I never really understood why the human mind is always attracted to all of these "negative" aspects of life. When you look at some of the most popular video games out on the market, they are based upon crime, gangs, murder, theft, and all things that are considered bad in the majority of people’s standards. And yet this popular idea has been developed, and has gained popularity over the years, and this is the case one again with the cleverly titled Crime Life: Gang Wars for the Xbox. So, just how bad can you be in this game? Read on and find out.
Games based on this "thug" style of life have never really been all that great about accurately portraying the real life of gangs. However I suppose that being the least likely person in the world to be in a gang, I have no idea what exactly it would look like. But let me tell you if gangs looked like this game, the world would be a very funny place. In Crime Life: Gang Wars, you take the role of Tre a new member of "The Outlawz" a gang that was once at the top and now needs to work its way back up to that title. The story, as you can probably already guess, is rather dry and uninteresting. It was disappointing to see the developers take what could have been a very complex and down to earth story into something that I consider to be nothing more than a waste of time.
The gameplay in Crime Life: Gang Wars on paper shows a lot of promise. Unfortunately everything that comes to pass in this game is just a bland look at the potential of the beat em’ up genre. Basically the game just throws you into these massive gang brawls, where you will go up against a couple dozen enemies. The game starts out with giving you absolutely nothing but your fists, and as you work through the game you will gain things like bats and knives. Later on in the game you will continue on this quest for new weapons to receive a gun and this is literally where things go from bad to even worst.
Before I continue talking about the guns, let’s first discuss the camera angle, which is what I would consider about a 75% view. Which means you’re not completely overhead, but kind of at a tilt, which I thought worked well for the game. That is until the guns came into play, and the game becomes unmanageable. When trying to aim the gun you would probably have just as much luck closing your eyes and just wailing in all directions. So to say the least shooting a gun in this game is really more of a disadvantage rather than an advantage.
There are fortunately other things to do in the game, but sadly none of them are even worth discussing. In every area of Gang Wars you saw huge room for improvement. Nothing in the game made you excited to play. The main combat missions where you go up against the other gangs go the same way every single time. Never once do you feel like you’re enjoying yourself because the game just doesn’t play well. I hate to use this term, but the game feels as cheap as its price tag. While many cheap games have risen to the challenge and offered some pretty decent gameplay, Gang Wars falls flat on its face.
Visually Gang Wars uses a different style camera angle, which works quite well, until the guns made their way into the game. Once that happened, you could see that the angle severely hinders you view, making aiming a hit and miss affair. Another huge issue I had with the visuals was the character models, which unfortunately look like something we saw at the very beginning of this generation of consoles, perhaps even worse. The developers were either tight on time or just didn’t bother putting much detail in the environments. All of this combines to make a very poor looking game.
I actually thought going into this game that it had the potential to be a fun easy playing game. But after playing this game for a couple sittings, I could tell you right now that I may have had fun for less than a minute. The rest of the experience was just so bland and so repetitive, that you just feel like your getting ripped off while playing this game. Had this game been developed correctly, we would have seen a game that would have been fun for hour on end, but unfortunately this game can’t manage to be fun for more then a couple minutes.
You all know I don’t normally rate games at this low of a score, but Crime Life: Gang Wars is a game that just couldn’t be placed in any other category. Even at the budget title price, this game would be a complete waste of your hard earned cash. If the developers do go for a second shot on this franchise, I would hope that they would go away from being a budget title and do this game the justice that it could have had.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.