50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition
Platform: Sony PSP
Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: VU Games
- 50 Cent looks great
- Tons of unlockable media
- Less painful than a hollow point in the gut
- Gameplay downgraded from consoles
- Recycled story is still lame
- Multiplayer requires subjecting others to the game
Multiplatinum-selling rapper and clothing magnate 50 Cent loses about a quart of blood in the transition from console to handheld. 50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition for the PSP castrates what was already a pretty shaky offering on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gameplay is pared down from 3rd person action ala Max Paine to top-down hack and slash. An already dodgy story is gutted and streamlined. And here's a slice of branding irony to savor; 50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition features less of the G Unit than the original game. On consoles crew members Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck participated in missions, helping Mr. Cent do his thing. Here Fiddy's cronies are relegated to vendor jobs and cut scenes, if they even show up at all.
A Tale Told by a Television Producer
In the alternate reality of the 50 Cent Bulletproof games, our protagonist is a sort of hard-boiled ghetto detective. Little reference is made the celebrity's career as a rapper. Instead the game focuses on the MC's other talent – getting shot. Nine bullets bury themselves in 50 Cent's meticulously sculptured bod, launching a hackneyed tale of gangland conspiracies that culminates in, wait for it, a terror plot. This been-there-shot-that narrative was phoned in by Terry Winter, the executive producer of The Sopranos. We assume he cranked this story out between bouts of brainstorming new ways to run his HBO series into the ground. The PSP game's narrative-propelling cut scenes are cribbed directly from the console version of the game. Despite their lame-brained writing, these segments actually look pretty good. Thanks goes to the incredibly well-rendered character models of 50 Cent, Eminem (cosplaying as a cop) and Dr. Dre. Rarely have real-world personas been better translated to digital form.
Smash and Grab
If there's one benefit of this offering's downgrade to top-down combat it's that there's less that can go wrong. 50 plows through level after level of meth-addled bikers and triad gunmen, leaving bodies in his wake. Fire-arms and melee weapons are collected while rooting through warehouses and back-alleys or bought from a vendor between levels. The game is a little stingy in the ammo department so 50 Cent's one-button kills come in fairly handy. Holding the circle button executes a foe while they're in a grab. Counter kills, perhaps the game's most varied form of death-dealing, eat up stamina and save shells. Strangely the most fun comes after the bodies hit the floor. Mashing the circle button makes 50 Cent kick corpses until they cough up all their ammo, paper and jewelry. Not all that surprising from a guy who wrote a song called “How to Rob.”
50 Cent Bulletproof G Unit Edition still manages to screw the proverbial dawg in several departments. Despite an aerial view, the in-game camera frequently lodges itself behind high walls. Boss battles require no strategy outside of keeping 50 pumped full of pain meds while trading bullets with his target. Multiplayer isn't much to write home about, besides the fact that you can play against bots if you can't find any friends unfortunate enough to own a copy of the game. The game throws a crap load of unlockables at players, including cheats, music, videos and clothing. But most of the cash is looted during the game's last level – just in time for the credits. Thanks, 50. Unless playing dress-up with G Unit's new fall line really pumps you up, you won't see much benefit to the majority of these in-game items. The game's best feature – a buttload of music and video from 50 Cent and G Unit – is unceremoniously dumped into a menu by album title making no differentiation between 50 Cent's solo efforts and albums from Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. You'd figure this valuable media add-ons would be treated a little more reverently.
Power of the Dollar
It's a good bet that fans have already been burnt by this game's previous incarnation and likely won't make the same mistake again. 50 Cent Bulletproof G Unit Edition, while different and slightly less sucky than its predecessor, isn't much of an improvement. Between the dull kill-and-rob action, dopey wanna-be movie plot and the sheer fact that this game is recycled from a game that pretty much everybody hates there's not much to recommend this game – apart from the price tag. Well-meaning, uniformed moms and girlfriends are sure to hand out quite a few copies of this game over the holidays. Ask for a gift receipt, playa.
Article by: Gus Mastrapa
Video produced by: Jonathan Solin