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Game Over Online ~ Kingpin: Life of Crime

GameOver Game Reviews - Kingpin: Life of Crime (c) Interplay, Reviewed by - Prolix

Game & Publisher Kingpin: Life of Crime (c) Interplay
System Requirements Pentium 233, 64MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 94%
Date Published Monday, July 5th, 1999 at 08:00 PM


Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

It seems someone has finally gotten a clue what gamers really desire in a first person shooter. Kingpin contains just about every little item I’ve ever wanted. The graphics are superb, the violence is there, and of course tons of cussing and nudity. Built on the Quake 2 engine, Kingpin is a drastic update to any first person shooter on the market today possibly surpassing Half-Life. What is so different about Kingpin you may ask? It's simple really; realistic gangster talk, great looking player models, and Npc interaction to name a few.

The game opens up with a cut scene of a very large gangster sitting at a desk giving orders to another gangster, then it cuts to you getting your ass beat in an alley way. The two thugs who beat you up tell you to “stay the fuck out of Poisonville,” so naturally you say “I’m gonna bury those two motherfuckers.”…oh sweet revenge.

After the cutscene shows, you are thrust into the world of Kingpin. The first person you come across is a fat man in a wife beater who says “Hey man you got a dolla?” and you reply “I ain’t got a dolla.” It turns out he’s trying to sell you a crowbar, so then you beat some punk and his bitch down for $6 and buy a crowbar, then you beat his ass and get your dollar back. As you walk through the streets there are various Npc’s about that you can ask for information. You can also visit the Pawn-O-Matic, which is the local firearms distributor. In addition to selling guns and gun upgrades he also sells health, ammo, and armor. Here you receive your first quest, get a coil for the Pawn-O-Matic owner and he will reward you. You don’t necessarily have to do the quest but it does pay off, he rewards you with a pistol. As you walk around there are different bars you can visit, each with hitmen for hire. They range in price depending on their skills, most of the time I didn’t need them but some missions require the hiring of one to blow a safe or some other task. A lot of the time it is vital you stop in the bars to advance, usually some shady character will send you on an errand for a reward you need. Another thing you will immediately notice is the AI, sometimes it can be very smart and others very dumb. They know how to react to certain situations, for example, if a gang member knows he’s out gunned he will run away and either ambush you later or seek help from other members.

Kingpin takes place in an urban environment in what seems to be the forties or fifties, it’s difficult to tell which. Naturally the city is filthy and filled with industrial type architecture and trash littering the streets. I haven’t seen a game in a while that creates an atmosphere such as Kingpin. I truly felt as if I was wandering around a city in America’s industrial age. Elements such as colored lighting, debris on the floor, cracked windows, and gritty textures add to the feeling of a sleazy environment. The arsenal includes: pipe, crowbar, pistol, shotgun, tommygun, 3 shot burst heavy machinegun, rocket launcher, grenade launcher, and the flamethrower. The pistol can also be upgraded with a fast loader, a silencer, and a magnum modification to increase the stopping power. The incendiary effects in Kingpin are nothing short of spectacular, the flames from the flame thrower actually look real. When grenades or rockets explode there is a very dramatic effect of white-hot shrapnel flying everywhere. The player models in Kingpin have a really beefy and almost realistic feeling to them. For the guys, most of the women have see-through tank tops, so you get to ogle all the crack whores on the streets. However, in certain cutscenes the players seem to have a Jell-O like quality to their skin, which is awkward at times. Also added to the Quake 2 engine is a realistic damage modeling system. Certain body parts can be targeted and blown off depending on the strength of the gun and proximity. For example, a shot to the head with a shotgun close up will almost always blow your victim's head clear off. After someone dies the body will continue to bleed. If you take a lot of hits in a shootout you are going to leave a trail of blood wherever you go.

Voice effects in Kingpin are done extremely well. Most of the time you will hear phrases like “Fuck you motherfucker!” and “Die you fucking pig!” All of the taunts and speech interaction between Npc’s sounds very realistic as if a true gangster was speaking To interact with Npc’s, there are three social keys; positive, negative, and special command. By using the positive command in front of an Npc might get you information, on the other hand if your reputation is bad it wont get you anything. By using the negative command you won't accomplish anything but getting into a fight. Last but not least the special command is used for making hired Npc goons to use their special skills such as lockpicking or safe cracking. Its all up to the player, however, it is recommended you be nice to people in order to obtain information. Also included with Kingpin is a soundtrack done by Cyprus Hill, which I am not a fan of, so I only listened to it once. In addition to the great voice effects and the good soundtrack (depends if you like rap) the weapon effects are great as well. Bullets ricochet off walls with surprising realism and the roar of a flamethrower couldn’t sound any better

I know what most first person shooter fans are thinking, how’s the multiplayer and is it playable out of the box? Well the multiplayer kicks ass, and playing it out of the box depends on the server and your connection. On a dialup connection I had lag on some servers but the play was almost perfect on others. So yes it is playable out of the box, however I’m sure a patch will be issued to speed it up a little. Kingpin is a blast to play over the Internet, included out of the box is a modified CTF mode called bagman. The object is to hold the most money by picking it up and keeping it in your safe, however, with the flick of a switch the other team can open your safe and take the loot. One thing that's interesting about the player setup is you can chose every aspect of your player's look. There is at least thirty different faces, bodies, and legs included. Clothing ranges from Hawaiian shirts to polka dotted boxers.

Kingpin: Life of Crime is one of the most violent, foul mouthed, and entertaining first person shooters to date. What makes Kingpin such a standout game is the new innovations such as taking diplomatic approaches to situations. But be warned, this isn’t for the kiddies, the rating on the box of M (mature) definitely applies to Kingpin. If you get offended by swearing, don’t get Kingpin because you just won’t get the feel of the game with the censored version. I can just tell that Congress is going to have a field day with Kingpin, but what the hell do they know, they think Doom is the latest in first person carnage.

 

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Rating
94%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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