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Kingpin: Life of Crime (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Zovni (9345)
Written on  :  Mar 28, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars

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Summary

Yo! This game is all F@&#ed-up motherf*&%er!!

The Good

Well, there's a lot of action in Kingpin, lots of blood and gore. lots of heated firefights, and lots of attitude. Which now that I think about it, its the game's only strong point.

Kingpin puts you in a gritty, burnt-down city comprised of bum-filled alleys, whores-packed bars, rat-infested warehouses, etc. in other words Kingpin thrusts you into the getto face first, and that's pretty commendable for a genre which has gotten us used to fighting aliens or other monsters on extravagant military installations. Moreover, extra points should be awarded to Kingpin for the use of the F word so many times, every f&%$ing phrase in the game has either a F*&k or a Motherf%$&er in it, or a variation of it. Over the top? You betcha, and I think that helps the game a lot, since this isn't by all means a "discrete" game. Kingpin is all about making a lot of noise, and so it does. I also rejoiced in the fact that this could only happen in a PC. Try finding a game like Kingpin in any console! ;D

The Bad

Unfortunately, for all it's "attitude" Kingpin lacks a lot of things that prevent it from being nothing more than a mediocre shooter.

For starters there's the graphics. They are a fu&#ing piece of crap... or, well, "they aren't too good" :). The game suffers from severe quake-palette disorder. That is, everything is brown, dark brown, maybe some gray, but that's it. Needless to say it gets EXTREMELY boring after a while. Also, the characters seem to be all modeled as 100-pound gorillas with broad, gigantic shoulders, blocky heads, and chubby limbs. They look way too cartoonish (which does NOT help the game) and they get terribly boring to look at after a while. The bitches, er.. ladies, fare a little better, with a slimmer and more realistic look to them, but it's far from perfect.

But the worst problem with the game is it's monotony. The game plays the same way oooover and ooover again. The story goes along the lines of you being a beaten-up thug, who goes out for revenge. In order to carry out his crusade, our thug goes around the city collecting cash, guns, etc... and then since he apparently gets bored, he decides to go for the big guy upstairs, the Kingpin himself, in order to take his throne. Cool huh? Well, as you could probably tell the story is just a lame excuse to have you trashing gangs around in order to get their stuff and/or to get to the next section of the city. The problem is that all the gangs are essentially the same save for their clothing, and the game handles them in the same way all the time: You arrive to a new section of the city, go to the bar, and get a quest from some dude via a lousy interaction system which turns npcs into signposts ("-Is something going on? -Yeah! I need you to go and save my son timmy!"). Said quest puts the local gang in your way, and thus you have to remove them in order to get to the next section of the town, and go to it's bar, etc. etc.... There are a series of bosses on each section, but they are equally boring. They are just very though thugs. Anyway, hope you didn't get attached to that extremely original gameplay concept, because by the end of the game the whole facade is removed and you just go shooting everyone in order to get to the Kingpin....yipee...

The weapons also help make the whole affair uninteresting. They are the same ones you have seen in every other fps since the dawn of time, and the only standout is a barely effective flamethrower from which most enemies can quickly recover. Furthermore, all the weapons are suited for head-on in-your-face assaults (shotgun, tommy gun, rocket launcher, etc.). There's not a single weapon which allows you to make use of some strategic angle (like say, a sniper rifle) so the action may be fun, but it gets to be too much of the same after a short while... To complement your arsenal, you can hire up to 2 goons to watch your back, but they are dumb as dirt, and usually bite the dust before they can be of any use (except early on when they pack heavier weapondry than you).

The Bottom Line

Essentially Kingpin may be interesting to look at because of it's "F&*k you a$*hole" attitude and unusual setting. But it's a lame, boring, and unoriginal fps with no saving virtues.

Also keep in mind that this game is most assuredly NOT for the politically correct, and I'm not just talking about the cursing and violence...