Kingpin: Life of Crime by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre:First Person Shooter
Release:June 28, 1999
Developer: Xatrix Entertainment
Lead Artist:
ESRB Rating: Mature: animated blood, gore,and violence; stong language (low violence version included)
Publisher: Interplay
Website: Interplay site
Requirements:Pentium II 233, 64MB RAM, 570MB free hard disk space, 3D acceleration required
Recommended: Pentium II 300, 128 MB RAM, 570 MB hard disk drive space.

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Kingpin: Life of Crime


Xatrix is mostly known for its involvement with the Redneck Rampage line of products. Redneck Rampage provided humor and violence in one totally offensive package. Earl and Bubba are firmly ensconced as american computer game icons. Last time we looked this title was selling very well in areas like those where Burt Reynold's movie Deliverance was filmed.

The debate on computer violence rages from this game from America, a uniquely violent country which extremely humane laws. Most people internationally do not get the point over these violence debates while Americans vehemently either contend a range of theories from all to none of the world's violence caused by game violence. The game is just that a game for fun and nothing more. I find it a difficult moral issue to remove the responsibility for violent acts from the perpetrator and place them in the hands of entertainment. It could easily be said that mans portrayal of violence predates Homer's classic works. Games do not cause violence people do. However, in such a controversy its a good idea to look at the facts and make up your own mind.

Company Line

Irvine, California, June 28, 1999 - Interplay Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:IPLY) announced today the hotly anticipated 3D action game of the summer Kingpin: Life of Crime(TM), for Windows 95/98/NT, has shipped to retail outlets nationwide. Kingpin is a first person descent into the underground world of organized crime and episodic adventure. Given the current political climate within the video game industry, Interplay has gone to great lengths to insure that while Kingpin stays true to its artistic direction, consumers are informed to the nature of this title and the audience that it is intended. Kingpin carries an 'M' rating from the IDSA for mature audiences 17 and older.

"Kingpin is a tour-de-force of a gritty interactive entertainment experience, but is clearly targeted for older audiences," states Cal Morrell, vice president of marketing. "Interplay and Xatrix have included additional labeling, on-screen information and settings, above and beyond what is required for retail, to allow consumers to make an informed decision."

Set in a fictional retro-tech urban world, players are invited into a game of deep dark adventure, organized crime and revolutionary game technology. Based on an enhanced version of the Quake II(TM) engine, Kingpin allows players an ability to explore storylines and subplots, and prepare for confrontation before exploding into all-out warfare. With its film-noir style, superlative graphic detail and sinister soundtrack Kingpin is sure to find that crossover audience gaming's been waiting for.

Developed by Xatrix Entertainment, the 3D action game will include music from multi-platinum recording artists "Cypress Hill" whose raw sounds set the tone of Kingpin. With a team of hired bodyguards, players find their way through 27 levels and six varied episodes while a multi-player game invites up to 16 people over an online Internet server.

Powered by the enhanced Quake II engine, Kingpin delivers some of the most unbelievably realistic graphics as seen on the PC. Specific enhancements include 32-bit color, full alpha transparencies, goraud lighting of characters, neural net-based AI and a myriad of other advanced special effects including motion capture technology.

Game Play

Mahem against characters in game is weapon specific. Using a shotgun, a handgun or a lead pipe results in different graphic damage. Like some of the earlier role playing games that allowed for damage to head, torso, legs, and arms this approach has always been lauded as more accurate than the damage just becoming a nebulous number reducing overall health.

You can hire street thugs to join your adventuring party. These non player characters have a flawed artificial intelligence and often get killed or hung up on some terrain artifact. They do take some of the damage away from the main character and inflict some damage on their own, and while they do die a lot, they will give you some needed edge to complete the more difficult game sequences.

Plot elements and problem solving exist in the game but are a very minor consideration. You may have to figure out which valves to turn in one area or how to open large cargo doors with control panels. These types of puzzles are very easy when compared to a King's Quest title.


