Review / 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (Xbox 360)

The craziest thing about 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is that it’s actually a pretty good game. I really can’t believe I just said that. The thing is, most of the time when some famous person is actually involved in the production of a videogame, it usually turns out to be crap. Or some crap studio only uses their likeness. 50 Cent went into the offices for this new game with all sorts of ideas. It probably helps that he actually plays a good amount of videogames. Probably not all of the ideas are his, but he was certainly instrumental in making sure that 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is the craziest, most insane and over-the-top awesome game this year… maybe.

So the game opens up with 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, DJ Whooooo! Kiiiiiiid! and Tony Yayo playing a show in some unnamed country on some unnamed continent, (it sure as hell looks a lot like the Middle East). They finish the show, 50 drops the mike, they walk off stage and they are told by the concert promoter that their $10 million for the show, got jacked, son! 50 then pulls a shotgun on the promoter, because, rap artists carry shotgun at all times, and tells him he better figure something out. The promoter gives 50 a diamond-encrusted skull as payment, and luckily for G-Unit, that gets stolen too. You spend the rest of the entire game tracking down this skull, and shooting literally every single person in the goddamn face in search for this skull.

The CG cutscenes look pretty good. The only real issue is 50 Cent has minimal facial expressions, while everybody else seems to display some over exaggerated, cartoon-like expressions. The graphics themselves look relatively good. This is an Unreal 3 Engine game, so everything has a gritty look to it. Blood on the Sand at its core, is a Gears Of War clone. You take cover, pop out, take some shots, toss a grenade, reload, hop over cover. However, you really only need to take cover if you’re being shot at by someone on a turret, facing a guy with a rocket launcher, or your health is low. The rest of the time it is perfectly fine to run around the battlefield slaughtering every single person. You walk into a new area and red dots will flash at different areas telling you, “DANGER!” and letting you know that guys are about to pour out of that specific area – in essence, a series of kill rooms.

In all of this shooting mayhem are different types of “scenarios” in which you have to complete something specific in order to get a reward for it. It’s usually something you were going to do anyway, such as kill all of the back up enemies, or blow up all of the vehicles, or kill all gunners on the turrets. In return, you’ll get a certain type of round for your pistol, whether it be explosive rounds, fire rounds, or beefed up rounds for a little while. Beyond shooting guys there is also a melee mini game that requires timed button presses to execute quickly if you end up really close to a guy and rather deliver some painful finishing blows. By the end of the game, you will have probably killed a couple thousand people. No, I am not joking.

Probably my favorite part of the game are the taunts. During battles you can push in the left analogue stick to taunt your enemies. This usually includes simple phrases such as “It’s over for you!” and, “Fuck you!” But since you can purchase new taunt packs, nothing ever gets old, and it certainly puts a new twist on some familiar insults. There’s absolutely no incentive at all to never not to just push down that button as much as possible either.

You don’t get to enjoy the action alone either. The game was built as co-op so you always have one other person with you, which is either Lloyd Banks, DJ Whooooo! Kiiiiiiid! or Tony Yayo. If they are AI controlled, they usually lead you along where you need to go, shout out to you important mission stuff or let you know where breakable secret areas are. It should also be mentioned that your partner talks, non-stop. I just want, like, DJ Whooooo! Kiiiiiiid! to shut the fuck up for like, ten goddamn seconds. What’s even more crazy is the fact that somewhere within your co-op partner addressing you, is always “Fifty.”

“Fifty, we gotta get the fuck out of here!”

“Let’s get that motherfucker, Fifty!”

“Fifty, what’s behind that shuddaa?!”

50 Cent’s response is usually nothing so it creates this awkward type of relationship with whoever the co-op partner is. It does not help that 50 won’t actually address them by name either when he does respond.

Something as repetitious as this might sound very tedious after awhile, but the game is so successful at giving you interesting environments to work within that nothing ever really feels like it’s run its course. Besides being split up by a couple of different vehicle sequences and several helicopter battles, the game does indeed stay the same. The game also makes great use of large, Hollywood-inspired set pieces and scripted events that are just too awesome to not love.

This game really throws back, back to the old days when shooting anything and everything evil for no good reason was the name of the game. Blood on the Sand is certainly a competent game, if only through borrowing heavily from similar games for its mechanics. If you truly enjoy games that are silly, don’t take themselves seriously and give you more than enough to shoot at, then you will probably enjoy what 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand has to offer you.

+

  • Awesome, huge, explosive set pieces
  • Every swear word used in conjunction with one another in a hilarious manner
  • Dude, unlockable taunt packs!

  • No real boss characters, only helicopters
  • Dialogue is terrible, but kind of awesome
  • Helicopter battles are actually pretty frustrating
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