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Controversial, cult classic FPS game is finally back after 24 years

After 24 years, a classic but contentious FPS game, from the maker of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, is finally back, enhanced, and rebuilt.

Kingpin Reloaded Steam: A criminal from classic FPS game Kingpin

Half-Life, Doom, Unreal, Quake – the ‘90s will always be the golden age of the FPS, pioneering what we now lovingly think of as the boomer shooter. Among all of those landmark games, however, a few deserving, semi classics have been forgotten. At the time, they might have been too strange, too dark, too controversial to break the glass ceiling into the mainstream, but in hindsight, have certain qualities and characteristics that make them – dare I say it? – pioneering. From the developer behind PC icon Return to Castle Wolfenstein, one such overlooked and underloved ‘90s shooter is finally back; 24 years later, it feels surprisingly modern.

Revamped and relaunced today as Kingpin Reloaded, the original Kingpin Life of Crime first landed all the way back in 1999. A chunky, stylized, and very gory FPS game, it was controversial at the time thanks to its bad language and extreme violence. Nowadays, alongside the likes of Grand Theft Auto 5 and even The Last of Us, it looks relatively tame, but 24 years ago, Kingpin was notorious. Created by Gray Matter, which had previously launched the Quake 2 mission pack, The Reckoning, and would later develop Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Call of Duty United Offensive, Kingpin also pushed the needle with some inventive new mechanics.

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You could modify weapons, speak to almost any NPC, and choose positive or negative responses, and there were small hub worlds in between levels where you could recruit gang members to help you on your next mission. Kingpin also featured a body-area-specific wounding system – depending on where you hit someone, they’d get cuts and bullet holes on different limbs and body parts. Coupled with a jukebox soundtrack by Cypress Hill, in 1999, Kingpin was really something else.

And now it’s back. Kingpin Reloaded arrives today, Tuesday, December 5, and revitalizes the classic shooter with 4K and 60fps support, a new quest system, overhauled visuals, and a variety of tweaks and smaller improvements. If you want to experience this fascinating chunk of gaming history for the first time, or maybe take a trip down boomer shooter memory lane, Kingpin Reloaded is still well worth your time.

Alternatively, feed your nostalgia with some of the other best old games, or maybe try the best crime games available on PC.

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