Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

50 Cent: Blood On The Sand

Why couldn’t the violent, explosive silliness of Blood On The Sand have been incarnated as a low-budget film in the late ’80s? Something by Andy Sidaris, maybe. The story of a muscled rapper blowing away an entire Middle Eastern city as he searches for the diamond-encrusted skull given in lieu of a $10 million concert payout should be full-on unrepentant exploitation, all boobs, guns, and blood.

Instead, it’s just the amusingly mad power fantasy of a fading megastar MC. In-game, 50 Cent is an unstoppable machine ready to shotgun shady promoters and blow helicopters out of the sky while his tracks dominate the airwaves. But he isn’t very interesting, because in a fulfillment of the game’s opening lyric (“Nigger, my gun go off”) there’s a lot of shooting, and little else.


Fitty and a member of his G-Unit crew remix the shoot-and-duck gameplay of Gears Of War with a kill-combo system transplanted from Sega’s The Club. As with Gears, co-op is the way to go, because it’s the best way to manage lining up a rapid series of kills, which results in massive points, which unlocks more 50 Cent tracks. The action is competent, and even a little addictive, as points for each kill are modified by bonuses for shooting while exposed, taking out powerful dudes, or talking trash. But the game is also wildly repetitive. The guns are so accurate that you can rely on one weapon throughout, and the hand-to-hand attacks (which further glorify 50 in loving close-up) ponderously break the flow.

Beyond the game: Cutscenes aside, we don’t see much of Fitty’s features. When he does face the camera, the in-game model looks oddly like R. Kelly. It’s enough to make players pine for an unlockable golden-shower attack.

Worth playing for: The sycophantic personalities of 50’s G-Unit crew. These guys are begging for a re-edit à la Garfield Minus Garfield. Eliminate the leading man, and G-Unit’s members are revealed as capable knights hamstrung by pathetic devotion to a disinterested monarch.

Frustration sets in when: You realize it’s never going to get as loopy as the first hour implies.

Final judgment: No bad-art masterpiece, Blood only rates as an eyebrow-raising timewaster.