50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Hands-On

50 Cent is back from the dead and still sporting an itchy trigger finger.

When we first had a look at 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand this past April, we could tell this arcade-style shooter would be a game filled to the brim with casualties. What few expected, though, was that the game would be a casualty itself. Blood on the Sand was slated to be published by Sierra, but when its parent company, Vivendi, merged with Activision, the newly formed conglomerate chose to shed the weight of 50 Cent's muscular frame instead of taking on publishing duties. Fortunately, THQ has come along and assumed the role of knight in shining armor, and now Blood on the Sand is once again slated for release this January. We recently took a look at an updated version of the game to see what sort of progress developer Swordfish Studios has made in these turbulent months since we last saw it.

Meet 50 Cent. He's angry, and rich enough to buy a whole lot of guns. And did we say angry?

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a story of money, revenge, and killing--with a great big emphasis on the killing. The game begins with a prerendered cutscene showing 50 and his G-Unit cohorts finishing up a concert somewhere in the Middle East. 50 drops the mic, heads off stage, and immediately seeks payment for his services from the show's promoter. It turns out that the promoter is a bit low on cash, so he offers 50 a rather pleasing consolation prize: a diamond-encrusted skull. But the crew is assaulted in transit, and a mysterious woman steals the priceless skull while the G-Unit crew members are fighting for their lives in a shower of bullets.

That's the story that lays the foundation for 50's exploits in the Middle East. He must then fight his way through this dangerous setting--where everyone seems to want him and his buddies dead--and find the skull he so desperately wants. And so, he kills. A lot. This is very much an old-school shooter with a strong focus on filling the screen with nameless enemies who primarily serve as fodder rapidly build up points via a kill combo system. The action is definitely fast and frantic, and most of the challenge is derived from the number of enemies you face rather than their cunning abilities with a gun. Most situations involve 50 and his crew blasting their way through run-down urban buildings, through side alleys, and down roads with burning cars and scattered debris--a true war zone.

There are 21 weapons in total, and you can carry four at a time. Selections range from dual Uzis to rocket launchers, and all of them are real-world weapons. Complementing your arsenal is a sticky cover system much like in Gears of War, which lets you peek around corners and vault over low obstacles. You probably won't find yourself using cover often, because if you want to acquire the most points, you'll need to string together as many kills as you can before the combo multiplier expires after a few seconds. That said, you can also take your time with melee counter kills, which generally involve some combination of punching, stabbing, and snapping necks to provide quick death to your enemies. These tend to be the most entertaining points in a battle.

Even with all this emphasis on running and gunning (and gunning and gunning), there are sequences thrown into the mix that ask you to take your hand off the trigger and put it on the wheel of a Humvee. We had the opportunity to try one of these driving sequences, a level in which 50 is cruising through the urban streets as cavalcades of armed foes come crashing into him in armored cars. Like the shooting, the action here is fast and intense. Enemies on foot will flee from you by jumping out of the way or by trying to climb a fence, which helps drive home the point that 50 is not a rapper to be messed with. The controls are responsive and work well with the frenetic pace.

Counter kills give you the chance to get up close and personal.

Much of the game's 50 Cent feel comes from the audio--50's dialogue and his music, which plays throughout the entire experience. There's a taunt system that lets you dish out verbal abuse to bad guys before you kill them, which is another way you can add to your overall point total (unfortunately, there's very little of that dialogue we can repeat here), but your humble protagonist will also frequently shout one-liners on his own. You can also unlock new music tracks that play over the entire game by collecting more and more points, then cashing them in for some new songs (42 in total, 18 exclusive tracks). This in-game economy also allows you to buy new weapons and taunts, which requires bling collected from smashing crates.

The entire game can be played in drop-in, drop-out co-op: One player assumes control of 50, and the other chooses from G-Unit members Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and DJ Whoo Kid. Cooperation isn't limited to riddling the same target with bullets, though; you'll often need to work together to climb over obstacles and decide who wants to drive and who wants to man the turret during vehicle sequences. That's a decision you'll be able to make when 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand arrives on January 19.

