Even if you can get past the AI, the action itself presents nothing worthwhile. The rough aiming system never seems to be shooting where it indicates, enemies have the uncanny ability to shoot you the moment you peek from behind a wall, and the mission structure is nothing short of broken. It's one of those irritating games that apparently force you to use stealth, yet fail to offer you the necessary tools to do so. In other words, bean a guy with a baseball bat, take his gun, and shoot ad nauseam. It's far easier than creeping around in the ghetto.
25 to Life tries to be unique by letting you take human hostages. Since your own partners have no problem shooting you when you're not looking, you can probably figure out that the bad guys could really care less that you're holding Jeremy from accounting as a hostage. Online play via Xbox Live might also feature this same mechanic. However, we'll never know.
After trying multiple days, at peak and non-peak hours, the best case scenario showed one other person lingering in the lobby. That's a positive sign that most copies are sitting in a warehouse, mercifully unsold. Sadly for those who want to play it, they're out of luck. It supposedly features a nifty "turf war" feature, and the ability to play either side of the law here too.
It's likely that all these modes would have done was add to the abysmal, illogical, and completely absurd "gansta" aesthetic. It's not "hardcore" dialogue when 90% of the language features a naughty four-letter word. It's trying so hard, the entire thing ends up comically funny. It's a parody of itself at this point.
Even without the dialogue, it's hard to take anything seriously in 25 to Life when you have police conveniently parking next to explosive, fuel-filled red barrels that happen to be sitting in the middle of an apartment complex. Some of these cops must have been sick the day they explained the danger of the clearly red explosive barrel. Then again, maybe this all ends up as bad game design.