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KingPin (PC)

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Shooter with loads of swearing! Developed by Xartrix and published by Interplay.

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    46 Reviews
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      11.05.2011 20:34
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      Try before you buy - or just stick with Grand Theft Auto.

      The media is a bit weird when it comes to its perception of "news events." Sometimes it is even hypocritical in ignoring one particular item and then picking up on another similar one at a later date. So it should come as little surprise to learn that whereas many previous violent games have recieved significant press attention, the spectacularly violent Kingpin, a 3D shoot-em-up from Xatrix and Interplay, managed to escape the ravages of the press. This is particularly odd, since the far less violent and far less amoral Night Trap was less lucky and received a real media battering many aeons ago, as did the ludicrously violent and totally-devoid-of-any-gameplay Postal. Carmageddon also got a fair bit of a press attention, yet Kingpin got away scot free. Could it really be that society and the media have become more permissve? Probably not--it's more likely that the press have more newsworthy stories to fill their papers pages with, such as the fourth coming of Star Wars and the marriage of some overpaid footballer or other to his loathsome tuneless popette girlfriend.

      If you've played the demo of Kingpin or read any other reviews of the game then you'll know what to expect--a game that is very, very, very violent indeed. The basic premise of the game is that in a run-down slum city by the name of Poisonville a small time crook steps on the toes of the local gang boss. The gang boss in turn gets his heavies to give this crook a good kicking, leaving him alive but heavily battered in a dingy alley. The hood swears vengeance and sets out to make his way to the top--to ultimately become Kingpin of the whole state.

      Unsurprisingly, this is where you come in. So, arming yourself with a variety of nasty weaponry, you have to smack, whack, blast, and maim your way through twenty or so levels of urban nastiness, till you reach the current Kingpin's residence and then kick his face in. As you might expect, given the game's setting, there's plenty of flying body parts and large helpings of tomato sauce, as well as more foul language than that which can be found in an episode of South Park. If you're at all squeamish, then you'll probably be better off wearing a blindfold and earplugs for the duration of the game. Or failing that, you can always install the less violent version of the game included on the CD. This features death but no blood and has all the expletives bleeped out. And given that every other word in the game is usually somewhat sweary, this can be both comical and confusing--a lot like the poorly dubbed version of Aliens that crops up on American cable channels and occasionally on UK TV. You wouldn't really expect someone to collapse, blood spurting from their bodies, screaming 'Golly gosh'--it wouldn't be realistic.

      Not that Kingpin itself is particularly realistic, mind you, given that most of the enemies in the game can take a shotgun blast or a couple of pistol rounds in the chest and keep coming. But if it was realistic, then your character would have next to no chance of blasting his way through the hordes of gangsters before him--this is more of a movie style jaunt into bloodsville. The game isn't a straight Quake style blast-em-up; it's no strategy game or RPG either, but there's a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing involved in the game.

      Kingpin's levels are arranged in a mini-hub style. In most of the levels, you start off on the city streets, and from there you can access two or so other areas, which are usually populated with gun-toting baddies, although you may have to perform the odd task to get access to the second area. However, you and the baddie gangsters aren't alone in the city. There are are a few other inhabitants around, although since most of the doors on the city levels are permanently sealed, preventing you from accessing buildings, they're all out on the street. They're all pretty apathetic to your predicament; indeed they couldn't care less whether you live or die. You can chat to them and you may learn the odd tidbit of information. Or if you're feeling less friendly you can take them out with a few well-aimed blasts and loot their bodies for cash, which can then be used later to better prepare you for a serious firefight. Just don't expect them to stand still while you do this. While the inhabitants of each city don't carry around rocket launchers, they will go at you with pistols and lead pipes if you give them any trouble. So make sure you're well tooled-up first.

      Once you wade into combat, you can expect things to get very messy very quickly, given the high gib-factor of Kingpin's weaponry. There are a variety of weapons you can use against your opponents, including a bog-standard pistol, a crowbar, a shotgun, a tommy-gun, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher, an assault rifle, and my personal favourite, especially useful at barbequeues, the flamethrower.

      The flamethrower is easily the most visually impressive weapon. Though, having said that, it does seem to be somewhat underpowered. You can hose enemies repeatedly with it, only to find that they recover and come back at you guns blazing, even if you empty half a tank of napalm into them. This is unlike Blood's flare-gun and aerosol-flamethrower which were more fun to use. All of the weapons have their own strengths and weaknesses: the shotgun has a high close-range impact but a lower long-range one, and the tommy gun does a fair bit of fast damage but eats ammo like there's no tomorrow.

      The money you loot from the bodies of your opponents and "civilians" can be used at the Pawn-o-matic shops to buy extra ammo for these weapons, the odd weapon enhancement such as a silencer for the pistol, and also armour and medikits. But somewhat disappointingly, you can only buy certain weapons after you've reached a particularly city. So you can't buy a rocket launcher in the second city, no matter how much money you have. And while you can pick up extra ammo from storerooms and bodies, you can't take the weapons from the bodies of your dead opponents; even if you've blown away someone who has a shotgun, you will have to wait until the level when you're meant to have a shotgun to find or purchase it.