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163 comments
Noctobum
Noctobum

The comments on this game seems like better entertainment than the game itself. On the real though, I don't think this game would be great at all. Maybe a 7 at best. But if I was looking for a game like this, I'd rather go for Merc2 (which wasn't that great) or just play an FPS, CoD4 MW is a much better alternative.

remark666
remark666

might get this, if its on sale, good idea on the co-op

vietboi89
vietboi89

replace everyone with stick men and ditch the story and i think we have a DLC game that may be worth it, but with the way it is i would say garbage. I feel bad for people who are making this game, they're doing their job but 50 or "fiddy" if ur a dumbass jerk, is only doing this to boost his notoriety of being a major ass, any gamer can see this is complete exploitation of the gaming industry and it is embarrassing for people who actually appreciate well developed games, If 50 pennies wanted to go shooting guns in the middle east why dont he just become a damn Marine and actually have a story to tell, maybe that way people may actually give him some props for being somebody rather than a fake, and chances are if two quarters had to fight terrorist or extremist or whatever in the Middle East, he wouldnt stand a chance, if the marines arent having a walk in the park over there, five dimes isnt gonna last a goddamn day, dont underestimate the situation in the middle east, its insulting for everyone fighting over there and the ones who have died as a result of war, ten nickels should at least have a little more respect for the situation in the mid east, its not all fun and games over there, serious sh*t happens and people are getting shot at and killed

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

is it ok to rent this game if i don't like 50 cent or not amazing fan of rap?

Pilz-E_Uk
Pilz-E_Uk

i have to say this coz i was laughin to much the picture were the black dude is stabbin the white guy? LOL that is to funny. the game looks ok. but thats about it silly idea i think.

murr3
murr3

I didn't realise how many proper wankers come to game spot! To nocturnalkisses and any other douches, its a GAME you f**K tards! I don't know why anyone bothers to defend 50 cent or make excuses for hip hop in general especially to ignorant losers on this site who probably don't have pubes and live at home with their mommies and daddies (you all know who you are). Writing something dumb like "the game is unrealistic" or "50 has no training" just makes you look like you just ate a double dumb burger with extra stupid. Its a GAME f**Kwits! Just playing it now and its not bad. Its no GOTY by any shot, but hey its entertaining!

simonsworld
simonsworld

oh my god...an outrageous rapper, with an attitude,and loaded weapons, omg what next, a fat guy with cot and candy, boring "" zZzZzzZzzZzzZZzzZZzZzZzzZz "" hasnet this dude been shot enough times already? god dam...

pixellence
pixellence

Whether you like his rapping or not (I personally don't) 50 Cent has created a persona for himself which I think transposes well into a game like this. He might be an idiot with an overinflated ego but if a good game comes of it then it's all good. I'm looking forward to trying this one! And to all those who are moaning about the game not being realistic - it's a game. That's the whole point. If you want realism, get a sim. Games like this aren't intended to be over-examined; they're meant to be enjoyed and taken with a pinch of salt. /rant :)

nocturnalkisses
nocturnalkisses

yeah_28 i 150% agree with you. i agree. You mean to tell me that 50 cent is going to the middle east with no type of army experience or military training except, shoot, reload, repeat. Could anyone imagine 50 actually getting his ass over to the Middle East and shooting "terrorist" with visible bullet proof vest (which tells u NOT to aim for the chest but the head), a scarf, and a New York hat with baggy clothes. and to be technical, like i seen in this games trailer, you don't yell and scream like an ass at enemies. Doing that lets the enemies know where you're at and to devise a plan to kill you quickly. You use non-verbal communication and be discrete as possible and avoid conflict as much as possible which proves he has no military exp. except shoot, reload, repeat. And where is his information coming in? What i mean is that you don't go to a random place shoot up the whole place because unlike the USA, it is VERY common anyone walks around with an AK-47 and because they do don't deem them terrorist. but my point is, how does 50 and G-unit know where this stupid ass crystal skull is? *cough fake ass Indiana Jones, no type of creativity cough* You have to get enemy intel from somewhere right? not shooting up random places hoping what you're looking for is there. This game is whack and has you scratch your head saying wtt and htf is this possible? and even if he had enemy intel with computers and GPS's how the hell he get it? he stole it from the gov't?

the_aspect
the_aspect

so its basically GTA SA with cover and taunts.....?

StarStunna
StarStunna

This game may (or possibly) end up bein garbage, but Hip-Hop is not. Just becaus 50 Cent's rhymes aint no good dont mean otha rappers rhymes arent.

bigjdave30
bigjdave30

I would be the first to tell you how much i hate rap music. I have no respect for 50 cent as an artist. But if you can get past that, and look only at the details of the game, it looks like a pretty decent shooter. I think many, including myself, may be surprised at how this game turns out.

flashytoken
flashytoken

I really can't believe the comments on this site. The guy is rich enough to make whatever game he wants to make, so LEAVE HIM ALONE. He's obviously ran out of ideas on what to do with his money, so let him be more creative and make a video game. If you don't like it, then fine, don't buy it. Just don't attack the guy personally or attack what he wants to do with his money. GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES and I'm sure you MIGHT want to make a video game with yourself in it if you were as RICH as he is.

