Home Game Review Retro Review – Kingpin: Life of Crime PC Game Review

Retro Review – Kingpin: Life of Crime PC Game Review


Kingpin: Life of Crime is a first-person shooter developed by Xatrix Entertainment (now a part of Treyarch) and published by Interplay Entertainment in June 1999. The game begins with the player character wounded and beaten up by the Kingpin’s henchmen, and the story follows his thirst for revenge. Released shortly after the Columbine High School massacre, the game attracted controversy which led it to be dropped from various retailers, despite receiving moderate critical acclaim. The game was ported to Linux by Xatrix employee Ryan “Ridah” Feltrin.

Gameplay in Kingpin was most noted for its profanity laden dialog and its graphic depiction of violence. An idea incorporated into the game was that of area-specific damage: a shot to the head deals more damage than a shot on the leg. To complement this, each game character also has a deformable skin, which indicates where and how badly the character had been injured. Injured characters also bleed, and leave a blood trail making it easier to follow them. Instead of having a universal armor value for the player, armor is split into three different types, helmet, body armor and leggings, with separate values for each one.

Another innovative feature of the game is the use of weapon modifications. Various mods can be used to upgrade the weapons in the game. The pistol, for example, can be modified to increase its firepower, or its rate of fire, among other things.

Kingpin also features heavy NPC interaction for a first-person shooter; the player can interact with NPCs and choose between positive or negative responses. This can lead to various outcomes such as gleaning new information, hiring gang members, or provoking an enemy into attacking. The NPC response to the player also takes into account whether the player’s gun is holstered or not. Some areas, such as bars and clubs, which acted as hubs for the chapters, force the player to lower his weapon. The player can also hire gang members to join him, and in some cases this is necessary as the player would need an AI character’s specific skill.

Another new feature is the introduction of cash. Fallen enemies can be searched for cash, which can then be used to purchase weapons and ammunition at the Pawn-O-Matic, a shop found in every chapter. Cash can also be used to hire gang members.

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  1. I really dig the game's setting of Radio City, a 1940s industrial hellscape that's trapped in time, yet has anachronistic elements. Imagine it remade on the level of Deus Ex. It would also be pretty interesting since you're just a nobody with a vendetta. You don't see very many games like that anymore. There's always some big conspiracy to unravel and/or world saving to be done. In Kingpin you're a thug who gets humiliated by a bigger thug and you demand satisfaction. All the plot you need.

  2. This game was mostly forgotten for one main reason:

    It was released around the infamous Columbine high school shooting.


  3. 6:10, I know so many modern "comedy" movies that try this, and it's just so annoying. Swearing in an adult comedy, I feel should either be handled like South Park or a Mel Brooks movie. In South Park, it's not as excessive (save for the first few seasons), and it comes off natural, like you would talk to anyone else. Or, in a Mel Brooks movie, swearing is used so sparingly, that when it happens, it comes off as a huge kicker, and it's emphasized with such a punch.

  4. I put probably easily 200+ hours in this game's multiplayer back in the day and played through the campaign countless times. One of the best. Plus the soundtrack was from Cypress Hill IV one of the best albums of all time.

  5. The Starting of the game is mostly stealth so you shouldnt shoot the shotgun guy and the dual pistol dickhead who looks at the Radio all the time and if you looked more into it youll see that the later enemies have kevlar armor and metal plating soooo they would survive some scrap rockets yes and in the first 5 levels the enemies die nostly with 1 to 3 shotgun blasts to the head or 17 to 20 bullets do to the same armor you are wearing the difficulty curve isnt the health or the guns they use you can see in tve console that its accuraty the so called "No Remorse" effect which kicks in in the 3 latest difficultys which mean enemys never run away but rather get suicidal if harmed and the fire rate of weapons so tho i still like the video you didbt really look deeper in the picture and you had at least could have said [Spoiler Alert] the game ends in a cliffhanger bcs the gangster's boss bitch who was really the boss if you had looked at the dialogue bcs the girl is the one who pulled the strings the boss is just the guy who thinks he has control and commands the thugs , she left in the fucking banana heli so there was going to be a sequal but it never happend (sorry for so much text and this late buuuut i played this game and Unreal Gold in my childhood and loved the so i dont like it if people start from a wrong perspective and end with false info's) love your vids bye

  6. This underrated gem deserves a sequel. All someone from Xatrix has to do is put up a Kickstarter page.

  7. its fucking astonishing how this has better companion AI than 90% of games released today

  8. Nice review

    i played this years ago. i don't remember much about it but it was a enjoyable experience at the time.

  9. Must have sunk 1000+ hours on this in multiplayer back in the day. Top game. Although the single player was never that special IMO.

  10. is this vanilla Kingpin? There is a cel shaded kind of thing going on to your video that I haven't seen before on Kingpin. Probably just the sharp edges on the high rez makes it appear this way.

  11. This is a game about ghetho rats killing ghetho rats, how exactly do you expect them to talk? Being extremely eloquent and coming up with philosofical quotes?

  12. Loved this game when I was 15, have recently downloaded on Steam for £4.80! and yeah first level the security guard with the shotgun was ridiculous! (Ref 5.00 into vid)

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