      The enemies in Kingpin differ from those in most other shoot-em-ups in that they are a little intelligent. They're not as bright as the enemies in Half Life 1 or 2, but they will run away and try to hide behind something if they're taking a pummeling, and then nip out a second later and resume fighting. They can also climb ladders and open doors to track you down, and will indeed find you halfway across the level if you try to flee or if they hear your shots. The latter ability is suspect on the odd occasion in that you can flee from a baddy, get completely out of his line of sight and make very little sound, only to find that persistent bugger followed you all the way across the level. Is this a case of the computer cheating, or just bitterness on my part? Who knows.

      What I do know is that the enemies in the game are armed with a variety of weapons--starting off with pistols and shotguns, and getting more powerful gear throughout the game to the point where it can get ludicrously hard to stay alive. Fortunately, you're not entirely alone in your bloodlust. Each level usually contains a couple of gang members who will join you either for money or, in a couple of cases, to help you complete a job their boss gave you. But Kingpin isn't a Rainbow Six-style strategy game. These gang members, somewhat disappointingly, can't be healed, given new equipment, or ordered about in any real fashion, other than to tell them who to attack. They'll mostly just follow you around, occasionally getting between you and a door, blasting any baddies they run into, usually dying before long. These aides, like the baddies, show visible damage to certain parts of their bodies, though the baddies and your comrades never actually limp or lose their ability to shoot.

      Kingpin would be a better game if you could actually build up a proper gang. It was once rumoured that the game would include this feature, but Xatrix appear to have dropped it in development (if they ever considered it in the first place) in favour of making Kingpin a standard one-on-several dozen shoot-em-up.

      Kingpin's level design is okay if not original. The locations include a rusty ship, a subway, a railway, a steel factory, and quite a lot of warehouses. In fact, you visit most of the places that have cropped up in other games, particularly in Blood, only they look heavily run-down in this game. Mostly you have to blast your way to an item, blast your way out, and be given an item which lets you access another area, and so on. There's the odd deviation from this form, such as a mission where you have to protect a safe-cracker, get him to a safe alive, and get the item inside, but nothing too cerebral.

      There's even less thinking to do in deathmatch mode, which comes in two flavours: bog standard deathmatch in which you blast your opponent into bits a la Quake 2, and Bagman, which is a cross between standard deathmatch and capture the flag. In Bagman, you gain money by killing your opponents or raiding their safe and getting their cash to your safe, and the winner is the team with the most money. Deathmatch play is fun for a while, mainly because of the high gore factor, although it doesn't really have the long-term staying power of Half Life 2 or Team Fortress.

      In fact, that sums up Kingpin fairly well--it's fun (if disturbingly amoral) at first, but after a while, the novelty of the gore and gang-land scenario wears off, and it becomes a little bit samey. Half-Life 2 is a better and more atmospheric game if you're after a good and spooky 3D shoot-em-up. Kingpin isn't a bad game (unless you're Mary Whitehouse, and to be fair, the gratuitous gore and language is somewhat gimmicky), and is fun in the short term, but its longetivity is questionable. This is one game that you should definitely try before you buy.

      (review written by me and originally posted on GamesDomain)

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      18.11.2009 13:29
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      Violent, gritty and lots of fun

      Released back in 1999, Kingpin is a gritty and extremely violent first person shooter set in America's crinimal underworld and employing a heavily modified version of the Quake 2 engine. The game sees you play as a down-on-his-luck hoodlum who must work his way up through the criminal ranks by blasting his way through numerous levels filled with gun-toting gangsters and thugs.

      Essentially its just your usual 3D blast-fest with a few minor puzzle elements thrown in, but the game does possess some features that were rather novel at the time, such as allowing you to hire hitmen in dingy bars using money lifted from enemy corpses, as well as allowing you to blow off enemies heads and limbs with a range of rugged weapons including a pistol, shotgun, machine-gun and rocket-launcher. Collected money can also be used to buy new weapons and equipment at the various gun shops distributed throughout the game.

      The graphics, whilst chunky, are detailed and plished with a unique gritty charm all of their own, whilst the real-world level design is accomplished and fitting, the dystopian levels ranging from sewers, harbours, warehouses, rusted factories, penthouse complexes and slums.

      As well as your gangland foes, there are also numerous non-player characters throughout the game in the form of hookers, drugdealers and bums who often offer you tips and help to progress the story, and the voice acting is of a very high standard, with a very high expletive count indeed. Hiphop artists Cypress Hill even contribute with backing music taken from several of their albums.

      You will ofter find yourself in the midst of fairly large-scale gun battles between groups of enemies and you and your own hired goons, and these can be immensely fun, although the game loses its realistic edge and visceral appeal to a degree later on in the game when baddies become tougher to the point that they can take multiple rockets to the face.

      Overall, Kingpin is an inventive FPS possessive of its own unique style, and though it does become somewhat repetitive towards the end it is remains a delightfully gory and violent shooter with lots of entertainment value all the same.

