50 Cent is a superstar entertainer and masterful businessman with success in many ventures including music, film, television production, and Vitamin Water. Before becoming one of the biggest stars in the world with his breakout album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Curtis Jackson was ambushed and shot nine times in Queens, New York. His miraculous survival is a significant part of his image. Jackson must also have some sort of sense of humor about the matter considering that he looked back on his brush with death and thought “I should make a video game about this.”
In 2005, Jackson teamed up with Vivendi Universal Games to release 50 Cent: Bulletproof. The game has you play as 50 Cent seeking vengeance on those many men that wished death upon him. But since he can’t do it alone, he seeks help from the G-unit crew: Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Tony Yayo (Free Yayo). 50 Cent also requires help from an arms dealer played by Dr. Dre and a corrupt cop played by Eminem. The game reeks of the early 2000s.
50 Cent: Bulletproof is a b-movie bargain bin guilty pleasure game. While the cinematic sequences, original soundtrack, and killing animations are extremely entertaining, the game was panned for its sloppy game mechanics. The camera following 50 is too clunky and aiming is almost impossible.
You aim in the same way 50 Cent threw his first pitch at the Mets game.
Despite its shortcomings, the game was able to sell over a million copies and made $27 million in the United States by way of 50 Cent’s star power. Its success also prompted the release of 50 Cent: Bulletproof G-Unit Edition for PSP, which included a Vitamin Water mini-game. Amazing, isn’t it?
In 2009, as the newer-generation consoles were being rolled out, 50 Cent decided that he wanted to make another video game. Development for his next game was taken up by Swordfish Studios under publisher THQ. The follow up to 50 Cent: Bulletproof would be not only an improvement in graphics and game mechanics, but also in the craziness of it all.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand takes us to an unmarked territory of a war-torn Middle East, where 50 Cent and G-Unit play a large-scale concert. After the performance, the promoter doesn’t have the $10 million dollars he promised as compensation. In order to avoid the beating of a lifetime from 50, the promoter offers them a diamond encrusted skull as collateral. The crew happily takes this skull only to have it immediately stolen by a group of terrorists. Deciding to get the skull back at any cost, 50 Cent and G-Unit arm themselves to the teeth and set out to pop a cap in anyone that gets in their way.
This sequel adds a good amount of new features when compared to the first game. Aiming is made so easy that almost every shot is guaranteed to be a headshot. Counter kills allow you to beat up enemies with quicktime responses that utilize the same button over and over again. You are given four weapon types and can use cover to hide and aim. The gameplay is basically Army of Two but with rappers.
But we haven’t even touched the crazy parts yet. Taunting your enemies plays an important role in this game, as there is a button dedicated to taunting and it gives you more points the more often you use it. This means that you will be vulgarly roasting terrorists while blowing their heads off. Also, if you manage to blow enough heads off, you build up the ability to use “Gangsta Fire.” When using “Gangsta Fire,” time slows down and you’re able to cause more destruction while being more precise with your shots.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand wants you to murder as many terrorists as possible. There are enemies that will drive around in trucks carrying large drums of gasoline that are practically begging to be exploded. You are a killing machine with every weapon you pick up and you’ll never run out of ammo even if you tried. There are a few boss battles but all of them are attack helicopters that you easily shoot down with rocket launchers.
Despite critics giving it a better rating than the first game, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand was a commercial failure and resulted in the closure of Swordfish Studios. Since 2009, there hasn’t been another video game centered around 50 Cent shooting through enemies like an action hero. 50 has stated as recently as 2018 that he intends to make another video game to complete the trilogy but no news about him teaming up with any developers has surfaced. It most likely won’t have the same impact as these games did since Curtis Jackson is no longer in his prime. What I would give to go back in time and be able to play these games when 50 Cent was at the height of his fame.
“Dad? Can I have money to get two 50 Cent games?”
“Two 50 Cent games? Okay, here’s a dollar.”