187: Ride or Die
A "race game" in more ways than one
GTA: San Andreas may have led to a lot of moral outrage and criticism of the game industry, but its worst effect might actually be 187: Ride or Die. Apparently, someone thought that the secret to success was to throw young black men into cars, give them guns, and let them run wild. Instant videogame hit, right? No.
You're Buck, an up-and-coming gangsta running for a Southern California OG named Dupree. When Dupree says jump, you jump - and when he says "grab a semi-automatic weapon, jump into a car, and blow my enemies away in a race around town," you do that too.
But it's not what he says, it's how he says it. 187 (taken from the police code for homicide) absolutely drips with what it thinks is street cred - characters speak almost exclusively in urban slang like "Move this whip!" and "We gonna push their wigs back" and "Ya feel me?" It’s supposed to keep things real, but it comes off as a cruel parody. There's nothing about this game that feels authentic.
That extends to the gameplay. Cars are supposed to be sleek and fast, which recalls Burnout 3: Takedown - but this can't touch that in terms of speed and style (or handling). Since the vehicles are armed, you can't help but think of car combat classics like Twisted Metal, but the carnage there is more satisfying and the vehicles more obviously in the realm of fantasy.