50 Cent: Blood On The Sand is a third person shoot-em-up featuring rapper 50 Cent As Himself in the main role. Though technically a sequel to the poorly-received 50 Cent: Bulletproof, this game managed to get average critical reception... and a ton of So Bad, It's Good value.
The majority of said value is related to the game's High Concept plot: The game begins with 50 Cent and G-Unit finishing a concert in an unnamed, war-torn Middle Eastern country, only for the promoter to claim he can't pay the promised $10 million fee due to an alleged robbery. After 50 Cent points a gun to the promoter's head, the latter offers 50 a priceless diamond encrusted skull as collateral while he tries to recover the money. 50 accepts only for the skull to be stolen as soon as he walks out the door by a paramilitary group connected to a local warlord. The rest of the game involves 50 and a selected G-Unit partner slaughtering their way through the Middle East to recover the skull.
Yes, that's the plot.
The game itself is a fairly linear third person shooter with a Gears of War style cover mechanic. However, the game also has a points-based mechanic similar to that of The Club (no relation to 50's song In Da Club) in which you gain points by fulfilling special timed objectives given to you in several points (usually involving killing specific enemies, or killing them in a specific way) or by killing enemies regularly though you can increase the score by... swearing at them. Via the dedicated swear button. These points may then be used in the game's shop where you can buy and upgrade weapons... as well as swears.
Yeah, you can see why this game is more well-regarded than its predecessor.
This game provide examples of:
- Aborted Arc: In the opening cutscene, Anwar mentions a man nicknamed The Harvester who will "tear [50 Cent] apart piece by piece" should they ever cross paths. He is never mentioned again. However, it's highly likely that Wilder either is the Harvester, or a character who replaced him at some point during the game's development, since across the final two levels Wilder makes threats of dissecting Fifty and selling his organs, and Fiddy himself outright calls him the Harvester in a throwaway line while breaking open boxes of cash.
- A God Am I: Kamal says as much in the theatre.
- A.K.A.-47: None of the guns go by their real names. The starting rifle is even a literal version of the trope, being an off-brand AK called the "Klaznikov 47".
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Some cultures actually decorated human skulls in ornate manners, though possibly not to the extent of the skull in this game.
- Blatant Item Placement: Lampshaded when 50 can order guns while inside a burning theater.G-Unit: How the fuck is Raoul supposed to deliver in here?
50: Shut the fuck up. I'm making a call.
- Bloodless Carnage: Mostly averted, but during the cutscene when Wilder gets into the helicopter and Leila betrays both of them, 50 shoots two of Wilder's men who fall over dead without a single wound or blood splatter.
- Bloody Hilarious: You can shoot your teammate as much as you like, he won't mind or lose health (or even react). If he is standing next to a wall, you could technically paint the wall with his blood.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Aside from his G-Unit allies, the strip club owner, and Raoul, literally every named character who claims to be 50 Cent's ally will betray him at some point.
- Cluster F-Bomb: It's 50 Cent, what did you expect? There's even a dedicated swear button.
- Collection Sidequest: In which Fiddy grabs promotional posters of... himself.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Short-range weapons are blue and take blue ammo, assault rifles and machine guns are yellow, special weapons like sniper rifles and rocket launchers are red. Enemies will also wear shirts color-coded to this so you can tell at a glance what they're armed with.
- Convection Schmonvection: Fire doesn't hurt 50, except during the final boss fight. The G-Unit also won't be hurt by 50's fire bullets.
- Corrupt Hick: Wilder.
- Crapsack World: The unnamed Middle-Eastern country seems like a pretty terrible place to live even before 50 Cent starts tearing it apart looking for his skull.
- Dull Surprise: The default facial state for 50 and G-Unit are rather slack-jawed and blank, even when they are stabbing people to death. Fortunately they're much more expressive in cutscenes.
- Everything Fades: Zigzagged. Dead enemies tend to stick around, but if they're burned to death then they fade within seconds.