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      04.09.2009 12:08

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      A graphically violent and crude game

      Kingpin is something of an underrated classic in the PC gaming world - its release tempered somewhat by its coinciding with the Columbine High School shootings, but it's nevertheless a great game that's visceral and visually impressive.

      You play a street level thug who begins the game being beaten up by the Kingpin's henchmen. From here, your goal is to get revenge on the Kingpin and take him down. The aesthetic borrows a lot from cyberpunk, combining very rustic and archaic archetecture with more modern cityscapes that have seemingly been rusted and burned to the ground - this creates a very dystopic, uneasy feel and atmosphere to the game that goes hand in hand with the paranoia that your character feels, that he could be assailed by anyone else walking the streets.

      What I love is just how raw and gritty the game is - you begin with a lead pipe of all things, and although it'll do for now with beating street thugs to death, soon enough you'll want to upgrade the pipe to a gun, and go from there. Much like the later-released Soldier of Fortune, the game focuses on extreme violence, with weapons doing incredible damage to enemy's bodies, with the ability to rather severely deform any would-be assailant. In a rather clever addition, and one that future games still haven't really picked up on, if you wound an enemy, they will leave a blood trail that you can follow, ensuring they don't get back to their buddies and tell them what's happened (and even if they do, just unload a bunch of bullets on them).

      Despite all of this violence, the game has a surprising level of depth - you can chat to NPC characters and persuade them of various things (particularly not to kill you), and can furthermore augment your weapons as you progress, to fire faster and hold a greater capacity of bullets. This is a violent, gratuitous game that's not for young players, but mature audiences wanted something that doesn't condescend to you will be left very satisfied.

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      20.10.2001 01:01
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      Kingpin was made semi famous within the PC Community because it contained a lot of swearing. Of course the majority of PC gamers want a game with substance to go along with the swearing. The game was popular because it contained this - however the main selling point is also the games main detrimental feature. I will explain further later in this review. The fact is if used sparingly swearing can make impact. The problem is every conversation in this game is riddled with F*CK, S*IT etc After around 5 minutes of this the dialogue becomes very yawn some, very soon. There is an option to remove swearing - which although welcome is pretty pointless anyway as the overall theme of the game is so adult anyway. ******************* Note to developers: ******************* Removing swearing and blood does not make the game child friendly when you can still shoot people and bludgeon them to death with Crowbars. Ok, so far I have explained that the dialogue probably won't be winning too many Oscars. I will now explain more about the game: This game is a First Person Shooter (FPS), as far as FPS games go this isn't a classic. It suffers from having unbalanced gameplay (some parts are too easy others too hard). It also suffers from having badly designed levels in places that give you no impetus to continue on with the game. This is a shame as Kingpin does contain some decent weapons, along with excellent graphics that still look good even in the current climate of graphical brilliance in abundance in the games market. Characters look satisfyingly real though the same character models are used ad infinitum making you think that this game is using Human Cloning to a vast degree. Also in cut scenes that are rendered using the games own engine, the characters skin seems to take on a liquid form. It ripples when it shouldn?t and just looks very odd. The AI for computer characters isn't too bad. Vi
      rtually all of the computer characters can be interacted with and spoken to using three different commands. Positive, Negative and Hostile responses can be given using 3 different keys. Sometimes a character will offer to help you out for a payment, this works well. Sound in this game is good, though sadly the script problems I mentioned earlier help to ruin any potential atmosphere this game could have induced. A sequel to Kingpin would be well welcomed by me, which if they managed to take out all the annoying flaws that stopped this game from being the classic would be a vast improvement. Multi-player mode is included as is par for the course in any respectable PC game nowadays. I haven't played the multi-player aspect too much, though I wouldn't think that a game such as this would work very well - the selection of weapons isn't good for multi-player, nor is the athleticism of the characters. Would I recommend that you purchase this, - I would say if you are a big FPS fan who can overlook the flaws then 'yes' you should buy it. Only buy it however if you must really have all games within this genre, there are better ones out their to purchase. I paid £5 for this game - so I can't complain too much. 3 Stars Kev

