25 to Life

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25 to Life
25 To Life Coverart.png
North American PlayStation 2 box art
Developer(s) Avalanche Software
Ritual Entertainment
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Square Enix (digital)
Engine Tak and the Power of Juju, DBZ: Sagas
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
  • NA: January 17, 2006
  • EU: June 1, 2007 (PS2)
  • AU: June 7, 2007 (PS2)
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

25 to Life is a third-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360 released in 2006. The game was developed by Avalanche Software and published by Eidos Interactive.

Set in a modern environment, the game allows the player to play as both a cop and a gangster, at different times, in a "cops and robbers" style game. The game can be played online with up to 16 players using the network adaptor for the PS2 and through Xbox Live for Microsoft's Xbox, and there is online play for the PC version as well. In addition, the game features a variety of hip hop songs playing in the background. The name of the game comes from a typical "indeterminate life sentence" that is often given in the United States upon a defendant's conviction for a violent felony. See the article on parole for more information.


The game is about a black man named Freeze, his friend Shaun Calderon, and a Police Officer, Officer Williams. The main protagonist being Freeze, the story is focused around him, despite the ability to play as all three of the characters during at least one point throughout the game. Freeze commits crimes with Shaun to get money, which he promptly spends for his family.

One night upon returning home, his wife confronts him about these actions. Saying they are a bad influence to their son, she wants him to stop. After an argument, he agrees. The next day, he tells Shaun he wants out of the game. Shaun levels a gun on Freeze, informing him that he must do one last "job"—a narcotics trade.

At the deal, Freeze finds the Colombian gang members dead, and police officer Maria Mendoza waiting. Freeze flees with the police in pursuit and loses them. The 2nd Street D-Boys realize Freeze wants out of the gang, and he has to avoid both his former homies and the police. Later, he robs a bank until the police arrive. After a gun fight against the police, he finally reaches his getaway car only to be arrested after being hit by a nightstick.

Meanwhile, Mendoza informs Officer Williams of a new criminal, Shaun Calderon. They look for Shaun in his house (with a rookie) only to be found in a gun fight. Officer Williams then finds evidence and gets into Mendoza's car. Officer Williams goes to a club to find Shaun and chases him to the subway. Officer Williams then arrests Shaun but Mendoza kills him and tells Shaun to leave and go to Mexico.

Shaun goes to Tijuana and fights his way to a local club called "The Curtains Club". Shaun then robs a casino, fights security and goes to a wealthy man named Saragosa's penthouse. Shaun then kills him.

Freeze breaks out of jail and gets new clothes at the mall while being chased by the police. Freeze then kills Mendoza in the mall and hunts down Shaun then saying, "We used to be best friends, until you sold me out. Now, it's nothin' but flowers and a funeral for you, home boy", as Freeze steps on Shaun's neck until he suffocates. The final scene shows Freeze telling Darnell, "From now on, it's just you and me against the world. Now let's do this", as a large number of police officers arrive, with Freeze picking up a gun and pointing it at the police.


Review scores
Publication Score
PC PS2 Xbox
1UP.com N/A D−[1] D−[1]
Edge 2/10[2] 2/10[2] 2/10[2]
Game Informer N/A 5.75/10[3] 5.75/10[3]
GameSpot 5.6/10[4] 5.7/10[5] 5.7/10[5]
GameSpy N/A 1.5/5 stars[6] 1.5/5 stars[6]
GameZone 8/10[7] N/A N/A
IGN 3.3/10[8] 3/10[9] 3.1/10[10]
OPM (US) N/A 1/5 stars[11] N/A
OXM (US) N/A N/A 2/10[12]
PC Gamer (US) 30%[13] N/A N/A
Detroit Free Press N/A 1/4 stars[14] N/A
USA Today 4/10 stars[15] 4/10 stars[15] 4/10 stars[15]
Aggregate score
Metacritic 39/100[16] 39/100[17] 41/100[18]

25 to Life received "unfavorable" reviews on all platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[16][18][17]

Hyper's Maurice Branscombe commented that the game's soundtrack was okay only "if you like rap." However, he criticised the game as "absolutely unadulterated bullshit."[19]

USA Today gave the game a score of four stars out of ten and stated that its only strong quality "is a decent multiplayer mode. Most of the action is team-based, allowing you to choose between police or thugs. Players can choose to rob a location and return the stash to their home turf, raid a criminal hangout, or engage in an all-out deathmatch. Freeze's goal at the start of this story was to get out of the "game." Five minutes slogging through this shooter will have players wanting the same."[15] The A.V. Club gave it a D+ and called it "a half-baked copy of someone's urban nightmare."[20] Detroit Free Press gave the PS2 version one star out of four and stated that it "lacks everything that would make it new, innovative or just plain fun. The graphics are really muddy and sub-par. The controls seem to be a bit confusing."[14]


  1. ^ a b Pfister, Andrew (January 18, 2006). "25 to Life (PS2, Xbox)". 1UP.com. Retrieved September 2, 2015. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Edge staff (March 2006). "25 to Life". Edge (160): 89. 
  3. ^ a b Helgeson, Matt (March 2006). "25 to Life (PS2, Xbox)". Game Informer (155): 100. Archived from the original on August 14, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (January 19, 2006). "25 to Life Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (January 19, 2006). "25 to Life Review (PS2, Xbox)". GameSpot. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Vasconcellos, Eduardo (February 14, 2006). "GameSpy: 25 to Life (PS2, Xbox)". GameSpy. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ Giacobbi, Kevin "BIFF" (February 12, 2006). "25 to Life - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ Onyett, Charles (January 17, 2006). "25 to Life (PC)". IGN. Archived from the original on January 10, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  9. ^ Onyett, Charles (January 17, 2006). "25 to Life (PS2)". IGN. Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  10. ^ Onyett, Charles (January 17, 2006). "25 to Life (Xbox)". IGN. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ "25 to Life". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 82. April 2006. 
  12. ^ "25 to Life". Official Xbox Magazine: 82. March 2006. 
  13. ^ "25 to Life". PC Gamer: 51. April 2006. 
  14. ^ a b Rucker, Rashaun (February 19, 2006). "'25 to Life' (PS2)". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 5, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d Molina, Brett (February 6, 2006). "'25 to Life' isn't punishment enough for awful shooter". USA Today. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "25 to Life for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "25 to Life for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "25 to Life for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  19. ^ Branscombe, Maurice (September 2007). "25 to Life". Hyper. Next Media (167): 66. ISSN 1320-7458. 
  20. ^ Dahlen, Chris (February 15, 2006). "25 To Life". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on February 17, 2006. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 

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