_LiL_E
_LiL_E

me and my friend cnt wait for this its going to be great

jimbo7up
jimbo7up

Can't be any worse than Vampire Rain.

SkidRow18
SkidRow18

Who the hell would even buy this? i guess only 50cent fans....this game would probably have less than a 7/10 rating...

Pelm
Pelm

this makes me soo mad and makes me wonder why tTHQ even wants to make this pierce of crap game that has no value and will have no value or be worth playing or worth anything to anyone ever. Why the game industry even allows THQ to develop this game is beyond me, but i will not promote, condone, support OR even consider buying this very stupid stupid game. THQ you need to get your act together and don't make crap ass pile of garbage games like this ever again or i swear I WILL drop you right to the cold hard deadly concrete ground.

kdizzle815
kdizzle815

To 'TheProdigyIV' I gave your comment a thumbs up to negate the thumbs down you recieved. Well put comment man. To 'yeah_28', I know it seems a bit silly about him being in the middle east and all but it seems like THQ did a halfway decent job at a story from what I've seen on the preview section. I'm not defending 50 by the way. His rhymes have taken a turn for the worse and no longer make me wanna hear them the way I used to. But we are here because of his game not his lyrics. And from the trailers it looks like a pretty decent action game. Hopefully it'll be better than Bulletproof. That game made me wanna gouge my eyes out with a PEZ dispenser. Even if it isn't better than the first one it's gonna sell alot o' copies just because it has 50's name on it.

TheProdigyIV
TheProdigyIV

Not really a Hip Hop site BUT!! Do NOT Generalize in Hip Hop, Just because 50 cent is garbage now... Trust me once upon a time before he sold his soul for riches, He was a very good rapper.. And he wasnt all about the Girls, Jewelry, Cash, Etc.. He was real, But now hes garbage.. BUT STILL Do not generalize in Hip Hop, There are alot of amazin' rappers out there just 50 is garbage... OK now the game, It could have potential.. But I doubt it will be anything worth more than a 7/10

yeah_28
yeah_28

Now,THIS is interesting,a game thats all about just shooting, wich in no means is a bad thing, cause it's still could find a way to be fun,but it's actually also about a selfish and INCREDIBLY stupid bag of muscles that tries to pass a as a rapper,and worst, this new game pictures him in some kind of a gangsta rapper lost in the Middle East killing people that appear to be slightly disimulated versions of TERRORISTS, of course with the gang made of his loyal butt kissing buddies G-Unit. So, we have a talentless "celebrity" starriying a game that does the same thing that his "songs" do("ohhh, i'm so bad yeah,i 'm so bad yeah, i took 9 shots, yeah yeah F... you and yo mama i'm the best rapper ever and i stick 50 steroids up my butt everyday bla bla bla), but we also have a game that puts him like some kind of hero or something, in other words, not just a "piece of" but a completely full sh-#"@. I mean, at LEAST make it to happen in "da hood" or something, with gangs and all that but in MIDDLE EAST ??????????? At least make it as a fictional character, but it couldn't have been other way isn't it ??, it had to be the all mighty and powerfull 50 cent the one who gets "robbed" in the desert, from all the people in the world, they went to assault a rapper, just stop reading for a sec and think how absourdidly hilarious that is, a rapper that has more guns than the entire armed forces of a country, and they steal from him a "diamond-encrusted skull" that like we all can predict, must have some amazing magical powers, like for example: selling more albums than Kanye. Plus its a woman the one who robs him, a woman that will obviously end up getting F.... by fifty at some point, and like if 50 cent would really conform with a diamond-encrusted skull just because the guy can't pay, c'mon please, its a joke. I know i writed too much but honestly, to have a little reflexion about this STUPID,IDIOTIC AND BRAIN DEAD GAME,i think it was worth. You wanna make a game about a rapper, then make it with somebody that makes quallity music or at least is a respectable person, not this °!!""##$#$%$#%&&/&&/&/#$#$"#$ that fifty cent is. I've already posted this before but you know what?, i really think this game and fifty deserve it.

marcaine
marcaine

Didn't these idiots learn from their first attempt?Trying to glorify idiotic rappers like this is like oil and water,"It DOESN"T mix!!"What a waste of money and effort.Be expecting to c this turd in the bargain bins when it drops.