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        26.08.2001 23:32
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        Kingpin, is the latest game to overtake GTA as the media's No.1 punching bag. Highly criticized nation-wide for its violent tendencies, and liberal use of coarse swear words, Kingpin is a 1st person shooter based on the highly idolized "gangster" genre! Developed by Xatrix, who have previously brought you the highly comical and underrated 'Redneck Rampage', Kingpin really does deserve that 18 rating that is slapped on the front of the box because I don't think Xatrix had censorship in mind when creating this title, but come on people...It's just a game? This looks very much like Manchester on a saturday night! As I said above, Kingpin is a 1st person shooter with a gangster theme. You start the game as a low-life bum who just received a severe beating from two thugs, who left you in an alley. When you come around you find a very handy lead pipe in a trash can and start you quest for revenge. However as you continue into the game you find out that is was actually the cities "Kingpin" who organized your beating and so you then decided to kill him and take over his business...Good old fashioned revenge! Kingpin does incorporate some RPG elements into the story as you progress through the game, you can search dead bodies and steal money from people with which you can buy weapons and ammo from the occasional gun shops that you come across. However the main part of the game, (and the main reason for the media concern!!!) is to do with talking to people. You can interrogate beggars for info, you can hire punks to join your cause or you can just insult everyone! When talking to people you get three options of speech, positive (friendly), negative (insulting) or action specific (which is just giving money or items!). Depending on how you question someone, will decided how they react to you, so if you ask someone, something like "What's up?" (Friendly) They will probably tell you about
        a hidden stash of weapons or tell you where someone your looking for is hiding. However the negative speech just involves saying things like "I'm gonna fuck you up" or "I'm gonna put a cap in your fucking ass?" etc...Which will most probably end up with you receiving a berreta shot to the head! What the fuck are you looking at bitch?! Kingpin, has been created using an improved Quake 2 engine, which features highly improved AI, improved lighting effects and some absolutely brilliant textures. This games looks insanely nice, I would even go as far as saying that it looks better then Unreal! This of course is due to the new textures as mentioned before, and some brilliant level design. The textures are very crisp and clear and create the urban, run-down worlds perfectly. All the gun model's are very detailed and the character model's are all body responsive, so if you knee-cap someone, a load of blood pours from the wound and that person starts limping around. A feature included that I think should always be included in any 1st person shooter is that head shots kill instantly, and when used with the silencer, is pretty satisfying. The choice of weapons, however is rather limited, because you only get a default weapon (lead pipe, crowbar), a pistol, shotgun, tommy gun, HMG, grenade launcher (which is particularly nice!) bazooka and flame thrower. This may sound like a lot especially when you can get upgrades but the selection does get quite boring, especially when the bazooka (which should be very powerful) needs at least two rounds to finish someone off! The in-game music (done by ganster rappers, Cypress Hill) add's to the whole ganster theme, and the sound effects are pretty top notch, especially when listening to a guy running around screaming after you just set him on fire using the flame thrower (another great feature!!!). As I said, the graphics are un
        -believable! Even though Xatrix have done a great job with the game's engine and Ganster themeing, underneath it is really only an average 1st person shooter which I completed in less then 2 day's on the medium setting. The speech system isn't totally flawless, because most of the time the speech doesn't even follow on correctly from the statement e.g. Statement - "What the fuck are you looking at?" Answer - "Did you moma teach you that!". See what I mean, it doesn't really make sense. At first all the swearing and being able to beat people up with a lead pipe was fun but after a few levels, the novelty of being able to tell someone your gonna blow their fucking head off wore off and became very tedious and annoying! Still Kingpin add's some nice variety to the now seemingly frustrating and tired, 1st person genre. I would recommend it but don't blame me when you become bored after a few levels of game play, still the multi-player features could just be it's savior because multiplayer Kingpin is excellent, mainly because of the brilliant flame thrower, and devastating grenade launcher!

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          23.06.2001 23:58
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          Kingpin is an orgy of blood, swearing and great music (provided by Cypress hill). This is an adult game which is not for the faint hearted. the opening sequence contains "motherf**ker no less than 3 times, and it only lasts 20 seconds. To start off with you are a punk beaten within inches of your life by Nicky Blanco's gang. You decide that you're not taking this from anyone any more. So you set off to get revenge, you set to become the Kingpin (the "Big Daddy" of crime). You must fight your way through 6 gigantic episodes of bloodshed. Each episode has a dominant gang and a crime boss (each of them are underlings of the Kingpin who you face in the last episode). You are not meant to do this alone however. The game has a neat feature which enables you to hire a few gangsters with money looted from the dead bodies. You can give them basic orders like "attack" and "wait." The game features 9 realistic weapons, no plasma rifles or anything like that. Machine guns and shotguns and similar weapons are the order of the day. Limbs can be blown off and the bullet wounds look ultra-realistic. One of the best moments in the game is when you first blow someone's head right off their shoulders. Now on to the multiplayer. Xatrix (the developers) haven't been lazy about the multiplayer side of the game. The pings are very low (that's good in case you didn't know) so that makes for some fast and furious deathmatch shenanigans. A wide range of skins and models are available. For each of the 3 models there a 3 different body segments. The head, torso and legs. About 200 different skins for each body segment on each model, so you more than likely using an original DM skin. The DM levels are well designed with lots of hidden nooks and crannies. There are maps designed for the team-based bagman DM variation which basically involves being the richest team at the end of the timelimit. In conclusion: Ki
          ngpin is a good balanced game, with its own style. It's a bloody decent game.

