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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 7, 2006

My view: '50 Cent: Bulletproof'

By Jeremy Castillo
Special to The Advertiser

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5 Outstanding: Add it to your collection now. A must-have.

4 Great: Buy it or rent it definitely play it.

3 Good: Worth playing despite some flaws.

2 Fair: Unless you're a fan of the license or series, don't bother.

1 Poor: You'd have more fun playing Pong.

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Game: "50 Cent: Bulletproof"

Console: PlayStation 2 (also out for Xbox, PSP)

Developer/publisher: Vivendi Universal/Genuine

Genre: Action

Number of players: 1

Rating: Mature

Premise: You are Curtis Jackson; your street name is 50 Cent. Your homeboy K-Dog has been caught up in some serious drama. He calls you for help, and you round up the rest of the G-Unit to save his skin. Unfortunately, K-Dog ends up dead and you are shot nine times for your trouble. After being released from the hospital, you and the rest of G-Unit take to the streets again. This time it's to avenge K-Dog's death and your own injuries.

Game play: As 50, you run through New York's toughest streets and mow down every punk standing in your way.

During your journey, you'll need to call on your G-Unit brethren to assist you. For example, Lloyd Banks is an expert lock-picker and Yayo is a master in explosives. Luckily for them, and you most of the time, they're just as adept at shooting a gun. This factors in nicely when the controls don't work in your favor or the camera goes into a blind spot, which happens more often than it should.

When you're fighting an enemy in close quarters, there's a lot more variety in your killings. You can slit their throats, execute them or stab them through the skull or torso. And you can throw them to the ground or interrogate the enemy before sending them to the grave. But you'll be wasting your time if you choose the latter methods for anyone other than big bosses and important henchmen.

Once your enemy is dead, you can raid his pockets. The cash you find can buy healing aids or unlock music videos and extra background music, which includes nearly every song from every G-Unit member except Olivia.

Good/bad: Rap fans will get a kick out of cameos by Dr. Dre and Eminem. But star power doesn't help set aside the feeling that the game is a shill for the "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " movie (released on DVD last week). The gunfire is incredibly unreliable even when your crosshairs are locked on an enemy, you miss. The camera is remarkably bad, especially in long-range combat.

My take: "Bulletproof" plays much like a third-rate hybrid of "The Punisher" and "The Warriors," both of which came out at about the same time as this game.

While 50 Cent's most loyal fans will enjoy playing as him, there's absolutely no incentive for anyone else to play "Bulletproof." There are better shooting titles out there, and many don't have an agenda of forcing an already-famous person down our throats.

Jeremy Castillo is a student at Windward Community College and editor of the college's newspaper, Ka 'Ohana.