Less than 80,000 copies sold. That’s less than Fracture, Haze and Kane & Lynch put together! (Not really). This little heap of Fifty Cent lovin’ is overdue for my nitpicking wrath… right? I write about games I love, hate and in between, but sometimes I like to reflect on those few titles that are either downright stupid or downright middle ground. Blood on the Sand is something different though, beneath its laughable plot, its obscene use of Fifty Cent material and its general ’50 is da best rappa in da world’ (poor literacy included)… there lies a game. A fun game. Yep, I said that.
When I read the synopsis for this plot, I laughed. Then I realized it was supposed to be taken seriously, and laughed even more. Fifty Cent is doing a concert in the middle east (you can see how cheap the devs are by noticing that they used the same Fiddy model throughout the whole game. Even at the concert you can see grenades strapped to his chest.) So, he does this concert blah blah and now he wants his payment. The concert guy, instead of being an actual realistic businessman, doesn’t have the money and gives Fifty Cent a crystal skull. But this skull is stolen and so Fiddy must go on a giant rampage throughout the middle east to get it back!
So you can obviously see this game’s strong point isn’t in its plot or characters. Its not even in the license it uses. Blood on the Sand, prepare for shock, does indeed take players on a high octane trip of thrills and kills, gasp now. I was shocked myself when I realized, around half-way through the game, that I was having fun. A lot of fun. The controls seemed tight enough, the shooting is actually some of the neatest I’ve seen. Not all the guns sound right or perform right, but its really the damage they do. I had fun jostling Fiddy about. You might think that its just a ‘cover based third-person shooter’ or a ‘Gears of War’, but well… prepare for a surprise.
Blood on the Sand’s gunplay rivals Gears of War… and yes I mean that. There’s no ‘reload minigame’ in the midst of battle to keep you on the toes, instead there’s just ludicrous action-packed fun. Sometimes the game puts forward a set-piece to keep you entertained but it can just do equally the same by sprinkling enemies throughout the area. This does come with problems however, namely your partner. Co-op games are, most of the time, fun. When played with friends or people or chimpanzees. Your AI partner will get you into a lot of trouble and, no joke, make up for it by yelling “SORREH FIDDY!”.
When Fiddy hired G-Unit, or whatever (I don’t stay tuned with the rap world or who is hanging with Fiddy), he didn’t exactly hire people with brains. Maybe this applies to real life, I don’t know, but in-game your partner becomes annoying and always on your big manly tits. Usually this would be a huge problem, but its worsened even further by the dialogue that they slur out. “FIDDY GET DAT [INSERT PROFANE LANGUAGE HERE]”. Most of the time you can’t understand your G-Unit buddies and, thankfully, subtitles are optional.
There’s still a lot of ‘un-fun’ to be had with Blood on the Sand. Its short, online co-op isn’t there, it does get repetitive and a lot of assets are re-used over the course of game. Textures, enemy models and so forth. There’s a few ‘extra bonus challenges’ to make the experience more fun, which I think can be quite enjoyable, most of them just feel tacked on. To sum up, you’ll be surprised with Blood on the Sand. If you manage to ignore the awful music, the blatant ‘OMG FIFTY IS JESUS’ and the AI being horrible… you’ll find something fun. A guilty pleasure of sorts… now go see a doctor.