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          04.04.2001 21:43

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          Kingpin, Xatrix's encore to its first-person shooter Redneck Rampage, is packaged with the most disclaimers of any game ever released. By the time you've successfully installed it, you will have clicked through an age statement, some dire content warnings, and an impassioned editorial on youth violence and responsible parenting by Xatrix CEO Drew Markham. After all the dramatic claims of impending immorality, you may be disappointed to discover that the hand-wringing is simply over Kingpin's inclusion of an absurd Smurf-esque hooligan dialect in which every second word is profane. That's it. There's plenty of violent content tossed in, but no more than in any other game in the genre. Whether the prerelease infamy and the embarrassment of disclaimers are a result of the current political climate or conscious hyperbole by the Interplay marketing machine, they tend to overshadow what is actually a decent shooter. The developers claim to have been greatly influenced by film. Kingpin's dialogue is inspired by and, as often as not, lifted directly from Pulp Fiction. The mob bigwig you're chasing is a Ving Rhames look- and sound-alike (the credits list Drew Markham himself as having provided the dead-on impersonation). One enemy, called The Jesus, repeatedly screams all of that character's most obscene lines from The Big Lebowski. The more obvious of these pop culture appropriations occasionally gives Kingpin the feel of an amateur novelty mod. When it comes to plot, though, Kingpin is less Tarantino and more an homage to the side-scrolling beat-'em-ups of the '80s. You're an avenging thick-necked goon traveling through a bleak urban landscape on a quest to kick some big boss tail. Quite frankly, this isn't a bad choice. It's high time someone brought Double Dragon into the world of action shooters. The nonstop cussing rapidly becomes background noise, and you'll immediately become aware of what in
          credible use the developers have made of the Aging Quake II Engine (through repeated use, "Aging" is now officially part of the immortal codebase's title). Taking inspiration from the cluttered post-retro styles of City of Lost Children and Brazil, Xatrix has created a stunningly bleak cityscape. Each of the game's six locales is a beautifully depicted metropolitan nightmare - trash-strewn slum apartments, steaming grilles, rattling graffiti-covered trains, monolithic smokestacks, and grimy brick bathed in twilight all add to the dense atmosphere. The programmers have added the obligatory corona, fog, and shadow effects, along with amazing texture work and some convincingly towering architecture, giving Kingpin perhaps the most brilliant look of any virtual gameworld to date. As with its environments, Kingpin boasts some of the most distinctive character design of any available shooter. Although there are only four basic models included - fat man, muscle man, woman, and dog - there is a huge assortment of skins and accessories so that no two figures look exactly alike. The models themselves are a perfect match for the architecture - outsize and thick. As they are damaged, the characters become noticeably mangled. An enemy's blood-streaked face illuminated by the muzzle flash of his tommy gun is a fiercely effective image common in the game. While Kingpin's appearance is beyond reproach, its gameplay is not. Xatrix has attempted to incorporate some adventure elements into the standard first-person shooter play style, but, as often as not, these features are either poorly implemented or simply extraneous. You can communicate with NPCs, and, depending on which key you use to initiate the interaction, your approach can be either passive or aggressive. It's a good idea, but as presented, it has little real effect on the game. Necessary information will be given, seemingly regardless of the attitude picked, and nonessentia
          l NPC dialogues are merely an endless series of profanity-laden non sequiturs amounting to absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, friendly characters are provoked by your drawn weapon. To prevent them from becoming combative, there is a command to holster your gun and walk around peacefully. Again, a good idea, but as implemented, ultimately frustrating. By the game's second level, enemies tend to attack on sight, and it's not always clear who's a thug and who's a civilian, often making the game a saving and loading drill as you wander around, guns down, while mapping out which personalities are aggressive. In another nod to adventure games, several levels have a Pawn-O-Matic - a shop selling weapons and armor. Cash can be looted from corpses and spent here. While lots of items are listed, the only products in supply are those currently available in the level, resulting in the whole thing being somewhat pointless except as a way to stock up on health. Cash can also be used to retain up to two bodyguards, and here Kingpin is quite successful. The AI for your companions is exemplary and easily outshines the similar presentation in Half-Life. Your hired muscle will effortlessly follow you through level transitions, up and down ladders, and through cramped tunnels, always making an almost flawless effort to keep up with you. Guards can be commanded to either follow you, stay put, or target a specific object. This simple interface adds a fun aspect to the game - positioning your goons lets you set up tactical retreats and stage bloody ambushes. Half-Life proved that a game designed using the Quake II engine can have seamless, almost unnoticeable level transitions. Valve could start a side business teaching other licensees how to accomplish this feat, because no other developer has managed it, Xatrix included. Kingpin's load times are painful, and the oft-repeated act of quick loading a saved game takes as long as an initial level
          startup. The game also suffers from the Unreal model of diminishing features. The first level utilizes all the engine and interface elements rather well - the Pawn-O-Matic is useful, character interaction is meaningful, the importance of sneaking is established then employed - but by the second level these things are quickly abandoned and replaced by increasingly indistinguishable firefights. Some miniboss battles are so poorly staged that you may not even be aware that something of importance is occurring. Your final encounter with the crime lord is unembellished and anticlimactic, though by the time you reach it, you won't be expecting much else. Accompanying the gameplay on its descent into repetition is Kingpin’s heavily promoted soundtrack by Cypress Hill. Only three tracks are included, all taken directly off the group's 1998 album IV. With just three songs available, with one of them constantly playing, each cut quickly wears out its welcome. Considering Kingpin uses the mature Quake II engine, multiplayer is, as expected, acceptable, with performance not as good as Quake itself but superior to most other available products. Heat.net and Gamespy support are included, as are the standard deathmatch and team-play options. While no co-op mode is present, Xatrix has created a custom team-play mod called Bagman. It's a fun variation on capture the flag, in which safes and piles of money replace flags. Additionally, the game's huge number of enemy skins can be used in deathmatch play, allowing for an unparalleled level of out-of-the-box player customization. The list of annoying weaknesses and underused features is long but doesn't ruin Kingpin. To say it isn't much more than what's come before shouldn't be taken as a complete dismissal; it merely separates the game from a fully realized landmark product like Half-Life. There is fun to be had here, and the game offers a more than acceptable amount
          of intense gunplay. And for those of you worried about your delicate sensibilities, the game has a low-violence install that bleeps out the swearing - making the dialogue a long string of beeps punctuated by the words "mother," "you," and "yourself."

