gunpoint-background 26 Feb

We recently had a great chance to test out GunPoint, the 2D stealth puzzle game from Tom Francis.

Despite still being in its early stages and lacking some refinement like a soundtrack, GunPoint is now, without a doubt, one our most anticipated games. You play the role of a thief for hire who breaks into secure locations, hacks into their computer systems, and then escapes into the night.

At your disposal are several powers to help you in your thievery. You can super leap from any height without harm. If you’re moving fast enough, you can even crash through windows. You can scale walls, hang from ceilings, and as a hacker, you can also redirect the flow of energy from various objects like elevators, lights, secure doors, and booby traps, and even rewire their activating mechanisms using a simple point and click interface.

For instance, if you can’t personally reach a switch to open a secure door in front of you, you can rewire the switch to a motion detector set in the patrol line of a nearby guard. When the guard inadvertently flips the switch, you can slip into the classified area without anyone knowing the wiser.

There is some action in the game as well. Mostly you can tackle guards from behind, knocking them out with a single blow, and In later levels you can even unlock a pistol to add to your arsenal.

Missions are taken on in the form of contracts, and each pays a sum for successful completion. Client satisfaction is based on how quickly you accomplish your mission, how violent you were, how loud you were, and if you left any witnesses to identify you.

The 2d animation works incredibly well for the game’s concept. You’re dressed as a stereotypical gumshoe with a trenchcoat and fedora, but you appear to be committing malicious acts of larceny. We can’t wait for the final build to learn more about the main character, because the dichotomy GunPoint sets up is interesting. The pixel art for all the characters and the environments shows off how much time, talent, and love has gone into this project.

The puzzles we got to play were all very satisfying and balanced that dangerous tightrope of holding the player’s hand too much vs. not giving enough direction. A few of the puzzles left us scratching our heads for a moment or two, but that fantastic “aha” moment when we finally figured out how to skirt the trigger happy guards made it all worthwhile. It’s the best compliment we can give when we say, after finishing, we wanted more.

GunPoint is also hoping to ship with a level editor, which will certainly add to the game’s shelf life. Considering how many stealth nuts there are on the EG staff, we’re certain we’ll be more than happy to take a crack at it as soon as we can.

Put GunPoint on your radar and hope that Tom Francis gathers the time and resources to complete his project. This mutant bastard offspring of Elevator Action and Splinter Cell is sure to satisfy the needs of stealth junkies everywhere. Right now he’s definitely releasing on PC, but hopes to bring it to Mac, Linux, and iPad.