The Xatrix designers play fast and loose with plot just like they do with the graphic violence on this title. The game starts with you as the main male character getting beaten up and left for dead by two street punks for some nebulous offense or simply for the fun of it. After that you contend with a uniquely violent world for your own survival which requires you to seek out weapons to defend yourself and others from the elements of evil in the game who now that they have failed once are determined to do the job right.

After the inital beating you need to look carefully for a lead pipe and duck into a nearby warehouse to kill some security guards for their weapons. Like in real life characters in this game do not die easy requiring you to repeatedly pummel the antagonists with graphic results that show the slow destruction of the remarkable human body. The game is violence for violence sake.

Very few actions are morally justified. Why are you permitted to kill two innocent warehouse security men, just because they are armed? Later in the game you accept missions from strangers to save their kidnapped relatives or some such moral cause. Perhaps its ok for you to kill two armed innocents since your life depends on it and all these kidnapped people would have to languish in confinement untill another savior emerges. But the logic of this line of thought escapes me.

The scaryest thing about this title is that the atmosphere, the characterizations, and even the voluminous graphic violence are compelling and hold your interest even without a plot. You may find liking this brutal world and perhaps your soul will be tainted in the process. We then come back to my earlier conclusion. This is only a game and like pornography it should be kept out of the hands of children and only partaken of by consenting adults.

The official plot: Somewhere in a past that never existed lies the world of Kingpin- a landscape of burned-out buildings and urban decay, where local gangs rule the streets. Begin your rise to the top by assembling your own gang of thugs. If a new member turns out to be a punk, waste him and make way for new blood. Moving up in the world is sure to attract the attention of the Kingpin; eventually you're going to have to take him down.


Each scene is hand drawn like the original animated graphic feature films. They do not use repeatable scenes or tiles. The graphics in each location are unique and beutiful in a dingy dirty sort of way. The word I am serching for is gritty graphics.


The most remarkable thing about the animation is that the blood splats in a very realistic manner and never the same way twice. Each new mahem has been painstakingly depected. The light seems sourced and also seems filtered through a haze of airborne dirt, dust, and pollution.

Voice Actors

The voice actors curse more than talk.

Music Score

Cypress Hill is the band that put together the music of Kingpin. Click here to go the the site for the band behind the music of Kingpin: Life of Crime - Cypress Hill

Sound Effects


Very slow save game restore. A patch for the game corrects some problems Patch Page

Multi-player Features

Most glide and open GL cards are supported for multiplayer making the game play smooter online and on the net.

Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough

Kingpin: Life of Crime Cheats


  • Gamecenter
  • GameSpot
  • Charles Ardai, Computer Gaming World, October, 1999, issue 183, pgs 148-149, 4/5

    Put your review right here by emailing us the text.


    1. Official Interplay Site
    2. Press Release
    3. Newsite for Kingpin
    4. Kingpin mod, cheat, and strategy site
    5. The developer of Kingpin: Life of Crime
    6. The band behind the music of Kingpin: Life of Crime - Cypress Hill
    7. - Making You An Offer You Can't Refuse
    8. I.Am/Kingpin, Where Dons get made.
    9. Telefragged: Kingpin: An online resource for anything hosted over the internet - including games!
    10. Brady Games: Stuck in a game? Purchase a Brady Games strategy guide and take back control.
    11. Planet Kingpin: Where the Kingpin hangs out....Planet Kingpin.
    12. 3d Gamers: Kingpin demo available on 3D Action Gamers
    13. Kingpin: Crime Inc.: Get all of your Kingpin info from the proud affiliates of I*Play*Games.
    14. Urban Gangsta: There's gangsta's in the U.K. too, and here's the proof!
    15. I Am KingPin - fan site with cheats, strategies, console commands, and more.
    16. Kingpin Chopshop, The
    17. Kingpin Post
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