Codex Gamicus

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is a third-person shooting video game developed by Swordfish Studios and published by THQ for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was released on February 20, 2009 in Europe and February 24, 2009 in North America and serves as the sequel to 50 Cent: Bulletproof.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand focuses on rapper 50 Cent in a fictional plot. The game takes place in an fictional Middle Eastern country where 50 Cent and G-Unit perform a rap concert and instead of receiving the money they were promised, receive a priceless diamond covered human skull. The skull is eventually stolen by a militant group and G-Unit go on a journey to retrieve it at all costs.


The game revolves around rapper 50 Cent. The co-player's character can be one of three other members of the G-Unit crew: Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, or DJ Whoo Kid, each specializing in different combat techniques. The co-player is either run by the game's Artificial Intelligence or through online cooperative play.

The game is set in an urban warzone in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, where 50 Cent and G-Unit have been hired to play a rap concert. After the concert the promoter refuses to pay them the US $10-million in cash he promised, but relents after being threatened. However, instead of the cash they were promised, he gives them a diamond-and-pearl encrusted human skull as collateral. This is promptly stolen by a paramilitary group. 50 Cent (with the help of a selected G-Unit partner) decides to get it back at any cost.


Blood on the Sand is not just set in the confines of the warzone but also includes vehicle missions such as a driver-and-turret-gunner Humvee road chase and a helicopter-borne Minigun shootout. There are also boss battles against helicopters.

It has a feature called the "Shop" (activated in the game by placing a call on payphones hidden on each level), where the characters can use cash to buy new weapons, upgrade their old weapons, and learn hand-to-hand combat moves called "Counter-Kills". Cash can also be used to unlock Taunts (each rated by Profanity, Braggin' and Triple X levels), which increase the points earned from kills.

Weapons are graded from 1 to 10 by Capacity, Damage Rating, and Accuracy, and also list possible Add Ons (weapon enhancements like scopes or silencers). Players can use a mode called "Gangsta Fire" (50 Cent's variation on the slo-mo "bullet-time" concept used in Max Payne) to take on multiple opponents at once. Weapons are divided into four classes:

  • Handguns: Revolvers and Semi-automatic pistols.
  • Close Combat Weapons: Shotguns and Submachineguns.
  • Assault Weapons: Automatic rifles and Machineguns.
  • Explosive Weapons: Hand grenades, Assault rifle / Grenade launcher combos, rocket launchers, and Sniper rifles.

Each level has Target Enemies (5 per level; each is just a high-value target, not a "Level Boss"), crates of gold bars (which are broken open to earn money), as well as collectables like Posters (5 per level). Kills grant points, which help the player to earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold G-Unit Badges; these unlock better Weapons, Counter-Kills and Taunts in the "Shop". There are also Achievements (for completing the levels as one of the characters, getting all Weapons in a class, getting all the Posters and Target Enemies in a level, getting a certain amount of cash or number of Badges, etc.)

It also features more music tracks than the first game (40+ tracks in all); 50 Cent made 18 exclusive tracks just for the game. Swizz Beatz & The Individuals made the original score for the game. There are also unlockable songs and videos.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 70%
Review scores
Publication Score C
Computer and Video Games 7/10 (360)
Eurogamer 7/10
IGN 7.1/10 (360, PS3)
Official Xbox Magazine 6.5/10

After the original company planned to distribute the game, Activision, merged with Vivendi Games, many games, including 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, faced the possibility of not being released. Then THQ picked up the rights to Blood on the Sand.

Unlike Bulletproof, which was generally reviewed negatively, Blood on the Sand was more well received by video game critics, scoring a 7 out of 10 on Gamespot and a 4/5 on X-Play. Critics also praised the improvement and 50 Cent's involvement in the game. Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb said the story was "so awful it's amazing". In May 2009, Blood On The Sand was featured on Xplay's Best Games of 2009 So Far video.

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