For some reason I woke up this week, and all I was craving was rap music and ridiculous violence. In my epic quest to satisfy this deep, primal desire, I came across something that carried just what the doctor ordered. This week’s Rewind will be covering the gangsta ass 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. The Rewind’s simple set up of a game over a year old, less than $25 and an average or better rating works perfectly for this ode to the extreme. So grab that 40 oz. and strap in for Mr. Cent’s 2nd wild ride.
The story here is a pretty simple one that thinly veils the over the top antics of America’s favorite rapper, 50 Cent. Fitty and the G-Unit crew have been hired to perform in an unnamed Middle Eastern country for $10 million in cash. It seems someone else really wanted that dough and robbed promoter Anwar. Fitty likes to get paid not played, so the poor promoter pulls out a diamond encrusted skull as collateral until he can pay up. Before our boys can have this turned into jewelry, the evil terrorist group Kamal steals the artifact. Fitty and the boys decide enough is enough, and it is time to get the skull back all while figuring out what the hell is going on.
Swordfish Studios and THQ did a great job with this title and caught many players off guard. One of the the first things I noticed was the Gears of War–like feel. There are plenty of areas to take cover, allowing my hero to heal for a moment, but sometimes I just wanted go in guns blazing and hope for the best. The game play is peppered with some vehicle missions giving players the chance to fire from from a Humvee to take bigger bosses like a pesky chopper. The variety here is pretty solid and, although nothing new, it’s still a fun game to play.
There is an ability to upgrade your weapons and moves (or Counter Kills as they call them). Not only did these get more ridiculous with each level, but the upgraded taunts get more and more profane. Not to be outdone by Max Payne and his silly old Bullet Time, Fitty brings his own slo-mo concept called Gangsta Fire. God, I love that name.
If you are a thug like me, you will no doubt like the fact that you can bring along a friend in Co-op mode. This allowed me to play through the game with a partner who assumed the role of a member from Fitty’s crew, G-Unit. As silly as all this seemed, the mode worked well and was a blast online and off.
The visuals of Blood on the Sand hold up with its contemporaries. Characters have a nice amount of detail, and most of levels have a sort of glow or polish. Compared to the last Fitty outing, things here are a lot brighter and more inviting. Bullets fly more realistically and the character animations seemed a lot smoother. This helped bring me into the violence ridden world of Fitty and his crew. Why are there so many rectangular pillar-like stones everywhere for cover? It seems these, and a few other items, were repeated a bit too much in the levels.
Fans of Mr. Cent’s music will be quite happy to know that Blood on the Sand carries 40+ tracks, 18 of which Fitty made exclusively for this game. Sound effects were pretty solid, and all of the voice overs seem natural without coming off as forced.
Blood on the Sand averaged a 7 out of 10 overall rating, making it an above average title. Sales figures for the title which released on PS3 and XBox 360 in 2009 where just a little over 300,000 globally. Fitty’s last video game outing called Bulletproof released in 2005 on the PS2 and Xbox and racked up almost 2.5 million sales worldwide. The interesting fact here is that Bulletproof averaged a 5 out of 10 and sold approximately eight times more than Blood on the Sand. I have played both, and the more recent outing is easily a better game and one that I have recommended in the past.
So does 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand put the G in gaming thug?
+ Solid game play in single and co-op.
+ The unlocks and taunts can be downright hilarious.
+ If you are a 50 Cent fan, you will no doubt love the soundtrack.
– The story gets way too confusing and makes little sense later in the game.
– Some of the levels reuse same set pieces too often (rectangular tan stones).
– Players who are looking for something realistic may be turned off by the embellished nature of this title.
For a game from 2009, Blood on the Sand holds up with today’s average 3rd person shooter and feels above average in terms of game play. You can currently pick up this title for around 20 dollars as an entertaining distraction from most of the serious shooters out there today. Anyone familiar with the cover artist will get a kick out of his over the top bravado gangsta attitude and actions throughout this game.
50 Cent: Blood in the Sand was created by Swordfish Studios and published by THQ. The game was released on February 24th, 2009 and currently retails for $25-30.