If you've sworn off of swear words, then 1999's Kingpin: Life of Crime is probably not the first-person shooter for you. A seedy crime story set in a metropolis dripping with art deco influences, Kingpin was best-known for its over-the-top violence, its Cypress Hill soundtrack, and its cranked-up sailor's mouth dialogue. 3D Realms is behind the upgrade, which will bring Kingpin to PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Originally developed by Xatrix Entertainment (later Gray Matter Interactive, which then merged with Treyarch), Kingpin stars a nameless player character who sets out on a quest for vengeance against the Kingpin's lieutenant. A conversation system for recruiting other gangsters and damage-based deformation on enemies set Kingpin's gameplay apart from other shooters of the era, while the licensed soundtrack and era-blending world design gave the game character beyond its swear-tastic thugs. One of Kingpin's top-credited artists, Viktor Antonov, went on to become the art director for Half-Life 2 and visual designer for Dishonored.
The new trailer for Kingpin: Reloaded features Cypress Hill's "Checkmate," so hopefully publishers Interplay are able to keep the original soundtrack intact. Either way, the new release will feature both classic and enhanced modes, support for 4K and ultrawide resolutions, and improved systems for quests and conversations.
3D Realms lists Kingpin: Reloaded as a digital-only title at the moment, set to release sometime later this year. For the past few years, 3D Realms has mostly focused on publishing new '90s-inspired titles such as Voidpoint's Ion Fury, which attracted attention last year for in-game jokes about marginalized people. Kingpin will be 3D Realm's first release in a throwback franchise since Duke Nukem Forever.
2020's shaping up to be a strong year for old-school shooters. On top of Kingpin, Bethesda's Doom ports just received a significant update last week, a port of Doom 64 is slated to release alongside Doom Eternal in March, and toward the immersive sim side of things, Nightdive Studios' remake of System Shock is set to launch soon. As a character in Kingpin might say, it's a fucking great time to be a fan of classic FPS games.