50 Cent: Blood On The Sand is an action game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that doesn't let a mindless premise get in the way of a fun time.

Blood on the Sand: Click, Click, Boom!

Now, Blood on the Sand's ridiculous premise isn't grounds enough to call it a bad game by any means. In all honesty, I look at it as a scientific experiment: take one part third-person run-and-gun action ala Gears of War, add in a hefty dose of the arcade-style shoot-em-up found in The Club and top it off with all of the cartoonish violence and ridiculous stereotypes you'd see in any Metal Slug installment and eureka: you have a formula for an adrenaline-fuelled frag-fest that's sure to bring a smile to the face of any Vitamin Water-swillin' celebrity.

While Blood on the Sand does borrow heavily from many other shooters on the market - Gears of War remaining the most obvious candidate for comparison - its sheer amount of campy dialogue met with arcade-style action creates a fresh, if not entirely original experience.

As you guide Fiddy and an AI controlled member of the G-Unit through a number of exotic locales, the name of the game remains extremely simple: shoot everything in sight with extreme prejudice.

Enemies, explosive barrels, wooden crates... if it can be destroyed, the game will reward you handsomely with an amalgam of points and cash. Now, if there was any inkling that I was supposed to take Blood on the Sand the least bit seriously, I might venture to call the game a bit shallow; but with the wanton firefights and explosive Michael Bay-esque action all remaining firmly tongue in cheek, you can't help but laugh and enjoy the ridiculous ride.

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Blood on the Sand: unleash havoc

Players are encouraged to experiment with the type of havoc they wreak as creative forms of murder and mayhem will reward each gamer differently depending on their style. Shooting an enemy while exposed, getting that perfect head-shot, blindfiring into a car's gas tank - hell, even taunting your foes with the click of your left analogue stick are all grounds for racking up an ocean of points.

As you blast your way through your overseas surroundings, you'll be tasked with small "Scenarios" usually consisting of "kill X numbers of X enemies in X seconds" which, upon successful completion, will award Mr. Cent and company with points, special ammo, and even grenades.

These tiny challenges help add a bit of variety to the shooting experience - even if you are killing the same five or six guys hundreds upon hundreds of times.

Throughout Blood on the Sand, Fiddy can stop off at payphones to contact his main man Raoul, arms dealer extraordinaire. While on the line with Raoul, you can purchase up to 21 unique weapons, 14 diverse close-quarters counter kills or even brand new taunt packs, ranging from "Ghetto Thug" to "Mac Daddy" status.

While the counter kills are always a blast to watch, the single-button quick-time-event format they're presented in is just tiring, if anything, and the amped-up profanity found in the new taunts does little to enhance the gaming experience.

Thankfully, there is a noticeable difference between weapons from fire-power to clip capacity. Certain pieces even have add-ons such as sniper scopes for taking out enemies from a distance.

NEXT PAGE: good lookin' out

50 Cent: Blood On The Sand is an action game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that doesn't let a mindless premise get in the way of a fun time.

Blood on the Sand: good lookin' out

Blood on the Sand puts a heavy emphasis on teamwork with Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and DJ Whoo Kid all at your disposal, and while drop-in/drop-out online co-op is available I was a bit shocked to find a complete lack of local multiplayer - and only two-player online available at that. While going back with a buddy to rack up points on previous missions is always a blast, I can't help but think of how much the game would have benefited from a few more multiplayer modes, or even a simple split-screen.

Blood on the Sand also faults a bit on its lack of variety, as you'll find yourself blowing away the umpteenth wave of the same guys with the same weapons that you just killed on a very similar map in a previous mission.

While the vehicle-based rail-shooter levels are few and far between breaths of fresh air, the lack of diversity is sure to alienate gamers from all camps. Throw in the fact that all of the game's unlockables are either tracks from previous 50 Cent albums or 50 Cent music videos, and you might start to wonder if this is a game made solely for hardcore fans or a game made solely for 50 Cent.

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Blood on the Sand: or die tryin'

All things considered, I won't lie: I'm nowhere near above an old fashioned trigger-happy bloodbath, and Blood on the Sand lives up to its name in that respect. If you want variety, depth, and a story you can really sink your teeth into, look elsewhere. If you're in dire need of a mindless gold and platinum coated shoot-em-up experience, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand might just be right up your alley.

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50 Cent Blood on the Sand: Specs

  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • Microsoft Xbox 360
  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • Microsoft Xbox 360

OUR VERDICT

There's no denying it: Blood on the Sand is completely senseless, wholly obnoxious, incredibly thoughtless, and insanely fun. Hampered by a sore lack of multiplayer, Fiddy's second console excursion still remains an entertaining, if completely mindless experience.

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