steelcurtin26
steelcurtin26

This is a good game to hand out in the welfare line if they run out of checks. If they don't release a game like this then we will start hearing about games being racist and why don't we ever release black games? Next up: Jesse Jackson's role playing game about the rainbow coalition.

codeman5533
codeman5533

dont waste ur time or money on this one

mercypoo
mercypoo

Why do they even bother strapping a story onto these games? It may as well be called "50 Cent: Shoot Bad Guys." The story? 50 cent wants to shoot bad guys (or at least guys he considers to be bad). Makes more sense than getting pissed about the skull of bling.

genral_ayman
genral_ayman

ummm. there are a huge different between the first 50 cent video game and the new one 50cent blood on the sand video game first the story ..the environment but there are one problem and its the character face its different on ps3 while ps2 make him look fine withe his tru'' face right ??

Innocent_J
Innocent_J

I don't understand why people are hating on this game so much. How the hell are you people complaining about it not being realistic? How many games are there that are actually REALISTIC? People need to get off of him. He's just trying to make a good shooting game. Who cares if he's going to Iraq? Don't hate on him. Funny thing is, most of you people bashing him will be the SAME ones buying this game when it's out. So save your hate and let him do his thing. Damn.

Roarofthedragon
Roarofthedragon

I agree with some comments above.Who the F@#k does 50 cent think he is? hes just a damn big mouth rapper who is daydreaming thinking hes a RAMBO,trying to be tough on screen and in video games LoL.50 cents if you were in iraq , your behind (butthole) will never be the same ever again

poopmaster369
poopmaster369

looks ok but stupid that it's in Iraq 50 wouldnt be there hes to busy trying to burn his house down for insurance

DecadesOfGaming
DecadesOfGaming

50cent... "When will you realise that 99% of gamers think your games are a joke ? Your no role model, and you certainly aint an action hero !

B00giePop
B00giePop

you know what..I acually think the kids from Kidz Bop would have a better chance in the middle east than 50..

B00giePop
B00giePop

50 and the G-Unit crew in the middle east..taking down armies of heavily armed terrorists??? Atleast make it something realistic, like 50 cent Vs. the cast of Suite Life of Zack & Cody...that might be a fair fight.

360-SAINT
360-SAINT

Lol Leme guess 50, Tony Yeyo, N Lloyd banks go to sahara for G Unit war den The Game comes wid his Terrorist friends and fúcks em up. Lol dis game is gona be bull. The Game is better den 50.

juolingo900
juolingo900

ok 50 cent is taking this two far. why is he fighting in iraq>? AL-KIAHDA!

krayzie264
krayzie264

this nagger would never go to iraqw

MondasM
MondasM

this game would be huge hit if it costs around 50 cents...

tg17
tg17

either way he's gettin money which he should use to help his game cause if its like bullet proff its not worth even being made

firehawk998
firehawk998

Why would middle eastern terrorist wants to kill 50 cent dont have anything better to do than kill 50 cent? This has got to be the stupidest idea ever for a video game !!!!!!!!

guitarandbanjo
guitarandbanjo

I'm guessing at the end of this game you get shot 9 times, than become a rap star.

rockatanski
rockatanski

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

AllBop
AllBop

Wow ! Looks like a good game...! Ouch! I hurt myself saying that...! It's just too much sarcasm for me to handle...

Guerilla357
Guerilla357

Damn, 50 must be the most hated individual. I doubt the game is gonna be good but i also think its getting alot of negative reviews because people know it came from a rapper. If people didnt know that a rapper was behind this it probably would't be the center of all this hate. I played Bullet proof it wasn't the best game but i've played alot worse one's like Transformers... what a disappoitment that game was. My point again. If it wasnt known to be coming from 50, it wouldn't be getting this much hate... the hate is funny.. and like i said, im not promoting it. cause i dont think its gonna be anything to run out and get.. but cut the game some slack... lets wait till its proven to be trash, then we bash it....

georgeorjose
georgeorjose

if he could survive 7 bullets he could survive anything....stupid game....whats next 50 cents pimping seals

Ponczman
Ponczman

thanks admin for deleting my post.....liberty of word?? give me a break.....damn.....

chuckaroo27
chuckaroo27

wow i mean how could he top off the greatness which was bulletproof..... sarcasm is a real eye sore isnt it.lol

remark666
remark666

Dark_sageX, ur a moron.... i honestly dont care about the story, as long as the gameplay is good