Crime Life: Gang Wars
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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This one time? I was rounding up some hookers for a rich guy in "Blingsley Hills"--we all get in a big street brawl, me, the hookers, and one of my pals against a bunch of guys that I know are bad because they're wearing blue vests. One of the hookers is getting low on health (if she dies, the mission restarts), so I leave the melee and run three blocks to the burger shop. I buy the ailing hooker--who's still fighting down the street, remember--a nice burger with fries, which refills her health bar. As the battle rages, I stay in the safety of the burger joint, monitoring health bars and buying food when folks are about to die. This was the only fun moment I had with Crime Life, and it wasn't even, you know, literal fun; it was "hawhaw, what a stupid game" fun. I played Crime Life for over 10 hours before I put the controller down in disgust--not because it's a crass, mindless brawler designed to hit the lowest thug denominator (although that didn't help), but because it's so fundamentally terrible. The button-pounding gameplay is an ugly mess, the graphics, an even uglier mess, and the "urban" trappings are just embarrassing. I didn't finish Crime, but I know i didn't miss any good parts.
The back of the box reads, "So you wanna be a gangsta?" Oh hell no. From Crime Life's ridiculous missions (steal "bling" so your boss can dress better, go get wasted and then beat the crap out of five nobodies--are you kidding me?) to its butt-ugly presentation, fighting for dummies combat, and horrible camera, this deeply flawed sandbox game is way overpriced even at $20. Just imagine for a second that you wanted a Gl Joe action figure for your birthday, but instead someone bought you that shoddy, odd-looking doll dressed in army fatigues with a Spider-Man head from the dollar store. Crime Life is the bargain bin version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
This whole gangsta subgenre that grew up around San Andreas is hurting. And Crime Life takes it to a new low, making titles like 50 Cent and 187: Ride or Die seem like masterpieces. A weak, uninspired fighting system, where the gruesome finishing moves are the sole highlight, is at the heart of the problem. But bad as the combat is, the developers commit a cardinal sin by omitting any sort of co-op play in a game that desperately cries out for it. What Crime Life needs even more, though, are graphics that don't look like they were done for a PS1 budget title. Seriously, Crime Life is one of the worstlooking games to come out this year. Just another reason to stay away, I guess.