Konami showed off a work-in-progress build of its upcoming urban brawler, Crime Life: Gang Wars, at its recent press event, and we got a chance to go hands-on. The game casts you as Tre, an up-and-coming thug who's just been inducted into a gang called the Outlawz. You'll work your way up the ranks of the gang by carrying out missions against the hapless citizenry, all the while thwarting the opposition of the police and especially rival gangs.
Crime Life operates with a free-roaming world that you'll move around in while collecting and carrying out missions. But the focus of the gameplay is beat-'em-up-style brawling in the tradition of Final Fight and its ilk. You've got light and heavy attacks that can be strung together into a number of combos, and a special-attack modifier button that will turn these combos into real bone-crunchers as you charge up your adrenaline meter. You can even pull off a number of really brutal-looking fatal attacks when you've gotten an enemy's health down to a certain point. If you fight enough, you can build up a separate meter to enter rage mode, which lets you move faster and hit harder than normal. Finally, you wouldn't be much of a thug if you couldn't make use of street weaponry, and luckily there are plenty of baseball bats and pistols on hand to help you out.
Eminem's crew, D12, even makes a substantial appearance in the game, as they lend their likenesses and voice-overs to characters in the Headhunters, the Outlawz' rival gang. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels' Jason Flemyng will also provide some character work. Moreover, D12 has done some exclusive music for the game, and on top of that, the soundtrack will feature around 25 other licensed hip-hop tracks that actually span the globe, from Asian-influenced songs to even some Teutonic rap.
Crime Life apparently contains some other gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to rob stores and the possibility of getting arrested for it, but we didn't get to explore those during our brief demo. The game is currently slated for release on the Xbox and PC this fall. We'll bring you more soon.