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Kimberley Ellis
18 Mar, 2009

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review

360 Review | Somebody better give the man back his skull.
In films and videogames alike, the action genre has long been one of the most formulaic forms of entertainment, but interestingly enough it's these types of games and films that keep the register ticking over with fistfuls of cash. Why? We are sure that there are many reasons for this phenomena, but the one reason that sticks in our minds is the 'popcorn' effect. Fess up, we've all experienced it at one point or another - the ability to just sit down, kick back and take in all the mindless fun (popcorn optional). For some, there is nothing as joyful as a big, dumb popcorn moment, and if you are one of these people, then you'll find a lot to smile about with 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.

Let us be frank ladies and gents, Blood on the Sand's plot is equal parts unbelievable and hilarious, a real by-the-numbers action title in the tradition of the great action movies. Profanity laced one-liners? Check. Ridiculous plot? Check. Explosions a-plenty? Hell, yeah! The premise behind the plot is that 50 Cent, along with his G-Unit compatriots (Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and DJ Whoo Kid), have just finished the final show of their Middle East tour when their promoter informs them that he doesn't have the promised ten million dollars. At this point, Fiddy confronts the promoter at gun point and a compromise is made - leaving 50 Cent as the proud new owner of a diamond encrusted skull (it gets better...). Of course, everything doesn't go to plan and 50 finds himself the victim of an ambush with the target being the diamond skull. As you can surmise, 50 isn't happy about the situation as he readily explains: "That bitch took my motherf**kin’ skull," now it's up to you to help him get it back.

Fiddy is gonna smoke all you fools.

Fiddy is gonna smoke all you fools.
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While readily building on 50 Cent's over the top thug persona, the story and dialogue is humourously off-the-wall, providing you with a few chuckles (or eye rolls) if you are in the right mindset. The gameplay provides the same style of unrealistic, arcade-style action in the vein of The Club, while also mashing in run-and-cover, stop-and-pop elements more akin to the gameplay of Epic's Gears of War.

Though it's provided, more often that not you'll forgo the cover system, instead falling back on your run-and-shoot skills to fight your way through the game (which is definitely encouraged by the arcade-style scoring system). The scoring system eggs on your ability to cause chaos and calamity, turning the game into an old school high score fest as it gives you points for all the enemies you kill and throws in a multiplier to really keep the scoreboard ticking over if you can managed to quickly kill them in succession. You’re score is also rewarded by your ability to pull off head shots or taunting enemies after you've killed them via the taunt option (aka swear button).

The game also throws in a version of bullet time called 'Gangsta Fire' to help you out when times get tough, but as the enemy AI isn't as ferocious as it should be, more often that not you won't really need to slow the game down. Aside from simply shooting everything in sight, there are a number of collectibles and scenarios (which if completed reward you with power-ups such as exploding ammo) in each level to help you improve your score which will have you running around the level collecting posters and killing specific targets in order to boost your score.

G-Unit assault rifles: coming to a store near you.

G-Unit assault rifles: coming to a store near you.
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Each level also contains a number of crates filled with cash which you can use to unlock new taunts, guns and counter moves by calling up an arms dealer on a payphone, seriously. With a shallow core gameplay experience, the developers understand that gamers need something else to keep them drawn in and while these are small additions, they make the title compelling, making you want to come back for another mission.

Each mission of the game is set in well-crafted levels of deserted, half destroyed urban locations. Like out of an action movie, it's one set piece after another as vans crash through gates with the rear door flying open to give you an eyeful of AK-47s pointing your way. Or in one of the few times that the game diverts from the third-person shootathon, you're be able to man a helicopter's chain gun to mow down enemy encampments filled with tanks, AA guns and rocket wielding foes. Whether you're in a burning mansion, racing after a bullet riddled convoy of Hummers or picking off snipers perched on the balcony of a decrepit building, the solid pacing of action rarely lets up.

