Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.
Developer: Suspicious Developments
Gunpoint is the first part of the “defenestration trilogy”, which is a trilogy in the same sense as Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto trilogy” of movies—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End—which shared a few of the same creators and referenced Cornetto ice creams but were otherwise unconnected.
The defenestration trilogy consists of Gunpoint, Heat Signature, and Tactical Breach Wizards, three games by Suspicious Developments that all let you throw people out of windows, which is what defenestration means if you’re not up on your “terms popularized by Bohemian history (opens in new tab)“. (For shame.)
In Gunpoint, a 2D stealth game, you’ve got a pair of Bullfrog brand hypertrousers that let you leap incredible distances. As you work your way through this game of cybercorporate espionage, taking each level apart like a biology-class frog, you collect more gadgets and upgrades. They include a Crosslink hacking tool that lets you rewire and reconnect devices, and a Dropshot trenchcoat that muffles the sound of your landing as you inevitably fall from a great height thanks to those Bullfrog hypertrousers. You can also buy a handgun. It’s called the Resolver. It’s just a gun.
The Crosslink lets you play Gunpoint real clever-like, say, by connecting an audio sensor to a trapdoor so that when you send an elevator to the floor the sensor’s on the sound of it going “ding” makes the trapdoor open just as a guard’s walking over it. You can also play dopey if you like, and there were definitely some levels where I said, “Bugger this for a game of Thief: The Dark Project,” and just jumped on someone before punching them a few more times than was strictly necessary. Stealth games are about having options, yeah?
The final level puts the villain at the top of a secure skyscraper you have to work your way up, and because of a decision I’d made prior, he was protected by an assassin. When I finally made it to the top floor, the assassin leaped at me and we went sailing through the window. Turned out I wasn’t the only person who had invested in a pair of Bullfrog hypertrousers.
It was a hell of a shock. After maybe five hours of being the one who jumped on people—Gunpoint isn’t a long game—it hadn’t occurred to me somebody else might have bought special trousers. As we landed at the foot of that skyscraper, the sound muffled by my Dropshot trenchcoat, I realized that while my copycat opponent bought the same trousers, he had neglected to also buy a gun. So I shot him.
Even at the end, Gunpoint let me apply the most direct solution to a problem, and I love it for that. Of course, the noise of that gunshot alerted the bad guy and started a countdown to the police arriving, but that only made things more tense as I raced back up the skyscraper to deal with him. Stealth games are about having options, yeah?