Twisted Pixel’s latest game has arrived with the Kinect exclusive, The Gunstringer. The Gunstringer is a tale about revenge where you will play the part of judge, jury and executioner. The Gunstringer is a marionette and you are the puppeteer. You control his actions with your arms just as if you were actually holding him in your hands. At the very beginning of each level you move your left arm up as if you were picking him up off the table. Then your adventure begins as you embark to right the wrongs that your old posse perpetrated against you. You control the Gunstringer’s body with your left hand and all of your offense comes with the right. The game play is fairly limited in that you can’t go wherever you want. You are set on a pre-determined path and you have to stick to it, however, you control what you do on that path. Moving your left arm to the right will move the Gunstringer to the right, flipping your arm up will cause him to jump over obstacles and more. Your right hand is where you control your offense such as your guns or, when it is required, your fists. You have a crosshair icon on the screen and once you “paint” the enemies with the cross hair using your right hand you simply flip your right arm up and quickly take out the enemies. If you “paint” six enemies then you will take out six enemies at once, if you paint five enemies you will take out five enemies and so on and so forth. Obviously you want to be as efficient as possible and take out as many enemies as you can. You’ll have to be careful though because you’ll need to use your left arm to make you’re the Gunstringer is avoiding whatever is coming his way. The gameplay is really responsive and I didn’t have any problems at all getting it to detect whatever it is I wanted to do.
As the Gunstringer you are trying to get revenge against your old posse. You’ll go through a variety of environments to do so while experiencing different perspectives along the way. There are some levels where you are behind the Gunstringer and trying to take out everything in your way. There are other levels where he is running towards you and you have to make sure that a huge boulder doesn’t run you over. Then there are times when it becomes a side scroller and you have to jump over traps and knock out your opposition. There are also times when you are on some type of vehicle (or a “horse”) that you will have to control and use to safely navigate the terrain. The developers at Twisted Pixel did a great job of mixing it up so nothing becomes too stale and you don’t get bored simply going through stage after stage of the same thing.
Speaking of Twisted Pixel their trademark comedy makes its way into this game. If you have played previous Twisted Pixel titles then you know what their brand of comedy is and it always seems to add something special to their titles. The campaign of Gunstringer begins by following a woman walking down the aisle to her seat in a theatre. They tried to position the game as being run on a theatre stage and every so often the camera will show live video of people laughing and cheering the Gunstringer on. If you happen to pull off a nice combo or some other type of nice maneuver that the crowd likes then the crowd will start cheering for you. If the action on stage is more of the objectionable type you will see the live crowd react accordingly…one lady even smacked the guy she was with during one segment. The narration in this game is done really well too as it is describing the action as it happens. It’s not quite to the level Bastion was in that respect, however, it is still done really well and definitely adds something to the game.
Outside of the main story there is even quite a bit to do. As you progress through the story you will earn money. The amount that you get will be dependent on how well you did in each level. This money can be used in the store to unlock concept art, behind the scenes movies, unlock new modes and even purchase an achievement! It should be quickly noted that all of this is bought with in game currency. There is no way to buy any of it with real money so even though you are “buying” the achievement you still need to earn the money to buy it and it is the most expensive item in the store. Some of the new modes include “Meatstringer Mode” where you can play a younger version of yourself in the game, a no fail mode, a sepia mode and more. There is even a picture that you can unlock from E3 2011 where Cliff Bleszinski and the Gunstringer are hanging out with the Gunstringer supposedly giving Cliff some advice. You can also play the game with a commentary track which can be pretty funny and definitely add to the experience. There really is quite a bit to do in this game and it will take you a little while before you do everything. The achievements come fairly easily in this game and I was also rewarded with a steady stream of either gamer pictures or avatar awards.
Gunstringer is a fantastic title and definitely one of my favorite titles for Kinect. I was impressed with how well it controlled and how the whole package came together. It has the standard Twisted Pixel humor throughout the game so if you have enjoyed their previous titles then you should enjoy this one as well. The Gunstringer does require Kinect so if you don’t own a Kinect unit yet then you can’t play it. Additionally, Twisted Pixel has announced that an entirely new act will be available for everyone to download for free on day one. In addition to everything that The Gunstringer offers you will also get a code to download a free copy of Fruit Ninja Kinect with every new copy. This game does feature local co op as well and is even more fun playing with a friend. Simply put, if you own a Kinect you need to play this game.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network