25 to Life is a game that players were excited about. Its style follows a ‘90s movie setting of “the hood”, filled with urban themes, and a background of the gangsta life. Despite its efforts to make itself the top third-person shooter, cop-and-drug dealer game, players were greatly dissatisfied with the storyline, graphics and overall gameplay.
Gamers found it to be an ridiculously simple shooter game, with a single-player mode. the player starts out as the character named Freeze, a gangster who’s trying to leave his drug dealing life behind and start fresh with his wife and son. The “one last job” goes entirely wrong, of course, and you’re left playing other characters from that point on, including a cop surrounded by other dirty cops and later as a gang leader that’s banished to Mexico. There’s no definite, chronological storyline to follow, so you as the player and the characters you play are all over the place. Though the characters are connected in some way, shape or form, the players feel extremely confused with what’s happening and when it takes place.
By far, 25 to Life is perceived as the worst game to hit PS2. The only action that gamers get is the cliche hide-and-seek around corners, behind cars, and the random popping out of windows or doors. There’s an arsenal of weapons that you can choose from to liven things up a bit, such as submarine pistols, assault rifles, knives, hammers, dual pistols and even a rocket launcher or two. Naturally, there’s enough ammo to keep you alive for as long as necessary, and to prevent the game from getting too difficult. Unfortunately, the help provided in this game is far too much so you don’t even get to experience the thrill and worry that goes along with near death experiences of game characters.
Though the game is available on Xbox, PC and PS2, the play is the same for all three platforms. The PS2 game controls, however, are slightly a bit harder to get a hold of than those on a PC. 25 to Life PS2 comes with a soundtrack CD but players noticed that it’s missing much of the game’s music. The settings take place both inside and outside, providing a number of different levels for players to grind through. The environments and graphics are bland and boring—there’s nothing remotely interesting or deep about the narrative or the characters; that goes for the voice acting as well which is passable enough for a simple game like this, but…not for drawing the player into the action. 25 to Life’s animation looks as if the game were put together overnight; everything shows that the game is supposed to be based on combat, but the character’s abilities and the environment which he’s supposed to use for protection are very limited.
The fighting is ineffective, the defense positions are awkward, the storyline is cliche, characters and settings are bland and childish, and the controls are difficult to learn—there’s nothing remotely interesting about playing 25 to Life other than to just pass the time, in the same way you’d pass it if you were playing computer Solitaire.