don't pay and Crime Life: Gang Wars don't play.
by Cole Smith
12, 2005 -
Crime Life: Gang Wars is not like a combination of
The Warriors and GTA. It's more like a cross between
crap and more crap.
are so many elements of other games incorporated into
this one that the developers forgot to give it a personality
of its own. The game tries to emulate the popular
Rockstar franchises and the killing moves are indicative
of Dead to Rights. The beat-'em-up gameplay style
is borrowed from Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance. Instead
of paying homage to these games, Crime Life: Gang
Wars disses them and shows no respect.
is the principal thug in this sorry-ass adventure.
He's trying to impress the crime boss to gain entry
into the Outlawz crime gang. In order to do so he's
got to complete a lot of missions that include killing,
fighting, stealing and tagging. The combat system
is shallow and there's no short-term rewards or instant
gratification. You have to wait until the mission
is complete to acquire a new move. You don't acquire
stats and you can't purchase new moves or upgrade
your skills. You are really limited in virtually every
aspect. Now I can appreciate that if the game wants
to strive for realism but in that case the story has
to be bulletproof and the control system has to be
very tight and flexible. If that's the kind of stuff
you're looking for then you better look elsewhere.
get into a lot of arguments with fans when I criticize
their favorite games but more often than not I'm dealing
with a person that is blinded by some kind of abject
loyalty either to an iconic character and/or series
or in this case, the subject matter. Some kids just
want to pretend they're gangstas and if that means
playing a lousy game then so be it. I just can't imagine
any self-respecting gamer attempting to defend this
game. It's just not good. From the storyline to the
graphics to the voiceovers and the gameplay it just
exploits the thug lifestyle to a demographic that
covets it vicariously through games, CDs and videos.
Even well known hip hop artists managed to stay their
distance from this game - and we all know how discerning
they can be when there's a buck to be made.
Central City is the name of this metropolis. Even
New York didn't want its name associated with this
game. Different areas of the city are connect via
the subway. There are no cars to steal and none to
drive, so if you want to get somewhere you've got
to take the subway. Each region is controlled by different
gangs such as the KYC, Headhunterz and the Pogue Mahoneys.
I would like to say that each gang poses a unique
threat but such is not the case. You have a limited
amount of moves available for melee combat including
a hard and a light punch of which you can make a combo.
You have to really pummel your opponent to do much
damage which grinds the gameplay down into a button
masher. The object of the combat is to dwindle your
enemy's health meter to zero and then administer the
finishing killer move.
punching your enemy will fill your adrenaline meter
which is used to activate the killing move. There
are a variety of killing moves, some which involve
weapons such as bats, knives and swords. Other killing
moves include snapping a neck or breaking a back with
a well-placed boot. It takes a significant amount
of hand-to-hand combat to tackle an enemy so when
you're locked in a fight you're going to be at it
for a while. This is especially dangerous when you're
surrounded by gang members. Even your own members
get in the way but the worst scenario is when another
rival member starts taking shots at you while you're
busy fighting with another one. The switching system
required to direct your hits at another character
is so slow and cumbersome that you're better off just
finishing the thug you're wailing on before you turn
around. Either way you're going to get it from one
or the other.
are filled with multiple objectives that are hard
to keep track off. Sometimes you'll have to kill someone
and then fetch something or go to some special area.
Not all of the objectives are related and because
they don't always make contextual sense it's easy
to forget to do something such as random acts of vandalism
or tagging. Some of these extra goals are buried in
the text-based mission briefings that you receive
through an in-game email. Some goals are pointed out
by the game and are obviously very easy to locate.
you will have more responsibility and must show good
leadership skills to your gang members. You will have
to protect them from rival gangs and corrupt police.
Through your actions you can be good or bad depending
on how you treat innocent civilians and women in your
hood. When your boys are low on energy you've got
to get them some junk food to replenish their health.
When a member runs out of health he will still hang
with you but he can't do nothing more than stand around
looking like he's going to puke.
is an elusive quality. To earn respect you have to
perform a variety of arbitrary missions for different
characters. There is no Respect meter so you never
really know how much you're getting or exactly how
it is that you acquire it since there are typically
a number of side-missions to complete which interrupts
display awkward animation and their faces look like
they've been reworked in the emergency room more than
a few times. The urban environment may appear sprawling
at first but you are confined to portions of smaller
areas where you can perform your missions. Various
objects in these environments such as window, cars
and parking meters, (a source of income) are destructible.
Slowdown occurs when the screen is busy, and no it's
not a form or bullet time, it's actually unintentional
and very annoying.
cutscenes are among some of the worst acted I've ever
seen. The writing is equally as amateurish as the
acting. Never mind the bad grammar, but the whole
hip hop vernacular is just cliché after bad
cliché. The tunes aren't bad but like the game
they lack originality and polish. Don't let the Xbox
Live fool you, there is no multi-player mode - no
one would want to play this game that long. Instead,
you just log on to the network to tell the world what
a damn fool you are for buying this game.
gang-life action game with an all-star cast of hip
voice and likeness from members of hit rap group
roaming gameplay with mission based story mode
driven story - consequences for actions, good or