Developed by veteran studio Avalanche Software, 25 to Life is designed to place the online tactical action of a squad-based shooter in open urban settings that are reminiscent of the latter-day Grand Theft Auto games. Through two parallel perspectives on the same ongoing conflict, 25 to Life offers play as either a law enforcement officer or a streetwise gangsta. In either case, players are equipped with the tools of their respective trades; cops can make use of their superior training with firearms or call for helicopter air support, while gang members can choose from a wider selection of weapons and use civilian hostages as human shields.
The game was built with online play in mind, and several multiplayer modes are supported. Players can customize their characters with tattoos, brand-name apparel, and other accessories, then take them online to join others for team deathmatch-style competition. A full-fledged single-player campaign is also included, casting players in the role of an urban up-and-comer who finds trouble on both sides of the thin blue line. The plot of the single-player game was written by P. Frank Williams, famous for his successes as an author, magazine editor, and television producer. The game's soundtrack features selections by rap artists Mos Def, DMX, Ghostface Killah, and others.
25 to Life is a cops vs. robbers style of action game from Eidos. It puts you in a gang lifestyle with plenty of foul language and pointless killing. Will this be a life sentence or will we be making a jail break?
In 25 to Life you play as three different characters; Shaun Calderon gangster, Detective Lester Williams and Andre Freeze Francis. The game starts out with Freeze coming to the decision that he no longer wants to be involved with the criminal world. As soon as he tries to leave, his family is kidnapped and he's forced to fight to escape.
Each single player mission in 25 to Life has an objective and several secondary objectives. Killing enemies, headshots, and breaking cash machines are a few of the secondary objectives. Completing secondary objectives opens up more multiplayer mode items. The AI in single player mode is so bad you don't even want to play the game. Even after shooting at cops no one calls for back-up. You just go along your merry way killing cops with no one around. Yeah this happens in real life. Not. And, guess what, you get a full 16 levels for cops to act dumb and not call for back up. What planet was this game molded after? So, you can shoot your way through 16 levels without a care in the world.
Weapons along the way are a 9MM, a 44 Auto, 357, Shotgun, Sub-Machine Gun, AK, and Sniper Rifle. You can also pick up bombs like a Concussion Grenade, Pipe Bomb, and Tear Gas. You can do a little hand to hand and use the old school Baseball bat, Tire Iron, Knife and Stan Gun. The enemies in 25 to Life are very dumb and don't know a lot of times what to do. If you are in a gang fight and you are between your guy and an enemy, your gang member will just unload on you because you are there, like it doesn't even know who you are. Depending on which character you're playing, you can take a human shield or stun an opponent and arrest them. When arresting an opponent in the middle of a gunfight you become invincible while you're putting on the handcuffs. Taking a human shield is the best way to make it through a level without having to replay it over and over again.
The multiplayer mode is where you spend most of your time, but you have to get through the single player mode to unlock some of the best things for multiplayer mode. In multiplayer mode you can play different modes, customize game settings, organize your own 25 to Life clan and customize your appearance. You can get online and play with up to 16 players at once.
How do I put this? The controls in 25 to Life SUCK. I would use a few other words, but this is a family friendly website so you can read into what you want. You can crouch, run, vault and lean side to side. Leaning should have been a good feature of this game but when you lean out to see someone it moves so slow that you get picked off most of the time. 25 to Life's aiming is just as bad and has inadequate control. Oh, did I tell you the controls SUCK. I think playing with an old NES control would have gotten the same results.
Graphics in 25 to Life fall right inline with the game controls. You start out in a generic urban environment. I said to myself it's got to get better further into the game. Boy was I wrong. The environment does get a little better, but not much. I thought I was playing a game on PlayStation 1. Enemy models and animations were just as bad. They move stiffly and show very little response if any after you shoot them. I think you could have unloaded 500 shots on them with no response what-so-ever. Characters also blend into the background so you spend a lot of time looking for someone shooting at you that you can't see. And let me tell you this isn't fun. Eidos did throw in some nice effects with the bat and bullets; you can see the bullets ripple the screen and a blurring when you swing the bat.
The soundtrack for 25 to Life was good. The Soundtrack matched the type of game Eidos was going for. The gun sound effects are good and you could hear them well. Character voices were as bad as the controls were. I don't understand why you have to curse every two or three words. It was a little over the top and was very unrealistic; At least in my world. One more thing I didn't understand is why someone is still talking even after you killed them. It was a little strange at first and it got annoying after sometime.
25 to Life had bad controls, graphics and AI. The only thing that is saving this game is the multiplayer gameplay and even that is a question sometimes. The levels are linear throughout the game; kill people, next level, kill people, next level, you get my point.
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