While there are no multiplayer elements included, the game does comes equipped with co-op enabled, giving you the opportunity to forgo your AI controlled G-Unit partner for a real-life buddy to accompany you on your journey of mayhem and destruction. Joining co-op games is a very quick and easy affair, and players can jump in and out of a game as they please. A great feature that the game has is the ability to lock your game so that it is invite only or only people from your friends list can join. Though if you do choose to play an open game, you can disconnect the other player from your game if they happen to tool around, though thankfully we only game across one instance of this happening while playing co-op.

Here comes the boom.

Here comes the boom.
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Blood on the Sand features some reasonable visuals - though nothing groundbreaking. Each level is highly detailed to effect, giving off an atmosphere of a war torn city, also giving players many nooks and crannies to hide behind. The game's explosions and the fire effects stand out the most, coupled with a decent sound setup you'll feel each one reverberate your ears like a symphony of destruction.

50 Cent fans will be pleased at the soundtrack offerings as the title offers forty tracks (some of which are unlockable as you progress through the game), which you can add or remove from a playlist to create your own custom soundtrack. Though be warned, if you don't fiddle with the music player you'll find yourself listening to the same tracks repeatedly, especially in the early parts of the game. If for whatever reason you’re not interested in listening to 50 Cent’s rhymes, you are given the option of listening to an instrumental soundtrack. Fans will also be pleased to note that there are a number of unlockables in the game, featuring concept art and videos - which feature some of Fiddy and G-Units most notable singles.

For those of you that had a crack at 2005's mediocre 50 Cent: Bulletproof, we understand that you'll come to this title with a lot of caution, but the only thing tying this spiritual sequel is the hard cussin' Fiddy himself. Not only is 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand a competent third-person shooter, it's an action-packed hoot to play - either by yourself or with a buddy in tow.
The Score
Not only is 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand a competent third-person shooter, it's a hoot to play - either by yourself or with a buddy in tow. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Content

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand shots
21 Feb, 2009 P.I.M.P.in' screens from Fiddy's latest gaming venture.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand media
08 Jan, 2009 Five not-so bloody screenshots.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand media
30 Apr, 2008 Someone should clean that up.
10 Comments
5 years ago
This actually looks like a decent action game. I might pick it up in a few months when it will undoubtedly be cheap.
5 years ago
I'm guessing this won't be called racist then like a certain other game recently.....
5 years ago
Fetidchimp wrote
I'm guessing this won't be called racist then like a certain other game recently.....
Double standards, amazing how it works...."Its like i'm taking crazy pills" Mugatu.
5 years ago
What a sell out.
I don't like rap, this doesn't make me feel any better towards the genre.
At least its a half decent game.
5 years ago
I've had a quick go at this game and it's hilarious and fun to play. It's so mindless. I particularly love the quotes fiddy says when he throws grenades, one being standout:

"GRENADE MOTHAF***A"

icon_lol.gif Crack up of a game.
5 years ago
I will get this when its $30-40ish. Not essential to me. But it sounds alright
5 years ago
THEMAN wrote
I will get this when its $30-40ish. Not essential to me. But it sounds alright
same here ... definite buy but from a bargain bin ...
5 years ago
Its a good game. Lots of fun to be had. If you dont like rap then do what I do and turn the music off.
A stupid idea to not get a game coz of the music.
I turn off music in all games as I'm there to play a game not listen to music. If I want to listen to music I will turn on my ipod.
5 years ago
I love Hip Hop.
I hate 50 Cent and everything to do with him.
I love good mindless action in video games.
I hate 50 and don't want to contribute a single Cent to his riches.

What a conundrum.
5 years ago
I'll probbably pick this up when it gets cheap looks like good fun.

It looks like a game developed by people that know what makes a fun game, and are happy to make it without any pretentiousness. Wich is an awesome yet sadly rare thing in games today.
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| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  26/02/2009 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  THQ
Genre:
  Adventure
Year Made:
  2008

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