Part-Time Gamer: 'Gunpoint'

Life can be hard for a freelance spy. Moments after receiving his new Bullfrog hypertrousers, Richard Conway finds himself caught up in a tale of mystery, intrigue, and murder. Very quickly, the game’s quirky sense of humor and great sense of fun steal the show as you move from level to level carefully or panicking as you try to sneak deep into various secure and well-guarded buildings. Your tools are the aforementioned hypertrousers, your electronic crosslink (more on that later), and snark.


Apparently, later is now. The crosslink is where this game really shines. With it, you can rewire the electrical systems that control everything from security cameras and vault doors to elevators and lightswitches. That guard on the next floor in your way? Rewire the lightswitch to the outlet that he walks past, wait, and zap! Need to open a door? Connect the motion detector to the third floor elevator call, connect the sound detector on the third floor to the first floor security door, and walk through the motion detector. There are countless combinations that range from maddeningly stupid to mind-bogglingly brilliant. Each level rewards careful and methodical planning as you make your way through these levels, but there is still plenty of room to just rush into a situation and hope for the best.

The Bullfrog hypertrousers allow you to make improbable jumps and survive ludicrous falls. I don’t know if the pants also allow you to climb walls, but something does. The jumping is slightly less showy than the crosslink, but no less vital to the game’s fun. You feel like you can go anywhere in the levels, since you can generally leap halfway up the side of the buildings and cling to the wall with the grace of a bullfrog. This is a super fun way to get around.

Speaking of super fun, the way that these two systems mixed with a clever stealth mechanic is apparently the right way to do it. It is nearly as entertaining to noiselessly slip past all the guards without them even noticing that you were there as it is to leave every one of them unconscious and casually stroll out of the building. Both of these are very, very fun. It is even (somehow) fun to get mercilessly shot as you try to approach a guard head on (APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!). This is one of those games that sets up the scene and lets you find the entertainment. There is lots of that to go around.

So, how does Gunpoint treat the part-timer? Well. Every level is short enough to be finished on a smoke break or whatever the kids call it these days. The story is compelling, but not vital. It is also entirely contained in the briefings that precede the missions. You can skip these if you just want to play the game, or you can stick around for a good, little noir story wrapped up in a silly and fun game. The entire game can be completed in a very relaxed weekend, and it offers plenty of replay value, as each level can be approached in numerous ways.

This is just a fun game that is worth playing. I can recommend this to fans of stealth games and fans of old school action games like elevator action. If you are looking for a good way to spend a few hours and like video games at all, you owe it to yourself to give this a look. There is even a demo available that everyone should check out. I have enjoyed my time with Gunpoint and think you will, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to majestically hurl myself at this wall.

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python

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