I didn’t play the first 50 Cent game (Bulletproof), not because of it’s quality (or lack there of), but because I simply wasn’t picking up what it was putting down. A rap star who had been pitched as the streetest thug since Pac, 50 Cent wound up just rhyming about scoring with models and taking trips to candy shops. He was not the gangsta I was looking for, and so the idea of playing a game where I pretended to be a gangsta who was pretending to be a gangsta didn’t really appeal to me.
But then this game came out called 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and that changed everything. The story is brilliant, stupid, and brilliant, and here is a rundown: 50 Cent and the G Unit crew are playing the last show of their world tour, in some unnamed middle eastern country. The promoter stiffs them the $50 million they were promised (for one show? I have to write five blog posts to get that), and when Fiddy has to choke a bitch, the promoter gives them a diamond encrusted skull instead of the $50 million. Fiddy says sure.
(What exactly would a rap star do with a diamond encrusted skull? I don’t ask. I assume that it is the modern day equivalent to Michael Jackson wanting the elephant man’s bones.)
On their way out of town, the G-Unit crew’s humvee is hijacked, and some lady grabs the artifact and escapes, or as Fiddy so eloquently puts it: “Bitch took my skull!”
From that point on, it’s a story of killing minorities and laying down phat beats, as Fiddy sets out on the universal journey we’ve all walked once or twice, the journey to find one’s diamond-encrusted skull. Along the way you are betrayed more times than I can remember, you shoot down hella helicopters, and you sacrifice being up in da club for being up in da desert shooting mofos with rocket launchers.
The gameplay is fun. It turns the third-person, over the shoulder gunplay of Gears of War into something I actually like. There’s a combo system that encourages you to chain kills together, and it keeps the gameplay fast and frenetic. The weapon upgrade process gives you a reason to collect cash off of dead bodies, which is always cool. Co-op is not necessary for a good time, but wow you guys, co-op is a good time.
As you play you unlock all of 50 Cent’s hit songs. Wait, no, let me rephrase that: as you play you unlock all of 50 Cent’s songs that would be appropriate to listen to while capping fools who took your skull. In other words, the soundtrack is composed of the 50 Cent I like, the 50 Cent I was promised, the 50 Cent that isn’t so concerned with candy shops.
I played 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand through my Gamefly subscription, but if you see the game for $30 or less? Buy it. I played through the whole game in solo and then the first half again in co-op, and I’ll still probably wind up buying it sometime, if only so I can see it on my shelf. Is it a great game? No. It’s polished like I used to polish my dad’s car for allowance money, meaning it’s not very polished. But it’s fun, and funny, and because I haven’t played Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is the best superhero game I’ve played this year.
But, I know what you are all clamoring for, the question that is on the tip of all of ya’all’s tongues. DOES FIDDY GET HIS SKULL BACK? I’m sorry, but you’ll have to play it to find out.
Also, of course he gets his skull back, idiot.