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Video Game / 25 to Life

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25 to Life is a Third-Person Shooter developed by Avalanche Software and Ritual Entertainment and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released on January 17, 2006 for the Playstation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows in North America (in Europe and Australia, the game was released in June 2007 for the Playstation 2).

You play as one of three characters: Andre "Freeze" Francis, a 22nd Street D-Boys gang member and drug dealer looking to leave the gang and start a new life in Miami with his girlfriend and son; Lester Williams, a US Marine turned Las Ruinas police officer; and Shaun Calderon, a 22nd Street D-Boys gang leader.


25 to Life has examples of the following tropes:

  • Badges and Dog Tags: One of Lester's taunts has him boasting about being a marine.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Shaun Calderon and Maria Mendoza.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: She and Shaun become this after he blows her cover, which results in her killing Officer Williams and framing him.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Played Straight and Inverted. Of the three playable characters (two of whom are black), Officer Williams is the first to die. The next dead man is Shaun, who had his neck broken by Freeze.
  • Dirty Cop: Detective Maria Mendoza. Hoo boy. She worked alongside a gang leader for a quick buck, killed the Colombians who were the middlemen for Freeze's "last job", framed him for a double murder he didn't commit, and killed Lester Williams (a fellow Las Ruinas police officer).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shaun has nothing but contempt for law enforcement, yet even he was visibly shocked to see Maria kill Lester.
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  • Frame-Up: Mendoza's specialty. She frames both Freeze and Shaun for murders they didn't commit; Freeze for killing the two Colombians who he was supposed to do a deal with, and Shaun for killing Officer Williams after the former blabbed about their business dealings.
  • Gangbangers: The 22nd St. D-Boys are primarily African-American, but they also have Latino and white members. Calderon in particular is a gang leader, while Freeze is a drug dealer who wants out.
  • Gun Porn: 25 to Life has a wide variety of firearms available to the player, ranging from simple .38 revolvers and 9mm pistols to LMGs, anti-materiel rifles, and anti-tank weapons.
  • Harder Than Hard: The appropriately named OMFG! difficulty. Good cover, hostages, and extreme caution will be your best friends.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Las Ruinas, the city where most of the game is set, is pretty much Los Angeles under a different name.
  • Ominous Legal Phrase Title: The game's named after the indeterminate life sentence usually reserved for firearms-related homicide.
  • Prison Riot: Chapter 4 starts off with a violent uprising fueled by mistreatment occur in the Hellhole Prison known as the Crazy Horse State Penitentiary. Freeze uses this as the perfect opportunity to escape.
  • Product Placement:
    • From time to time, you'll see vending machines that dispense Vitamin Water.
    • The game shills pretty hard for CRUNK!!!, as advertising can be found on billboards, banners, and the vending machines that don't dispense Vitamin Water.
    • One of the primary objectives for the Mall level is to get a fresh change of clothes from a Dr. Jay's store.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Freeze wants to leave the D-Boys for the sake of his girlfriend and son. Shaun sets him up with a bogus "last job" that eventually gets him sent to prison.
  • South of the Border: Chapter 3 takes place in Tijuana after Maria practically runs Shaun out of town. His end-goal while in Mexico is to take control of the Saragosa Cartel and accumulate power for himself.
  • Time Skip: Chapter 4 takes place two years after the failed Bank Robbery in Downtown.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Monica never appears again after Freeze gets busted. Judging by Shaun's words before you fight him, it's implied he killed her.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Heads can be destroyed with sufficiently powerful weapons.

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