- Gatling Good: One sequence has you manning a helicopter mini gun and laying waste to an enemy base.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Since the G-Unit partner is interchangeable, 50 never mentions his name when talking to him despite said partner usually going "YO FIDDY!" every five minutes. As the Giant Bomb video review says, this can give the impression that 50 is an uncaring taskmaster surrounded by a trio of sycophants.
- Hidden Depths: The G-Unit member lampshades several of the game's over-the-top tropes, recognizes a desert castle as Napoleonic on sight, and admires the statuary in the city you're currently destroying. Even 50 is surprised by this.
- High Concept: The page quote easily sums up the entire game.
- Improbable Use of a Weapon: With the aid of explosive ammo, taking out a helicopter with a handgun.
- Large Ham: Kamal. Anwar even lampshades it:Anwar: Kamal's base of operations must be deep inside the theatre. He's well known for having a love of the dramatic.
- Let's Play: One by Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus which handily allows you to experience this game's lunacy without buying it.
- Made of Iron: As the Let's Play demonstrates, 50 Cent can take
an RPGthree RPGs to the chest and survive. Apparently, 50 is not simply bulletproof, but mortarproof as well.
- Morton's Fork: The Multiple Endings path mentioned below, if you open the shutters, you apparently doom Leila and her family to death, but Leila betrays you in either path, and it's left up in the air whether she was even telling the truth about her family (though she dies if you do open the shutters, just personally at 50 Cent's hands).
- Multiple Endings: The two endings depend on whether or not 50 opens the shutters, setting off an alarm and dooming Leila and her family or going the longer way through the level.
- Mundane Utility: Once 50 gets the expensive diamond-encrusted skull back, he sets it on his dashboard and uses it to hold his cigar.
- No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: When 50 is holding a rifle in a cutscene, it will switch between an M4 and an AK every single time the camera angle changes.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Said by Wilder after Leila betrays him.
- No OSHA Compliance: Your G-Unit buddy lampshades this when you reach a construction site. Really.
- Private Military Contractors: They show up in the first half of the game, zig-zagging between enemies (intercepting a shipment Fifty is escorting in an attempt to get at Kamal), friendly (after Anwar hires them for extra muscle, with Fifty helping them in an armored car heist), and enemies again (betraying Fifty the instant the heist concludes).
- Qurac: The game never even so much as makes an attempt at explaining where exactly it takes place. Although, the presence of a castle which your G-Unit partner identifies as Napoleonic, and then an actual statue of Napoleon on a horse later in that level, indicates it's probably meant to be either Egypt or Syria.
- Ragdoll Physics: As usual, it occasionally leads to some hilarious deaths.
- Chip and Ironicus' LP showcases a particularly hilarious one when 50 Cent dies and gets caught on a countertop, frantically twitching his way over it to the other side. They also demonstrate that the physics combined with counter-kills don't exactly work as they should - mooks killed with the neck-snap tend to immediately shoot down to the ground, often two feet or more away from where you actually killed them, as soon as Fiddy lets go of them, and at least two occasions in the LP show another punch-centric counter-kill resulting in Fiddy apparently punching the other guy so hard that they teleport behind him.
- Real Is Brown: So extremely brown that the LPers thought there was something wrong with the video.
- Chapter 8's levels have a very strange blue filter, possibly to hide a lighting glitch.
- Refuge in Audacity: Again, a game where you play as 50 Cent, fight your way through the war torn Middle East and gain extra points by swearing at people while you shoot them.
- Shout-Out: Some of the achievement titles, such as Lord Of The Bling.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: You can make 50 swear on command, and he'll partake independent of that, as well.50: (getting a boost from a partner) Help me the fuck up!
- Stealth Parody: Zero Punctuation's take on it.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In addition to the dedicated swear button, 50 Cent will often yell out something like "suck on this!" when tossing a grenade.
- Token Romance: Leila ...and then she backstabs 50.
- Zillion-Dollar Bill: The skull.