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          10.03.2001 23:35

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          Kingpin is the latest game to overtake GTA as the media's No.1 punching bag. Highly criticized nation-wide for its violent tendencies, and liberal use of coarse swear words, Kingpin is a 1st person shooter based on the highly idolized "Gangster" genre! Developed by Xatrix, who have previously brought you the highly comical and underrated 'Redneck Rampage', Kingpin really does deserve that 18 rating that is slapped on the front of the box because I don't think Xatrix had censorship in mind when creating this title, but come on people...It's just a game? As I said above, Kingpin is a 1st person shooter with a gangster theme. You start the game as a low-life tramp that just received a severe beating from two thugs, who left you in an alley. When you come around you find a very handy lead pipe in a trashcan and start you quest for revenge. However as you continue into the game you find out that is was actually the cities "Kingpin" who organized your beating and so you then decided to kill him and take over his business...Good old fashioned revenge! Kingpin does incorporate some RPG elements into the story as you progress through the game; you can search dead bodies and steal money from people with which you can buy weapons and ammo from the occasional gun shops that you come across. However the main part of the game (and the main reason for the media concern!!!) is to do with talking to people. You can interrogate beggars for info, you can hire punks to join your cause or you can just insult everyone! When talking to people you get three options of speech, positive (friendly), negative (insulting) or action specific (which is just giving money or items!). Depending on how you question someone, will decided how they react to you, so if you ask someone, something like "What's up?" (Friendly) They will probably tell you about a hidden stash of weapons or tell you where someone your looking for is hid
          ing. However the negative speech just involves saying things like "I'm goanna **** you up" or "I'm going to put a cap in your ******* ass?" etc. Which will most probably end up with you receiving a berretta shot to the head! Kingpin has been created using an improved Quake 2 engine, which features highly improved AI, improved lighting effects and some absolutely brilliant textures. This games looks insanely nice, I would even go as far as saying that it looks better then Unreal! This of course is due to the new textures as mentioned before, and some brilliant level design. The textures are very crisp and clear and create the urban, run-down worlds perfectly. All the gun models are very detailed and the character models are all body responsive, so if you kneecap someone, a load of blood pours from the wound and that person starts limping around. A feature included that I think should always be included in any 1st person shooter is that head shots kill instantly, and when used with the silencer, is pretty satisfying. The choice of weapons, however is rather limited, because you only get a default weapon (lead pipe, crowbar), a pistol, shotgun, Tommy gun, HMG, grenade launcher (which is particularly nice!) bazooka and flame thrower. This may sound like a lot especially when you can get upgrades but the selection does get quite boring, especially when the bazooka (which should be very powerful) needs at least two rounds to finish someone off! The in-game music (done by gangster rappers, Cypress Hill) adds to the whole gangster theme, and the sound effects are pretty top notch, especially when listening to a guy running around screaming after you just set him on fire using the flame thrower (another great feature!!!). Even though Xatrix have done a great job with the game's engine and Gangster theme, underneath it is really only an average 1st person shooter, which I completed in less, then 2 day's on the m
          edium setting. The speech system isn't totally flawless, because most of the time the speech doesn't even follow on correctly from the statement e.g. Statement - "What the **** are you looking at?" Answer - "Did your momma teach you that!” See what I mean, it doesn't really make sense. At first all the swearing and being able to beat people up with a lead pipe was fun but after a few levels, the novelty of being able to tell someone your going to blow their ******* head off wore off and became very tedious and annoying! Still Kingpin adds some nice variety to the now seemingly frustrating and tired, 1st person genre. I would recommend it but don't blame me when you become bored after a few levels of game play, still the multi-player features could just be it's saviour because multiplayer Kingpin is excellent, mainly because of the brilliant flame thrower, and devastating grenade launcher!

