We were demoed 187 Ride or Die in the back of a limo doing circuits around Chelsea. In the back, blinged to their eyeballs were producer Ali Kojori and director Matty Rich, both clearly excited about what lay in store for us with their soon-to-be-released riving/shooting thingamy. It's a wonder they didn't wind down the windows and flatten a few tourists.
187 Ride or Die is going straight for shits 'n' giggles, no-frills arcade racing, much like Burnout 3 did, only armed to the teeth with spud guns and the like. Playing as vest-sporting hero Buck, you'll have to protect your mentor Dupree's 'hood' from the dastardly Cortez and his roving band of rough riders, who are intent on making the patch their own, by taking to the streets, and blowing away anyone who threatens Dupree (voiced by rapper Guerilla Black).
Faced with the interesting problem of driving and shooting at the same time, the Ride or Die team has allowed for a certain degree of AI control to take over driving when you're involved in a particularly vicious fight. While the controls have yet to be cemented, it looks as though we'll be aiming with the shoulder buttons while driving with the analogue sticks. Ubisoft is aware that this is perhaps the most important aspect of the game, regardless of the urban bling-ness it's being drenched in, so when it comes to final code we'll hopefully be looking at the best handling arcade racer around. It certainly needs to be, that's for sure.
Various classes of cars will be added to our garage as we claw back parts of the city from Cortez, including muscle cars, sports cars, Hummer-class and utility vehicles. Each acts differently to combat situations, allowing us to fit different weapons depending on the car's strength. Buying a Hummer, sir? Then accept this complimentary mounted machine-gun with our thanks.
We can also take cars online and battle in several modes, including head-to-head fights to the death, survival modes against equally aggressive drivers, old-fashioned cop chases, and precision assassination games. We'll also be able to watch and share replays over Live. If Burnout: Revenge features guns this is as good as sunk, but something tells us this heavily armed driving title has the balls to stand alone as Xbox's road rage game.