The Gunstringer is a western themed shooter developed by Twisted Pixel.
Twisted Pixel Games always seem to impress me with their creative and wacky ideas. Ever since The Maw, I have always liked what Twisted Pixel had to offer. The Gunstringer is their first retail launch title and not only is it their best game yet, it's also one of the best Kinect titles around. With many Kinect titles not living up to their potential when it comes to controls, The Gunstringer does a great job with the motion technology and it's my most fun and satisfying experience I've had with Kinect yet.
You play as a skeleton cowboy only known as The Gunstringer. He is out for revenge on his posse who left him for dead. Buried in a ton of rubble, he soon comes back from the dead and goes off for vengeance. What's unique about the game is that it all takes place on a theatre stage. Moments throughout the game will show audience footage with their reactions as you play and a narrator also talks you through the story in-game, similar to the XBLA title Bastion.
You are the puppeteer that controls the one eyed cowboy. Each level is a
on-rails shooter so you don't have to worry about walking forward. To move left and right you simply move your left hand in the same direction and your right hand is used for shooting and punching etc. Shooting is done by moving the reticule over enemies and you can target more than one enemy depending on how many are on the screen. Once the enemies are marked you simply bring your forearm back to fire. It works surprisingly well compared to what I thought it would and feels very satisfying.
Most of the levels have you traveling through streets, shooting enemies and jumping over obstacles. Twisted Pixel have done a great job in keeping the game fresh by mixing up the gameplay when your doing quite a bit of shooting. It's not all run and gun gameplay. Moments in the game will require you to dodge obstacles, peak out from cover and punch enemies. It all works well for the most part but you can come across moments when your actions don't register like they should. But it's definitely one of the most accurate Kinect titles around and I only came across a few problems in the whole time playing.
The downside to The Gunstringer is that it only takes around 4 hours to complete but you can play in co-op if you wish. There's also a ton of unlockables to collect, which you expect from a Twisted Pixel title. The game also comes packed with Fruit Ninja Kinect, which I have reviewed separately. So The Gunstringer is certainly a steal at the retail price.
Overall, The Gunstringer is an enjoyable and unique Kinect experience. Anyone who enjoys on-rail shooters or Twisted Pixel's work will have a great time.
Review by Gareth Smith