Tom Francis of PC Gamer UK has been developing the game for years. He even left the publication temporarily so that he could finish it. After playing it beginning to end, is it Gunpointless or truly Funpoint?
From the outset, Gunpoint appears to be something of a simple platformer with stealth mechanics under a neat aesthetic. And for the first couple of levels that holds up. until you’re introduced to the Crosslink. This is the crux of the game. The Crosslink allows you to rewire circuits to your advantage. At a flick of the mousewheel, you’ll see that a switch is controlling the light. You can make it so it opens a door, calls an elevator, or does nothing at all.
Things get more complicated as you’ll have access to certain types of circuits. Colored panels will allow you to wirejack them to gain access, and only like colors will be able to be crosslinked. In later missions, you’ll have red, yellow, green, blue, and purple circuits all active at once trying to get them to work in harmony and to your benefit to complete the mission. Later levels will have sound detectors that you can link to doors, make an elevator get called and the sound will open your desired door. One of the funniest gadgets is the one where you can rewire guns. It isn’t unlimited like the Crosslink, but uses batteries where a gun will control a light, or set off another guard’s gun.
You’ll never have more than two missions at a time to choose from, but all involve pretty much the same objective: get in and hack a computer for data. Some standouts like stealing camera data and overhearing a conversation take place are one of them. Everything else is up to you, by how loud or quiet you approach these levels and in which ways you want to deal with the guards. Kill them, knock them out, beat them to a pulp, make them shoot one another, or fly out a window with one of them.
At the end of each level, you’ll be given an upgrade point. These points can be spent into one of three categories: boosting your jump strength, boosting the time it takes to charge a jump, and adding an additional battery to carry for the gadgets that use them. You can min/max them to your desire, and even modify them at will. I mean they are your points, why should you be bound to a decision? This idea extends to the shop where gadgets purchased can be “refunded” to put money towards something else. This further exemplifies the developer’s goal of keeping things open-ended through all parts of the game.
There is a story here, and it doesn’t take a backseat or become less important. It just exists to keep things moving, and it does so with well-placed humor and dialogue with the interludes between missions. You have choice when it comes to responses, too. For instance, one phone call has the other end asking: “Who the fuck are you?” and one of your replies can be “Who the fuck are you?” in a return tone. However, in about 2 to 3 hours you will have completed the game.
The game includes a level editor. I don’t think this is Tom Francis’ way of being lazy in regards to additional content to the game. With the ability to create, save and share your levels with others will no doubt develop a community of Gunpointers who want to make complex and involving missions outside of the game’s campaign. Time will tell how that happens since there isn’t a Steam Workshop or repository to place these files just yet.
Gunpoint does what the creator set out to do, make a game that removes any linearity on how you get to complete objectives. It’s a very approachable, and easily something you want to replay levels to better your times and/or ratings. It’ll be very interesting to see what the community comes up with that will rival these retail levels. The originality of the Crosslink makes the entire game what it is, and is endlessly fun to mix n’ match new ideas.