25 to Life E3 2005 Preshow Impressions

25 to Life pits cops against robbers in a variety of crime-themed online battles.


25 to Life made its playable debut at E3 last year, where it made its presence felt as a third-person, multiplayer-focused shooter in the same vein as Sony's popular SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs series, but with an urban, police-versus-criminals take on the action. After some delays, the game is finally nearing its new summer release date, and it's set to make a repeat appearance at E3 2005.

Some new video and details show off the game's variety of environments. In addition to the decidedly South Central street level shown back in 2004, the game will have levels that are set in a casino, against the backdrop of a bank robbery, and in a subway. The game still appears to be focused on online competition, as 16 players will be able to break into teams of eight and attempt to take each other out. Criminals will be able to take hostages and use them as human shields, and a variety of weapons, including pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, tear gas, stun guns, and assault rifles, will be available for use.

As you play, you'll unlock new items that can be used to further customize your character. You'll be able to change the look of your character with options like chains, clothing, badges, and so on. You'll also be able to tag a three-digit number to your character, presumably so you can rep your area code. We recommend representing the hard, hard streets of Northern California's 707.

While the multiplayer appears to be the star of the show, 25 to Life will also have a single-player story mode that takes place from the perspectives of a detective named Lester Williams and a thug known as Freeze. As you might imagine, the paths of the two characters will cross, as Freeze sets out on a mission of revenge against a sucker that screwed him over.

The game will have a hefty rap-laced soundtrack to go along with its urban theme, and it will include tracks from Gang Starr, DMX, Geto Boys, 2Pac, Xzibit, Public Enemy, Shyne, KRS-One, and Tech N9ne, among others. Most of the soundtrack will be composed of existing material, though the game will have five tracks composed specifically for the game.

The gameplay in the version shown last year seemed like it was on the right track, in that it essentially played like a looser version of SOCOM. With Avalanche and Ritual sharing the development duties on the game, it'll be interesting to see how the final product pans out when it lands on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC this summer.

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