Game Review: Gunpoint

The following is a guest review from DrXan.

Release date: 2013
Version played: PC (via Steam) in 2020

Created by indie developer Tom Francis, Gunpoint is a stealth-based puzzle-platform video game released in 2013. Players take control of Richard Conway, a freelance spy, who begins the game flying though a fourth-storey glass window and falling through a skylight before brushing himself off and getting on with the game proper. The game follows a mission-based structure consisting of infiltration, espionage and spring-powered spear tackles as you work to unravel a complex conspiracy of corporate and personal betrayal.

+ the overall modern noire aesthetic of the game world, whether it is the music or the dialogue options, helps to craft a world you feel engaged in from the outset
+ game systems are introduced gradually across the missions with increasing complexity; being able to replay missions with additional options can lead to more efficient paths and puzzle solutions
+ the story, although brief, is engaging and full of enough twists and choices as to keep you involved with the characters and their motivations
+the addition of a level editor allows for players to create and share their own levels ranging from clever to frustrating in their complexity

– following on from Pillars of Eternity, this is another wordy game; the game lacks any voice acting so you will need to add your own internal monologue for Conway (I would suggest something like Humphrey Bogart from The Maltese Falcon)
– some fiddly controls and visual result in plans often going awry, the small size of Conway on screen is necessary for planning your route, but frustrating when hacking devices close together
– the game is admittedly very short with a single run through possible in 3 hours and all achievements possible in 6 hours or less of playtime

> the game has an excellent colourblind mode that can be toggled at any time which helps to differentiate different electrical systems with district symbols (triangles, squares etc). The mode was so subtle that I enabled it on my first playthrough and didn’t notice until I toggled it off after finishing the game
> this game does steam achievements perfectly: non-story achievements are clear and concise, and all story related achievements are kept secret until they are unlocked. This means no spoilers if you want to check the achievements in the middle of your playthrough. You can also get every achievement within two playthroughs, which could be either a positive or a negative point depending on how you see it

Should you play this game: Sure, why not? For less than the price of a nice lunch you can have hours of fun sneaking, springing and sleuthing through offices and labs in your trench coat and fedora. It may not be long or massive, but Gunpoint shows its creator’s love and passion in every pixel and is well worth your own investigation.


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