Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tech: 50 Cent - Blood On The Sand

Somewhere along the line, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson morphed into a parody of himself. Maybe it was when he started marketing his own flavor of vitaminwater (Try it!). Maybe it was when he did a cameo on "The Simpsons." Who knows?

I'll grant that people should be allowed to make fun of themselves, but I think the "50 Cent" persona is now noticeably divorced from "50 Cent" the actual person. The problem here is that to sell albums to young people, it helps to at least appear to be stickin' it to the man and all that, regardless of Mr. Cent's multimillion dollar net worth. So, in the ongoing balancing act between gangsta' street cred and Main Street marketability, "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand" represents...err...represents - ah heck, I'm not sure it represents anything:

50 Cent and a few members of G-Unit voice themselves in this epic action game. The plot is elementary - some fool stole 50's jewel-encrusted skull, and now 50 Cent wants it back, no matter the cost in property or lives. Over the course of the game, you'll fight your way through an unnamed Middle Eastern country, destroying buildings, terrorists, and cultural landmarks.

It all gets very silly very fast, but honestly, that's where the charm of the game lies. Body-slamming terrorists and jumping over explosions in your Hummer would be crazy enough, but now imagine doing it to a thumping soundtrack of 50 Cent tunes. And in slow motion.

The actual core gameplay is similar to every third-person shooter you've ever played, and honestly, it does get a little repetitive (there's only one type of boss in the game, for instance - a mostly nonthreatening attack chopper). The developers helpfully added little arcade-style challenges (kill X enemies in the next thirty seconds, collect Y gold in the next minute, etc.) and fun unlockables (like music videos of 50 Cent songs), but the lack of a true competitive multiplayer mode means this game doesn't have the legs of something like "Gears of War 2."

Rating: 75/100


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