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          06.03.2001 19:28
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          This game is an absolutely great shoot 'em up - that is, if A LOT of bad language doesn't put you off too much. The story-line takes you to the city streets where you are a lowly thug trying to work your way up to be the "Kingpin". You start off with nothing but a lead pipe and have to talk your way through the streets to get gang members and weapons. You have your choice of either talking nice or nasty to the people on screen. The only downside is their responses are VERY limited...usually to just two or three sentences. The language is rather crude but I think it adds to the feel of the game being set in the streets. It is DEFINITELY NOT for kids and they do have a warning label on the box. This game also has a multiplayer option for Internet/Network play which is quite entertaining if you have a fast enough connection and enough people to play (you can play Kingpin over HEAT at http://www.heat.net but you have to download the software first). The only real problem I have with this game is the load times. When you go from one level, or "scene" into another, or sometimes from one building to another, it takes a while to load (even on a Pentium III 550mhz). Overall, however, this game is very addictive to play and I enjoyed the story-line/violence that went with it. Worth buying.

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          21.02.2001 16:05
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          I heard about the violence / hype and after putting together a high-end system found the game second-hand for £10. I started playing it like a traditional FPS, just running round trying to kill NPC's. I found myself getting killed every time, so I sat back and read the manual. I found out that I could hold positive/negative conversations, hire gang members, rob corpses for money,etc. This transformed the game, introducing some much needed strategy and depth to the FPS genre. The game looks beautiful in high res, very fluid character animation, great lighting effects and gritty street environments. I am sure every gamer can identify with a dirty street, whereas the alien /sci-fi settings of Half-Life and Quake II require a bit more suspension of disbelief. I really like this game, and would suggest any gamer who likes FPS games check it out. The swearing and violence adds atmosphere and reinforces the grittiness of the game world. Chasing a fat man down an alley while beating him with a crowbar was a vivid and gripping experience. Highly recommended!!

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            10.02.2001 18:52

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            I first played this game at my friend’s house. My first reaction was another shoot ‘em up game, another game trying to reach ‘Quake’ standard. After playing ‘Quake’ and ‘Half-life’ I thought, there will be no comparison, ‘Quake’ and ‘Half-life’ will blow it away. But after seeing my friend play it and having a few games myself, I thought there might be a chance. After seeing all the violence and listening to all the swearing and cussing, I thought Yeah! This is my kind of game. What also made me impressed with this game was the ability to create your own ‘HARDASS’ gang. From people having lead pipes to proper BADBOYZ having machine guns and even some people having DYNAMITE to blow up other gangsters’ safes. After seeing my friend play it a few times, I decided to get myself a copy. The gameplay was awesome. It’s a realistic game (which is definitely not suitable for youngsters under the age of 18 although I played it when I was 14) with intense violence and swearing makes it ONLY suitable for over 18s. The fact that I’ve played ‘Half-life’ and ‘Kingpin’, I think that ‘Kingpin’ definitely beats ‘Half-life’ just about. Although ‘Half-life’ did come up with the ability to have a gang of two cops or scientists (or both) by your side, ‘Kingpin’ made a great variation of that ability. ‘Half-life’ should have made a variation of people to choose from not only cops and scientists. ‘Half-life’ could have gotten an idea from ‘Unreal’ by having an alien accompanying you to reveal a secret or just helping you get past a gang of enemies. A disadvantage is that you can only have two other people in your gang and not more. However it’s good enough how it is. What I didn’t know the first time I played ‘Kingpin’ w
            as that after you kill someone, whether it would be a person in a gang to a hooker on the next corner, is that you can search them for any money they have. This is especially useful because some people carry large stashes of money. Also when fighting other gangs is when your crew dies, you can take back the money you hired them with. So you’ll always have enough money to buy a new gang. What also makes this game realistic is that when see a hooker on the street or see people at bars you can chat them up for more information about your missions, which I think, is pretty cool. What I think is a disadvantage is that you can’t play a cooperative game with your mate. I wanted to be in a big gang with my friend him having two guys and me having two guys. This is because in some areas of the game you find yourself out numbered so it is best to have a big gang and play the game on hard. The deathmatch however is a good advantage. Although I battered my friend with ease (Sorry Kevin) it was very enjoyable for both of us. A disadvantage for the muliplayer game however is that it doesn’t have enough modes like ‘Unreal Tournament’. If ‘Kingpin’ had things like Capture the Flag or Team deathmatch or even a mode for special errands this game would be 50 times better.

