Preview: 50 Cent – Blood on the Sand

Is this game worth more than 50 cents?

In late January, I went to the THQ office in Woking, Surrey to see 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand on PS3, Deadly Creatures for Wii and WWE Legends of Wrestlemania for Xbox 360. This is the first of 3 previews and the first game we will look at is 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand…

The story of Blood on the Sand is fairly simple. It involves 50 Cent playing a concert and not getting paid for it, so he seeks the manager who gives him a diamond encrusted skull, which is stolen from him from an elusive woman. It’s basic but sets a good enough tone for the game to get underway.

Blood on the Sand is a third-person shooter just like the first 50 Cent game. But it seems the team has listened to the complaints of the original and included a more arcade feel to it, which is reminiscent of SEGA’s “The Club” with time-based secondary objectives, high scores and targets to shoot for bonuses. It also borrows the great cover system from Gears of War, which surprisingly doesn’t feel out of place and works quite well.
50 Cent has given fans exclusive content like music videos and even new songs that will not appear anywhere else but in Blood on the Sand, so it’s a nice incentive for his followers.
The game can be played in co-op with another person or AI. The other played is needed to help you reach ledges and shoot enemies while you drive and a few other surprises. It’s one of those games where co-op works really well, which isn’t at all what I expected. I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of 50 Cent or the past game, so I was shocked to see that Blood on the Sand has actually emerged as quite a fun third person shooter.

As you kill enemies, you build your Gangsta meter which enables slow-mo like FEAR and Max Payne, health is naturally replenished like in most games now…just avoid enemies and it will refill quickly. There is quite a large weapon roster in the game and you can buy more as you progress and if you have enough cash. In total there are 24 weapons in the game, some of which are upgradable. There is also close quarter combat which you can activate by going to an enemy and pressing a button, which enables a quicktime event to determine if you can kill the enemy in one hit or if he will knock you back, it’s simple but it works.
The game’s visuals are impressive. There is quite a bit of fire in BotS and the team have really pushed it well. Character models are well detailed and animated; the soundtrack will please fans but not those who don’t like his music.

Overall, I’m impressed by Blood on the Sand. Its arcade style gameplay works quite well and the story isn’t all that important, so anyone can enjoy it. It will be interesting to see what the final result is when I review it later on this month.