Kingpin: Life of Crime is really interesting, what starts off as a tough as nails, slow paced, atmospheric first person experience which hates you quickly turns into an all out guns blazing fast paced action game that hates you even more. This is far tougher than the average 90's FPS game and will require luck, strategy and a skillfull approach to progress through it's big, open, levels.
The gameplay is varied, you can approach combat situations in different ways, going slowly and picking off enemies one by one or go in guns blazing like a typical FPS game from the 90's but don't expect to live for too long that way, the best approach is to use a mixture of the two.
The level design is somewhat reminscent of Quake 2's with non-linear layouts and multi-levelled structures that overlook area's of the map you're soon to visit or have already, mixed with some Half-Life's design choices. The levels are extremely well thought out and designed with not only looks but gameplay in mind and similar to that of Quake and Doom require you to look around for keys or items needed to progress and does not hold your hand and pull you through the map. The combat situations are often tough and leave you to overcome disadvantages which adds to the difficulty in a good way.
The AI is insane, the enemy will shoot you with almost instant, deadly accuracy as soon as you poke your nose around a corner which will frustrate a lot of people but I was able to overcome this by outsmarting the enemy in many ways such as luring them around corners and into your commandable gang members line of sight who will then mow the enemies down with the same ferocity the enemy AI shows towards to you which is really fun to watch. The AI is far from perfect, but in my opinion is WAY better and more interesting than what we see in modern shooters today, instead of artificially/dumbly taking cover behind barrels,walls and other forms of cover which makes them sitting ducks and actually easier to pick off, will run around, retreat then hide somewhere on the map, jump down from higher levels, climb ladders and attempt to out maneuver you which sometimes works to their success.
The visuals are amazing and take full advantange of the Quake 2 engine, with great lighting effects and detailed environments, there is literally nothing wrong with them but 50$ says this gets the bland, soulless HD remake along the line. The sound effects and voice acting are good, the weapons sound deadly and the AI has tons of classic lines, many including the 'f' word multiple times.
Overall this game really impressed me through-out, took around 8-9 hours of tough gameplay to complete, I wasn't able to finish this as a child due to it's crushing learning curve but if you stick around you'll experience a time when gaming was at it's peak but BE WARNED, a lot of patience is required!