Personally, I think that first person kind of alienates the reader in this sort of interactive fiction. When I play these games I like to really be the character, not in a self-insert-character type of way (I would be an awful character) but in that I enjoy feeling like, even though I do make up characters to play, it’s my consciousness in there.
Honestly, it seems like a lot of the difference between the two paragraphs you posted is your use of tone words. In the first paragraph, you say things like “dumb broad” and “I need a goddamn smoke,” while in the second one you go more tame with things like, “The woman didn’t even thank you,” and, “Now you really need a smoke.”
That makes sense in a sort of “it’s second-person so I don’t want to shove a personality onto the player,” but I do think that it’s more than possible to use tone words and emotional language even in the second person. After all, I think everyone can understand that when they start playing the game they step into the mind of the character, and that even though they have a say on the story, the character may still have a sort of inherent personality. Even if you just take the first paragraph and switch the POV, it still works effectively, like:
This city’s going to hell. Just three blocks you got to walk from your office to your apartment and on the way, you get one guy trying to peddle you the latest high on the market, three girls selling whatever diseases a lady picks up in that line of work, a group of kids trying to slip your wallet out [of?] your pocket and to top it off, you got to end your little midnight stroll by breaking the jaw of some asshole beating on his old lady right there in the middle of the street. Dumb broad didn’t even thank you. Went and patched up the guy that was smacking her around not five minutes before. She even threatened to call the cops on you and then the two of them went home together like nothing even happened. You need a goddamn smoke.
I think it still works, anyway.
That said, I really do think that it could work out really well just the same in either POV. Like most things in writing, I think that the first-person POV could even potentially be better – it’s just a matter of using it well.
I did vote for “I wouldn’t play a game in first-person” though. Personal preference, I guess, lol.