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50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3)

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3)

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Developer Swordfish Studios have released 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand which is backed by the man himself and features an excessive use of foul language as well as a multitude of killings and explosions. Is the game as bad as it sounds?

With a licensed game like Blood On the Sand the expectations are low from the outset, after all the game features a ludicrous story line and has a rapper as the main character.

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Obviously with a title featuring a rap star a lot of the focus is on the music and Blood On The Sand does not disappoint in this regard, there are over 40 songs and 18 of them are originals created for the game. Also included are music videos for those fans of the man who want to see him in more familiar MTV style territory. These videos are unlockable options which are there to help long term player commitment.

50 Cent’s crew plays an integral part of the game and if you play single player or online two player cooperative he goes to war backed by one of the three G-Unit members (Tony Yayo, Whoo Kid and Lloyd Banks). This user generated choice doesn’t affect gameplay as they are all equally matched however each character adds his own flavorsome dialect to the proceedings so there is a little merit in replaying with another of the team. That said the G-Unit artificial intelligence is lacking in all areas and even though the enemies aren’t much of a challenge you often find your crew helping you out or shouting at you to take them down.

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Blood on the Sand plays in a similar fashion to SEGA’s The Club which I enjoyed when it was released some time ago. This is mainly a stop and pop shooter with some arcade elements tied into the mix. There is little enjoyment in slogging through the waves of enemies on the path to victory but this is really not the point. The real challenge is really set in getting points to earn the bronze, silver and gold badges.

Every kill earns points and there are a plethora of modifiers which shape the way you tackle combat. Killing people in the open, using indirect death methods and chaining together a series of kills add various bonuses to your score. There are also five posters and five hidden targets in each level which will massively help your score.

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A large portion of the enjoyment comes from the taunt button which you can use anytime you want by clicking on the left thumbstick. This instructs 50 cent to blurt out some form of wacky and witty street humour in the direction of his attackers and you can use the gold found throughout the crates to purchase even funnier taunts. It is quite funny in company to hear 50 cent shouting “Surprise, bitches!!” when he lobs a grenade.

The in game challenges make the game entertaining for a while and throughout the campaign you are given quick challenges to complete for bonus points and extra items. Challenges vary from killing snipers to collecting a specific amount of gold in a certain time frame.

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Unfortunately in the grand scheme of things for everything the game achieves there are generally more than a few negative points to make. For example, in an effort to improve the gameplay there are a few driving based missions. In theory this is a great idea, however the implementation of these missions is so shoddy they leave the player wanting to put his foot through the screen. In single player mode you have no choice but to drive the car while the computer AI shoots the enemies via the mounted turret. This is such a monotonous chore that they actually would have been better to omit it totally from the game. Why can’t the player do the shooting?

Equally as bad are the boss battles which comprise of four separate instances. I beat one of them in 8 seconds (seriously!) and the other three are 50 cent v a helicopter. The idea is always the same, pick up an RPG and blow it to hell. These are once again so badly implemented that it is almost as if the developers stopped caring at this point.

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Graphically the game is poor. The animations are ropey and the textures are low resolution and sometimes there are bugs which don’t allow them to load so you are left looking at glitches. There are also some framerate issues on the Playstation 3 which have nothing to do with the hardware but more a total lack of effort with optimising the code.

The bugs somewhat ruin the overall gameplay and bring it from an average title to an annoying underdeveloped mess in a variety of ways. There is even an audio bug which mutes the star of the game and all we can do is sit and watch his mouth flap as he manages to say nothing at all.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a game that showed some promise but suffers from a lack of playtesting and careless mistakes from the development team. It only lasts for around 5 hours as well which isn’t really good value when you consider the full asking price and very limited game play. I am not saying it isn’t fun with a couple of friends nearby, but in today’s climate the game ends up underachieving and doing nothing well enough to recommend itself as a viable purchase.

A poor copy of a hybrid between Gears Of War and The Club. Does nothing as well as either of those titles.
Some of issues mentioned could easily have been avoidable.
If you like 50 cent then you will like the music and voice acting. It is nothing outstanding however.
No more than 5 hours gameplay. Poor value.
(Not an Average)
Run of the mill game with a rap star involved, as expected.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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