50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

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50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
50 Cent Blood on the Sand.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s)Swordfish Studios
Publisher(s)THQ
Director(s)Julian Widdows
Designer(s)Tim Austin
Gavin Cooper
Ed Kay
Artist(s)Fergus Duggan
Mark O'Kane
Andrew Taylor
Writer(s)Kamran Pasha
Composer(s)Swizz Beatz
EngineUnreal Engine 3
Platform(s)PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release
  • EU: February 20, 2009[1]
  • NA: February 24, 2009
Genre(s)Third-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a third-person shooter video game developed by Swordfish Studios and published by THQ for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It serves as the sequel to 50 Cent: Bulletproof, and was released in February 2009. The game centers around a fictional 50 Cent and G-Unit's concert, set in an unspecified location in Middle East. After the group's payment, a diamond-encrusted skull, is stolen, they must fight to retrieve the stolen skull back from the thieves.

Blood on the Sand came out of a Covert-One cancelled project at Swordfish Studios, which was tweaked to be less serious. In 2008, Vivendi Games, the initial publisher, merged with Activision. That resulted in the company dropping the support, with an uncertain future regarding the release. Shortly after, THQ took over the publishing rights for the game.

The game was positively received upon release, with praise directed at 50 Cent's involvement. Despite being noted as an improvement over Bulletproof, it was a commercial failure, which led to the closure of Swordfish Studios in 2010.

Plot[edit]

The game is set in an urban warzone in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, where 50 Cent and G-Unit have been hired to play a rap concert. After the concert, the promoter, Anwar, is unable to pay them the $10 million in cash he promised but relents after being threatened. However, instead of the cash they were promised, he gives them a diamond-and-pearl encrusted human skull as collateral. This is stolen by a paramilitary group led by the terrorist Said Kamal and his right hand woman Leila. 50 Cent (with the help of a selected G-Unit partner) decides to get it back at any cost and soon, they find out that there is a much bigger enemy than Kamal.

Gameplay[edit]

Blood on the Sand includes on-foot combat, as well as vehicle missions such as a driver-and-turret-gunner Humvee H2 road chase and a helicopter-borne minigun shootout. There are also boss battles against helicopters.

The game has a feature called the "Shop" (activated in the game by placing a call on payphones hidden on each level), where the characters can use cash to buy new weapons, upgrade their old weapons, and learn hand-to-hand combat moves called "Counter-Kills". Cash can be used to unlock Taunts (each rated by "Profanity", "Braggin'" and "Triple X" levels), which increase the points earned from kills.

Weapons are graded from 1 to 10 by capacity, damage rating, and accuracy, and also list possible weapon enhancements. Players can use a mode called "Gangsta Fire" (50 Cent's variation on the slo-mo "bullet-time" concept used in Max Payne) to take on multiple opponents at once.

Each level has target enemies (five per level; each is just a high-value target, not a "Level Boss"), crates of gold bars (which are broken open to earn money), as well as collectibles like posters (5 per level). Kills grant points, which help the player to earn bronze, silver, and gold G-Unit Badges; these unlock better weapons, counter-kills, and taunts in the "Shop".

It also features more music tracks than the first game (40+ tracks in all); 50 Cent made 18 exclusive tracks just for the game. Swizz Beatz, Lab Ox and The Individuals made the original score for the game. There are also unlockable songs and videos.

Development[edit]

Around 2007, Swordfish Studios was looking to publish a video game based on novel series Covert-One, to coincide with a TV show's release. However, the series got cancelled, and so was the game at the same time. After that, Vivendi Games offered the studio to develop a sequel based on 50 Cent: Bulletproof. While certain parts of the Covert-One project got repurposed during its development (like cover system), Blood on the Sand was being made with a lighter tone in mind. The animations were done from scratch to have a more "rap" feeling to it. 50 Cent and G-Unit occasionally visited the developers to offer some feedback. Every few months, Vivendi would show them a presentation of the game, named as "big release" builds. One of the late additions were the helicopters, due to 50 Cent's son asking for them during the build's playthrough.[2]