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            04.01.2001 08:16
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            I first played this game at my friend’s house. My first reaction was another shoot ‘em up game, another game trying to reach ‘Quake’ standard. After playing ‘Quake’ and ‘Half-life’ I thought, there will be no comparison, ‘Quake’ and ‘Half-life’ will blow it away. But after seeing my friend play it and having a few games myself, I thought there might be a chance. After seeing all the violence and listening to all the swearing and cussing, I thought Yeah! This is my kind of game. What also made me impressed with this game was the ability to create your own ‘HARDASS’ gang. From people having lead pipes to proper BADBOYZ having machine guns and even some people having DYNAMITE to blow up other gangsters’ safes. After seeing my friend play it a few times, I decided to get myself a copy. The gameplay was awesome. It’s a realistic game (which is definitely not suitable for youngsters under the age of 18 although I played it when I was 14) with intense violence and swearing makes it ONLY suitable for over 18s. The fact that I’ve played ‘Half-life’ and ‘Kingpin’, I think that ‘Kingpin’ definitely beats ‘Half-life’ just about. Although ‘Half-life’ did come up with the ability to have a gang of two cops or scientists (or both) by your side, ‘Kingpin’ made a great variation of that ability. ‘Half-life’ should have made a variation of people to choose from not only cops and scientists. ‘Half-life’ could have gotten an idea from ‘Unreal’ by having an alien accompanying you to reveal a secret or just helping you get past a gang of enemies. A disadvantage is that you can only have two other people in your gang and not more. However it’s good enough how it is. What I didn’t know the first time I played ‘Kingpin’ wa
            s that after you kill someone, whether it would be a person in a gang to a hooker on the next corner, is that you can search them for any money they have. This is especially useful because some people carry large stashes of money. Also when fighting other gangs is when your crew dies, you can take back the money you hired them with. So you’ll always have enough money to buy a new gang. What also makes this game realistic is that when see a hooker on the street or see people at bars you can chat them up for more information about your missions, which I think, is pretty cool. What I think is a disadvantage is that you can’t play a cooperative game with your mate. I wanted to be in a big gang with my friend him having two guys and me having two guys. This is because in some areas of the game you find yourself out numbered so it is best to have a big gang and play the game on hard. The deathmatch however is a good advantage. Although I battered my friend with ease (Sorry Kevin) it was very enjoyable for both of us. A disadvantage for the muliplayer game however is that it doesn’t have enough modes like ‘Unreal Tournament’. If ‘Kingpin’ had things like Capture the Flag or Team deathmatch or even a mode for special errands this game would be 50 times better. Anyway for the price that it is, it’s definitely worth buying no doubt about it!

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            27.12.2000 01:40

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            I played this game when at a friends house, I found it very enjoyable and very good if you have a powerful graphics card, you are able to play a network game and then play other people in a battle mode, there is a choice of stages in which you can fight. It is quite similar to Quake, as it looks the same and it is the same type of objective. There are many weapons to pick up, these can be toggled through to choose the best for a certain situation, a very good game in all!

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            11.12.2000 05:47
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            Kingpin set out to gain attention by getting itself condemned in as many ways as possible. It is essentially just like any other first person shooter, but with the action bordering on racist and foul language flying as fast as the bullets, Kingpin quickly got itself noticed. As most children know, negative attention is better than no attention at all. That said, Kingpin is still an enjoyable game. You are initially thrown into a rough area of town with nothing but a crowbar to your name. The story is that you've been severely beaten by some kingpin's thugs. You must protect yourself from hostile gangs and random violent people while acquiring weapons and seeking revenge on your enemy, finally becoming a kingpin yourself. Some of the locals are helpful, and will give you valuable information. Some are available for hire and will obey a number of commands. You can also improve yourself in different ways each game depending on the equipment you buy. There are different weapons and different weapon add-ons. The game is worth playing a few times at least. However, it is no Blood or Quake.

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            24.11.2000 13:40
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            There seems to be a plethora of 3D 1st person shoot em up games released of late, and indeed they are the genre of the moment, much to do with the incredibly fast advancement in the power and technology of CPU's and 3D Graphics cards. Kingpin is in many ways the same as the rest, but offers something slightly different. For a start, how it ever got passed uncut (even as an 18 certificate) is beyond me, because the foul and abusive language is coarse and continuous to say the least! That said, there is more to this game than the language, and underneath the hard surface is a very playable and enjoyable 3D game. The violence is almost as extensive as the language, but this just adds to the image of the game the creators were trying to achieve. Whether this image is right, that is your choice, and some would argue that the violence and language are an unnecessary addition to any game, while others would dispute the point. The game itself looks great, provided you have a top spec machine. For a start you will need a cracking 3D graphics card, and if you do, then you are in for a treat, and the visuals in this game are stunning. On a fast PC this game runs smoothly and plays superbly, and I did enjoy the time I spent playing this game. However, I suspect this game will drain anything less than a PII350 beyond a level deemed unplayable. In terms of originally, apart from the sickening violence and foul language, there is very little (well, nothing) new on offer. This begs the question of are you a fan of this genre and do you want more? If you answer is yes to both, then this will be a great addition to your collection, but if either of those is NO, then stay well clear as chances are you will regret your purchase. There are few games I agree with that are certificate 18, and making games like Carmageddon an 18 certificate is simply a joke. However, this is once classification I would agree with, and this game definitely isn't one for this kids, stri
            ctly for the more mature gamer only. I found this to be an enjoyable gaming experience, further enhanced by the language and violence. This will not be the case for everyone, and if you are not completely open minded, or indeed easily offended then stay well clear.... If I had to pick a criticism it would be the difficulty level. On the easy level, the game is indeed too easy, and on Hard, its difficult beyond a joke! Normal is also quite easy, but gives the best overall balance. I think experienced gamers (especially those who have played the likes of Half-Life, Quake etc.) will have little trouble completing it on the easy & normal stages. I found this to be a top game that I thought was well worth the £30 I paid...However, some think the same!

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