In no particular order.
First and foremost, the game not only allows, but encourages creativity and experimentation.
You can go about problems however which way you like, and after the first few levels, once all the basic mechanics have been introduced, the game feels less like a puzzle game with one or two set solutions, and more like one where the open-ended nature allows you to come up with original solutions to problems.
There are enough things in the level and ways to make those things interact with each other and with the guards that you’ll be coming up with new (and better) ways of dealing with situations.
And you’ll feel crazy clever when you’re able to link the multi-colored circuits through one simple button press (or in the case below, just walking). For this example (illustrated below), I got both vault doors (they close after 3 seconds) to open simultaneously for me just by walking towards it:
I, the shadowy figure on the left hand side (on the lower floor), walk in front of the camera, which calls an elevator to the floor above.
Once the elevator arrives, the red signal opens the red vault door simultaneously as the blue noise detector (the elevator caused a noise) opens the blue vault door.
I get in, hack the computer, by which time the doors have closed, but that’s okay, because the camera on the right recalls the elevator, which reopens both the vault doors so I can exit.
Easy-to-learn level editor.
I tried it out and you can pick it up in a few minutes.
The soundtrack is fantastic
. It quite perfectly reflects the game’s setting, predominantly jazz with, as it's in the near-future, electronic music mixed in, without becoming chiptune-y.
Despite not being the main mechanic of the gameplay anymore (it was early in development), you feel like the biggest badass when you arrive on a floor from inside the elevator, walk out with your gun pointed at a guard
, hack the whatever, and walk back into the elevator, with the guard unable to do anything for fear of death.
I’ve seen people complain about the game’s short length. I actually appreciate it more for this. There’s no bullshit in the campaign - each level is important and has interesting idea behind it.
, there’s no filler material, and unlike Braid
has multiple ways to solve puzzles. You’ll find yourself coming back to the game for the 3rd, 4th, 5th time playing it in different styles (speed run, psychopathic run, pacifist run, etc.) and still finding new things about how the game works, and using how stuff works to your advantage in new ways.
The controls are spectacularly simple.
What could’ve been a fairly complicated endeavour was made incredibly easy and intuitive - scroll up or down to enter crosslink mode where you just drag lines to and from electrical components to wire them.
The autosave system works beautifully.
And it’s not just a neat feature, it’s so much more than that. It frees your mind from having to think about quicksaving so that if you die you won’t lose a bunch of progress. The autosave system works such that when you die you can load the game 5, 10, or 15 seconds before you, and there’s no wait time - it’s an instant thing. It’s part of games like Hotline Miami
, Super Meat Boy
- they respect the player’s time with instant respawns and no loading screens every time you die. This is especially important since you’ll be dying a fair amount as you get to grips with the mechanics.
Leaping is done so well, and is so intrinsically enjoyable
once you’ve upgraded it to the max. I think it stems from the idea that you know exactly where you’re going to land. It has this feeling of catapulting, holding the left mouse button until you’re ready to release, flying through a window and pouncing on a guy, throwing someone seven stories, or leaping from the high-security building into the subway just as someone is about to shoot you.
The writing is incredible.
It manages to be hilarious and light-hearted and easy going, whilst not getting in the way or compromising the gameplay. But man, Tom Francis knows how to write funny words.
There are 8 different ways to beat the boss.
Unlike Deus Ex: Human Revolution
’s bosses, which forced the players to play one way, contrary to the rest of the game, Gunpoint
teaches the players its mechanics and systems and actually allows you to use that knowledge and freedom in the final level and boss.
Get it here.