After the original company planned to distribute the game, Activision, merged with Vivendi Games, many games, including 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, faced the possibility of not being released. The rights to Blood on the Sand were then picked up by THQ.[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic71/100 (X360)[4]
72/100 (PS3)[5]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1Up.comC[6]
AllGame3/5 stars[7]
CVG7/10 (X360)[8]
Edge7/10[9]
Eurogamer7/10[10]
Game Informer8/10[11]
GamePro3.5/5 stars[12]
GameSpot7/10[13]
GameTrailers7/10[14]
GameZone6.5/10[15]
IGN7.1/10[16]
7.6/10 (UK)[17]
7.5/10 (Australia)[18]
OXM (US)6.5/10 (X360)[19]
Play70% (PS3)[20]
X-Play4/5 stars (X360)[21]
The A.V. ClubC[22]
Maxim4/5 stars[23]
USA Today3.5/5 stars[24]

Unlike Bulletproof, which received generally mixed reviews, Blood on the Sand was better received by video game critics, scoring a 7 out of 10 on GameSpot and a 4/5 on X-Play.[21] Critics also praised the improvement and 50 Cent's involvement in the game. Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb said the story was "mostly nonsense, with a lot of half-assed dialogue that's usually delivered by people who sound like they have a plane to catch".[25] IGN praised the solid gunplay and strong co-op though they noted that the repetitive nature of the gameplay meant that it did not have great lasting appeal.[26] Chris Watters of GameSpot said "it works surprisingly well. This isn't the best action game you'll play this year, but that doesn't mean you won't have a damn fun time playing it."[27]

In Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe, Brooker gave the game a negative review, quoting the game and saying ""Where'd she go? That bitch who took my skull?", that's the entire storyline" and later stating that "there are plenty of atrocious cutscenes detailing a story that's impossible to care about, during which 50 Cent scowls a lot and generally behaves like a prick."[28]

The game was not a commercial success.[29][30] As of early April 2009, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand sold an estimated 56,000 copies in the United States, not enough to make another installment for the series.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand dated for Europe". Archived from the original on 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  2. ^ Smith, Ed (2017-04-27). "The Making Of..." Edge (magazine). Archived from the original on 2020-09-12. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  3. ^ Jenner, Laura (2008-11-07). "Ghostbusters trapped by Atari". GameSpot.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
  4. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Critic Reviews for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  5. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Critic Reviews for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  6. ^ Lee, Garnett (2009-02-26). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  7. ^ Brown, Christopher. "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand - Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  8. ^ Jackson, Mike (2009-02-19). "Review: 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  9. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand". Edge. April 2009.
  10. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2009-02-20). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  11. ^ Helgeson, Matt (March 2009). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  12. ^ Herring, Will (2009-02-23). "Review : 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (360)". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  13. ^ Watters, Chris (2009-02-24). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  14. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". GameTrailers. March 4, 2009. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  15. ^ Grabowski, Dakota (2009-03-08). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  16. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2009-02-24). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  17. ^ Robinson, Martin (2009-02-20). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand UK Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  18. ^ Shea, Cam (2009-02-22). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand AU Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  19. ^ Reyes, Francesca (2009-02-25). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand review". Official Xbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  20. ^ Hopkins, Tom (2009-03-09). "Review: 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand". Play. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  21. ^ a b Heppe, Abbie (2009-02-25). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review for Xbox 360". X-Play. Archived from the original on 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  22. ^ Fischer, Russ (2009-03-09). "50 Cent: Blood On The Sand". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  23. ^ Manolatos, Gerasimos (2009). "'50 Cent: Blood on the Sand' Review". Maxim. Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  24. ^ Saltzman, Marc (2009-03-06). "That's a rap: '50 Cent' game sequel hits high note". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  25. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (2009-02-24). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Review". Giant Bomb. Archived from the original on 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  26. ^ "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand UK Review - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Archived from the original on 2020-09-12. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2013-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ pistol71 (2017-05-13), Charlie Brookers GamesWipe (Comedic History of Computer Games) (Complete), archived from the original on 2019-08-12, retrieved 2019-07-16
  29. ^ Burford, Doc (2019-03-05). "On 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, The Surprisingly Excellent Third-Person Shooter That History Forgot". USGamer. Archived from the original on 2019-07-07. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  30. ^ Good, Owen (2017-04-29). "Building a video game for 50 Cent sounds like a soul-crushing experience". Polygon (website). Archived from the original on 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  31. ^ Hinkle, David (9 May 2009). "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand sales pale to Bulletproof". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.

External links[edit]