to make it as good as it is. The games campaign currently stands at a couple of hours long, but the included level editor and ability to replay past levels add more to those who want it.
It’s worth pointing out that this was the beta so some features may be added or shuffled around. There were very few bugs present and there was a lot to love about Gunpoint so here’s hoping it finds success upon its release.