In every match I played in District 187: Sin Streets, I saw two characters every time. The first was a cop in his mid-20ís with short black hair wearing a white shirt and dark pants, while the second was a young tattooed man with red hair wearing a white shirt and olive khakiís. These are not NPCís or otherwise special characters, but the default model for every player character in the game. They are meant to represent the SWAT team and gang that serve as the opposing factions within the game. The models themselves are as generic as they come, but they are simple enough to divide the opposing sides.
I bring these models up because they are an appropriate model for District 187 as a whole. The game itself is entirely functional, with all of its components working together to create a simple yet engaging multiplayer shooter. Yet those same components also create a game that lacks personality, resulting in a solidly crafted game that borrows well from others but fails to create a new and unique experience.
Cops v. Robbers
District 187 is extremely simple to explain. Itís a traditional 16 player free to play multiplayer shooter set in a city that is divided between cops and gangs (or more specifically, SWAT vs. Gangsters). Across roughly 10 maps players can engage in traditional modes such as Team Death Match, Bomb Assault/Defense, and Scramble. These modes are further extended by various limitations that can be placed, such as using pistols only, snipers only or dividing the game into rounds. Itís straightforward, very easy to grasp.
As you play you obtain coins and experience, the latter of which is used to rank up while the former is used to purchase guns and various customization options in game. When you buy a gun, you donít actually own the gun forever. Instead, the gun is rented out for a minimum of a week and when the time expires you have to purchase it again. This would be a problem were it not incredibly easy to earn coins, and it should take no more than 20 games before you earn enough money to buy a new gun again. The customization items within the game work on a similar principle, with most (but not all) of the customizable gear costing significantly less than the guns.
Being a free to play title, it comes as no surprise that there is a virtual currency associated with the game. Fortunately only certain customization options use this currency, so you can avoid it without penalty if you so choose. The total options for customization are rather limited at the moment, but expect more choices to arrive in the immediate future.
Upon dressing up your model to whatever your standard is and equipping various guns and attachments to your person, itís time to hop into an actual match. All of the maps are small in size and scope, and their design funnels everyone towards the middle no matter the path they take. Combined with a short respawn timer, matches rarely end with the timer counting down, as lifespans are appropriately very short in length. Getting surrounded is very easy to accomplish, yet going off on oneís own often brings great rewards when you catch enemies off guard. Itís a typical risk vs. reward scheme, but one that still works to great effect.
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