Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Gunpoint

A split effect showing the action and grid-hacking modes.
Since I am unlikely to be joining the cool kids in playing Beyond Earth before the summer sales, I picked up super cheap indie game Gunpoint, a fun little platform stealth game overlaid with a rerouting puzzle game.

You play Richard Conway, freelance spy. After a potential client is murdered, you are offered a series of jobs closely related to the murder. Each mission consists of a 2D cutaway elevation of the target building or buildings. The player must navigate Conway through this plan, avoiding or incapacitating guards and bypassing doors to reach and hack (or occasionally steal) the mission objective.

Your tools for doing this are Conway's Bullfrog hypertrousers and Dropshock trenchcoat, which allow him to leap and fall incredible distances, and the Crosslink, a gadget which allow you to view and manipulate the electrical connections within a building, linking doors and other devices to various switches in order to bypass the building's security systems. The guards ranged against you will shoot on sight (although only the suit-wearing Professionals can see in the dark) and kill you with one shot, so stealth is vital to successfully completing the missions. Upgrades can increase your jumping strength and charge up speed, and optional gadgets allow you to silently fall or break through windows, dodge a small percentage of shots, or hack the guards' guns and make them go off. Finally, you can acquire a gun of your own, which allows you to menace guards (but not Professionals) into compliance; or shoot them, but that summons the cops to block your exit.

Gunpoint is a fun and only occasionally frustrating little game. It is quite short, but there are enough optional extras and branching paths to give some replay value, and a level editor if that's your thing. It also has a Steam achievement called 'Acknowledged Ludonarrative Dissonance'