The game Gunpoint has you flying through windows, punching people in the face and becoming a master electrician.
The game certainly has a quirky, pixel-art charm. With a beautiful, dark colour scheme and a delightfully Gemini Rue-esque style. Gunpoint does a good job of turning pixel art into something quite pretty, I mean the game doesn't have intricate details of everyone's faces, etc. but Gunpoint doesn't try to be too overzealous with it's art, instead it makes up for it with gameplay. The art to this game is pretty, and straight to the point. It does a good job but believe me, the art is not where the game is strongest, instead I'll talk about how much fun the gameplay is.
Now, where do I start. Let's begin with the jumping ability in the game, well less of an ability, more of a gadget. The BULLFROG kit allows Richard to fall and jump great distances with no damage, except when he falls on his face, he'll do that a lot too. The jump is performed by holding the left mouse button to charge the jump, you'll also get a few white dots to illustrate where you'll land, after you let go of the mouse Richard will be flung off to wherever or whoever you aimed it at. If the target was a person you'll pin them down with the option to get off of them with the movement buttons, or pressing the left mouse button to pound the life out of them. There aren't any health bars in the game so you'll have to measure how much life there is in the enemy by, well, the blood on the floor, or lack of. If aimed at a wall Richard will cling onto the wall with a grappling system allowing you to scale walls and ceilings to avoid detection. If you're quick enough you can evade being shot by jumping off the floor onto a wall/ceiling the second you hit the floor. Now if you're not the kind of player that likes to jump around the room like a mechanical Spiderman, there are other approaches, one of the more straight forward approaches would be to unlock the gun and simply waltz your way through the game simply shooting at people, but where's the fun in that. Now one of the biggest concepts of Gunpoint is the wiring system. The wiring system brings a sense of puzzle to Gunpoint, by connecting certain circuits to other devices you can maneuver your way through the levels with less and less combat. The way you wire things is completely up to you. If you want that security camera to open that door once triggered, that's fine. Or if you want the switch to turn off the lights in another building that's fine too! As you progress in the game, you discover different colour wiring, now this puts a spin on the whole system as you can only link a red wire with a red device and can only link a blue with a blue device. This can even affect your playstyle as you can knock people out with doors, shock them when they walk near electrical appliances and make them fall out of trap doors. During the level intermissions, you can contact your employers and as they talk, you have a choice of things to say, some pretty heroic, others sarcastic but pretty much all of the remarks are humourous, the dry humour contrasts perfectly with the silliness of the game. The fact that the game is a puzzle/stealth game with interesting mechanics makes it a good combatant for games like Monaco (another one of my current favorites).
To be fair, the soundtrack isn't anything to rave about. It has some mellow low-beat electro vibes, whilst there are a few funky tunes accompanied by moody jazz tracks, bringing home the noir crime styled tone of the game. There's not really going to be any memorable tunes here or even anything you might be whistling anytime soon. Of course, most importantly it has to be noted that the music score is in line with the game, it's not like the developers decided to bring in a choir or something completely inappropriate, thank god. Man, I hate it when games have that.
There are a few things that I would suggest to round the game out a wee bit more. For a start, there's little to no replay value, I suppose you could go back to see how the characters responded with different answers, although I can't really see how it would be much different from the first playthrough. The lack of upgrades kind of defeats the point of replaying the game as well, by the end of the game, which has a completion time of about 3-4 hours, you will have all the upgrades possible, meaning that after completing the game there's little left to the imagination on how you could of played through the missions. Also without any kind of multiplayer mode, or an integration of Steam Workshop, it pretty much kills most of the replay value. Multiplayer would be hard to integrate, I get that. It works for Monaco, but I think if it was developed for this game it would suck, hard. Steam workshop, however could work really well, if they made a polished level editor and released it to the community, I bet there would be some seriously good, innovative ideas popping up.
Overall Gunpoint is a load of fun, with moments of shock and awe tactics to smoothly navigating a mission and feeling like Sam Fisher, just with more trenchcoat. The game has a nice retro feel to accompany the Noir Crime vibe. On top of which the humour is very well done and if you're anything like me there will be several laugh out loud moments. Either that, or I'm very easily amused, probably both. The gadgets are cool, and the mechanics of the game really top it all off, but maybe a little more of a push would turn this great game into an amazing game.