50 Cent: Bulletproof G-Unit Edition - PSP - Review
Artist 50 Cent certainly has quite a loyal following in the gangsta rap, hip-hop community seeing as his music sells like crazy, and his videos are replayed constantly on MTV. He’s also the reason Vivendi Universal Games released 50 Cent: Bulletproof for the home console because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to play as a tough-as-nails rapper who isn’t shy to admit he was shot nine times or tell the story of his life in a motion picture the loosely reveals his past. Even when game reviewers gave the game some negative scores, a PSP version followed. 50 Cent: Bulletproof G-Unit Edition alters the original console game and makes it PSP friendly but that doesn’t necessarily make it a good game.
Bulletproof G-Unit Edition still tells the same tale written by Terry Winter, who also happens to be the Executive Producer of HBO’s The Sopranos, and stars you as 50 Cent. Mister Cent receives a call from his close friend in need, named K-Dog, only to arrive on time to see him die and to receive a few bullets into your back. Soon he is framed for his friend’s murder by government agents and it up to you to clear your name. It’s not much of a story really since most of the time 50 Cent tends to search for revenge by hanging out with hot babes and collecting enough money to purchase weapons from Grizz (voiced by Dr. Dre). Yet when he does go for his enemies he does so by taking on a variety of different gangs and international crime syndicates.
Unlike the console game, though, this PSP version turns a third-person shooter into a top-down hack-and-slash action game. The top-down view would have been a good idea if you could zoom out and in, but since you can’t you’re forced to follow 50 Cent up close, giving you less a chance to see what’s ahead of you or who is shooting at you. Thankfully, the auto-targeting system offers a helping hand but most of the game you’ll wish you could zoom out to get a better view. The reason 50 will die often in the game isn’t because the enemies you face are a cunning lot … it’s that darn camera that will kill you.
Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t end there. Bulletproof G-Unit Edition, although brings much of the console game’s action sequences, isn’t very exciting when it comes to the combat. Like many dungeon crawlers, the game’s enemies swarm towards you but none of them is smart enough to duck for cover. In fact, most of them just attack blindly, allowing 50 to bust out his counter-kill moves. It’s far too easy to grab enemies and use them as human shields. Pulling off counter-kill moves that result in a somewhat cool animation of 50 performing various lethal moves, is not hard either and since you can pop into the theater to practice these moves you won’t have much trouble pulling them off.
You’ll have a number of weapons at your disposal whether you like to blast a few thugs with a shotgun or swing a baseball bat at hoods. While 50 heads out to different locations in search for revenge, you’ll have a chance to stop by and get information from your G-Unit homies or two prostitutes named Moet and Chandon. Sadly, this doesn’t liven up a dull game with boring levels that start feeling alike the more you continue playing. What does liven things up - just a little, mind you - is the Ad Hoc multiplayer mode fit for up to four players. You can play against your friends in five different game modes like Smash and Grab, Breaking and Entering, Urban Warfare, King of Bling and Slaughter the Pig. Of the five multiplayer matches, Breaking and Entering - a game where you attempt to destroy or defend your team’s vehicle - is the most entertaining.
As far as the graphics are concerned, Bulletproof G-Unit Edition isn’t even a very attractive game, although the cutscenes and music video content do look good. The top-down view shows enough of the environment but nothing stands out or contains much detail. Worse yet, the camera doesn’t follow closely enough to reveal all the enemies. As for the in-game character models, they’re not good at all although the counter-kill moves do look Ok.
The sound is another story, especially if you love hip-hop and gangsta rap. The game is just filled to the brim with 50 Cent’s music so dedicated fans will find a lot to love about the soundtrack. Even the voice acting will be a fan favorite since it features the voices of the likes of Dr. Dre as well as Eminem who voices Detective McVicar. The sound effects are just generic and don’t really stand out but with a soundtrack that good - provided you’re a fan - you won’t really care.
Even with the new gameplay style, 50 Cent: Bulletproof G-Unit Edition is still a boring gangster hack-and-slash with nothing much to offer action fans. What it does offer, however, is a good deal of 50 Cent content fans of the artist can carry with them. We’re talking plenty of tunes and high-quality music videos and an exclusive PSP documentary. Still, this isn’t a music video UMD so gamers who have been looking forward to a good action game starring 50 Cent will be greatly disappointed.
Review Scoring Details for 50 Cent: Bulletproof G-Unit Edition
Aside from the horrible camera that plays the role of your worst enemy, the combat in this game is downright boring. Sure 50 has a number of moves, most of which look cool, but they often don’t work well. The level design is poor and you will get bored quickly. Thankfully, multiplayer helps things a little.
50 looks good in cutscenes and animations but when it comes to the game itself the visuals look really dull. The environments, for instance, are not all too appealing and combat doesn’t look as cool as it should. At least the music videos look sharp.
All of 50 Cent and G-Unit’s music is available and if you like his musical style you will find a lot to love about Bulletproof. Aside from a solid soundtrack that includes “Candy Shop” and “In Da Club,” the voice acting works well as does the sound effects.
You’ll see 50 take some mean beating and you will get him killed often but not because the enemy is a cunning lot but because the camera works against you. Oftentimes you’ll be making good use of human shields just to keep you from being killed by an enemy you can’t see.
You can customize your character with cool G-Unit gear but the real treat here is unlocking more than 100 tunes and extra music videos as well as an exclusive documentary. Really, this is all about 50 Cent and his music so fans of his will be flocking to the extras and skip the game entirely.
Up to four players can take each another on in five different modes through an Ad Hoc connection. The game modes are mainly deathmatches with bling involved but at least the modes are a bit more exciting than the single-player game.
Fans of 50 Cent will find a lot to like about the loads of extra content available in Bulletproof but gamers will be disappointed by the repetitive and uninspiring action presented in this PSP game. Then again, the new format will make gamers forget about the lackluster console version. If you have a need to control 50 Cent you might want to pick this version up otherwise consider skipping this for one of his DVDs instead.