50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is nothing like Fiddy’s previous attempt at making a video game: it’s actually fun.
Based off the plot alone the game seems atrocious: Fiddy and G-Unit are forced to shoot their way through the Middle East after Fiddy’s payment for a show, a crystal skull, is stolen. No, I did not make this up.
The most surprising aspect to this game is how well it actually plays. The game plays much like Gears of War, using the same control style and requires the player to use cover to defeat the enemies. The skirmishes play like an arcade-style game, allowing the player to rack up combos, which are then used to unlock extras like music videos and actual music tracks, based on how stylish the kills are and the amount of enemies killed in a row. Fiddy can smash crates of “bling” located throughout each level and pick up money dropped by defeated enemies, which can then be used to buy new weapons, counter-kills, and taunts. The battles even have “scenarios,” such as “Kill X amount of enemies in this time limit” to rack up even more combos and points, complete with the word “DANGER” in red appearing on the screen and a loud horn blast to indicate enemy’s entrances.
A majority of the game has Fiddy running around with one of the members of G-Unit, which the player can choose at the beginning of each game session, who helps with the fire fights and gives tips on where to progress through each level. Blood on the Sand even comes with online co-op, with one player as Fiddy and the other a member of G-Unit. When starting a game, the player can choose if they want nobody, friends only, or anyone who wants to join their game at any time. The co-op plays well, with the amount of money gained given to both players, so each can choose what weapons, counter-kills, or taunts they want to buy.
There is an extensive amount of equipment and skills the player can buy using the money they collect throughout the levels. The equipment ranges from your standard pistols and assault rifles to rocket launchers that detonate multiple explosives upon impact, and the skills are mostly close-range attacks when the enemy is too close. The most fun are the taunts the player can buy, which are basically the characters swearing at the enemies, which gain the player even more points for their combos. This game is NOT for kids: some of the taunts are worse than a Grand Theft Auto game and Gears of War combined.
50 Cent and G-Unit fans will be impressed with the music in the game, as it is surprisingly well done, giving the player the ability to create their own play list. It doesn’t get in the way of any of the dialogue or sound effects, and usually isn’t even noticeable during the battles. The game even comes with 20 50 Cent music videos the player can unlock, as well as more than 30 music tracks, 18 of which were recorded exclusively for the game.
The game does, however, have some downfalls. The first of which is how the animations for the player characters are the same for each model. Fiddy runs, fires, and attacks the same way as any other member of G-Unit. Some areas force Fiddy and his partner to team up and open a door together or boost each other over walls, the cut-scenes for which the player will see a lot of, and the animations are the same every time for every model. Another negative aspect to the game is the lifeless emotions the character models show throughout the game. Fiddy communicates to outside sources during levels, but no lip synching is shown on the model. When the camera is panned to look at the faces of either character, they almost seem like walking corpses, with no emotions shown on the faces. This is especially noticeable since the rest of the game’s graphics are gorgeous.
Compared to other games in its genre, like Gears of War or Max Payne, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a decent third-person shooter. The main downside of the game is its ridiculous story, but the tight controls and fact that it’s just plain fun more than make up for that. The game is great for any player looking for a fun, over-the-top hardcore action game, even if they aren’t a fan of 50 Cent and G-Unit or rap music in general.