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Developer: Suspicious Developments Publisher: Suspicious Developments Platform: PC (Steam) Release Date: June 3, 2013 ESRB: N/A (Mature recommended) Sometimes when you're playing a game, you see all of these options to solve your problem and situation, but the game limits you from being able to act on these ideas. Of course, it's impossible for a game to have been programmed for every single situation, but sometimes even some of the most logical choices seemed barred off. Whether it's an invincible wall or a ledge that's just out of reach, finding that you can't do it can be very frustrating. Suspicious Developments advertises to eliminate that frustration with Gunpoint, a stealth game that plethora of options to get to the information and get out. Does Gunpoint manage to be a title that lets you do anything you please, or do these options fall short? Gunpoint follows the unfortunate spy Richard Conway, who quite literally falls into a murder plot, and gets the blame pinned on him to boot. The rest of the three hour story revolves around clearing his name, while being pulled deeper into a plot much larger than the death of one woman. This is a pretty typical 'spy suspense' plot, but what's interesting in this game is that you can decide how to progress in the story. You want to tell one of the characters about the plot against them? Maybe you want to land an innocent man in jail? The dialogue gives you the chance to do this and more, leading to an interesting narrative and an incentive to replay the game, as it is relatively short. The plot, although good, is not the meat of this game; Gunpoint is a title that aims to stand on its gameplay and mechanics. For starters, Conway has a pair of remarkable pants that allow him to jump and fall from great heights without sustaining damage. This allows for some fun strategies in a stealth game that would otherwise have more typical solutions. In addition to this, you can buy upgrades to diversify your arsenal, including the ability to jack into electrical sources and even kick down doors. Being able to jack into doors, lights, and other things is an integral part of Gunpoint. Each map has areas where you can jack into certain types of electrical objects, and these objects can only interact with each other. The different types are marked by different colors and shapes. Learning how to get to the locations to jack these various objects, and then figuring out how to use them to stun enemies and sneak by is one of the most rewarding parts of Gunpoint. As such, each of the maps become a bit of a puzzle; it requires careful thought and planning to figure out the best way to get past the guards and hack the information. Whether or not you kill said guards is really up to you, though most of the clients prefer that you only knock out the guards instead of killing them. However, this puzzle-like system does lead to a bit of a problem - most of the reasonable solutions are limited. While there are a few ways to tackle each area, you will rarely get far without accessing the various jacking stations, and if you bother to actually shoot your gun you'll have what must be a superhuman sniper standing right by the exit in a matter of seconds. What you can buy upgrade-wise is only a semblance of choice as well. Some missions will require you to buy certain items at certain times, and if you manage to make a mistake on what you bought, you can get full refunds on other items. Replaying missions does not earn you extra cash either, so as a result the missions throughout the game give you enough money to buy every upgrade, with a little wiggle room to buy recharges for gadgets that require electricity. You can certainly change the order in which you buy these items, but in the end you have to and will buy all of these upgrades. Then again, this lack of real choice throughout the game isn't as bad as it sounds; it's a bit disappointing considering that's what Gunpoint alludes to, but it's still plenty fun. If the concepts interest you, or you are bored one afternoon with no games to play, give Gunpoint a try. It's short, sweet, and for the most part satisfies. Pros: + Branching options allows for multiple playthroughs + Mechanics are fun and satisfying, and also give the game a puzzle like air Cons: - Game is more restricting than it lets on Overall Score: 8.0 (out of 10) Great Gunpoint may not be a masterpiece, but it's a fun run through a tale of deception, drama, and really awesome pants.