The alarm bells should really have started ringing well before we popped 187 into our Xbox. Just think. Cars. And guns. And 'gangsta' attitude. It probably seemed like a really good idea at the time. No game in recent memory has managed to combine the first two things into a decent title, and when you factor in the last, laughable one, it's all downhill from there. 187 is the police denotation of murder in the US, and if Ride or Die was charged with killing a game genre, the court case would be short and sweet.
Take Exhibit A - the cars. You gradually unlock more pimped-up vehicles as you win races, though they're all pretty much of a muchness when it comes to handling - as in, they've got all the grace of newborn deer on a frozen lake. Apparently they've got varying armour statistics too, though the damage they'll sustain is so pathetic (see Exhibit B) that it's all academic.
Exhibit B, the weapons, are no better. Even the 'heavy calibre' rifles are about as mean as spluttering spud guns, and the standard pistols are laughable. You're meant to drive (with the L stick) and fire forwards and backwards (X and B
respectively), although there's no accuracy here whatsoever. In two-player co-op, one person drives while the other shoots, though using the R stick to achieve a '360 degree field of fire' feels alien.
And so to Exhibit C. It's so gangsta. It's so street. It's so shite. Painfully forcing every urban cliché going into every line of dialogue, the cutscenes reduced us to fits of laughter. That's laughing at, not with. Unless, in the real life we haven't heard about, gangsters really do race on city streets blowing the hell out of each other, the jury rests its case. Guilty, of the crime of being crap.
A confused shooter-cum-racer that excels in neither field, enhanced with some truly laughable dialogue.