Preview: Gunpoint - This 8-Bit Life
Gamers have seen a serious surge in the quality and depth of indie games in recent years. Likewise the indie games market has been attracting more and more attention. In the past few years we’ve seen some truly amazing titles like Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac and VVVVVV to name but a few. These games have been inventive, beautiful and above all fun. One could debate that this is due in part to these games not being tied to insanely high budgets, exhaustive release schedules or comically sad licenses. In the age of digital distribution one thing is for certain, indie games are thriving.
It’s no surprise to me that Gunpoint is as good as it is even in a preview build. And trust me dear reader, it is by all means good. I have spent more time playing this game in the past week than is probably healthy. Its demanding and strategy-oriented gameplay along with its tight controls and satisfying reward system have kept me coming back and left me aching to get my hands on the finished product.
You play as a crafty industrial spy for hire with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. Starting out you have the ability to leap from standing to halfway up the side of a building, cling to and climb up walls and fall from great heights without being harmed. All of your starting abilities feel very tight and responsive even at this early stage in development. Your goal in each level may vary depending on the requirements of your employer but essentially the idea is to break into a building undetected by any security guards or cameras that may be present. Each one of these levels plays like a sort of logic puzzle, presenting you with multiple barriers to your goals that you must creatively subvert.
The real meat of the game comes when you unlock the Crosslink gadget. This handy little device lets your character alter the electrical connection of circuits in the building wirelessly. You are able to jump into Crosslink mode and do something crafty like rewire a door switch to a security camera. Then you can just run into the camera’s field of view and the door is opened. This is quite possibly one of the most fun and rewarding mechanics of any game I have played in recent memory. It’s just plain fun to be able to wire a light switch on one floor to a light on another and confuse the heck out of a roaming security guard. There are plenty of other unlockable gadgets in the game that open up many interesting options for completing your missions and the game does a good job of meting them out to you to keep things interesting.
The game definitely has a little while to go in development before release but I do hope it comes out sooner rather than later because I am already addicted but I have no doubt in my mind that when it does release it will be an instant classic.