Against all odds, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand takes a premise so ridiculous and silly that it seemed doomed from the start and turns it into a genuinely enjoyable action game.
Let's be frank: the plot here is outlandish, illogical, and just plain stupid. It's impossible to take seriously and doesn't have a shred of plausibility. But that's what makes it totally awesome. Controlling 50 Cent as he runs around the Middle East, snapping necks and gunning down hundreds of people without a hint of remorse in search of a diamond-encrusted skull, is as unintentionally hilarious and gratifying as you'd hope. But the surprising part is that the rest of the game is actually really good.
Blood on the Sand does some very interesting things with its standard shooting mechanics to add substance to the novelty of playing as 50 Cent. There's a very old-school arcade mentality at work here that rewards you for everything from combo kills to forgoing cover to taunting while you murder. As well, there are hidden targets to shoot and posters to collect in every level, and the game constantly throws quick challenges at you that have you scrambling to kill a specific set of enemies within a very short time limit. It's all strangely fresh and addictive, propelling you from one encounter to the next without the experience getting stale.
Considering that you can find it for dirt cheap now, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is shockingly easy to recommend. It's dumb and absurd, but it's a lot of fun, too.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand / $59.99 / Reviewed on PS3