Twisted Pixel’s Kinect-exclusive XBLA game, “The Gunstringer,” has been slowly unveiled over the last few weeks. The game was finally playable in San Francisco last week, but if you weren’t lucky enough to be invited, we’ve got the next best thing: the first 15 minutes, which includes one of the most unique introductions I’ve ever seen.
The live-action intro reminds me of Jack Black’s trip to the record store, which kicked off “Brutal Legend.” This time, however, the intro transitions seamlessly into gameplay, as you’re suddenly controlling the left-for-dead Gunstringer as he crawls towards his path of revenge.
The raw gameplay footage also gives us a much better idea of how the gameplay mechanics work. Basically you’re aiming with your right hand, as if you’re holding an invisible pistol. Moving your hand around the screen moves your aiming reticule which allows you to lock on to any enemies it touches. Once you’re satisfied with your targets, all you have to do is whip your right hand up as if you just fired a gun. This unleashes a barrage of up to six shots and takes out any targets you might locked on to.
In addition to aiming, you can move the Gunstringer around with your left hand as if you’re holding the marionette strings. During on-rails running sequences, moving your left hand side to side will cause the Gunstringer to do the same. You can also use it to pop in and out of cover during certain sequences.
I haven’t had the chance to play the game myself, but it’s safe to say that the charm of Twisted Pixel comes through in spades. All the actions in the game are narrated by a dusty, omniscient cowboy describing your imminent peril, and the visuals all take on a hand-made, arts-and-crafts look. If ever there was a game to convince the hardcore audience about the validity of Kinect, “The Gunstringer” appears to be it.