Saturday, September 23, 2006
Good: Plenty of extras for G-Unit fans, passable voice acting
Bad: Mindless gameplay, incompetent A.I., graphics, sense of direction
Hope you REALLY like: G-Unit music
50 Cent's lyrical majesty has made once-legendary songwriters seem like utter douchebags by comparison. George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Neil Young:.none would ever be able to write a lyric as profound as "I'll kill you, know what I'm sayin'/Homie I ain't playin'/Know what I'm sayin.'" Can his dominance of one medium spread to another, making him the next Solid Snake/Link/Samus?
Obvious sarcasm aside, this new PSP version of Bulletproof is slightly improved over the mess that was the console version of 50's first gaming foray. Whereas the latter version was a mediocre attempt at a third-person shooter, this one is a mediocre attempt at a Dark Alliance-esque dungeon crawler. I never thought I'd compare a 50 Cent videogame to Baldur's Gate, but the top-down perspective brings that superior title to mind.
The perspective is the only thing that makes Bulletproof reminiscent of a dungeon crawler. There are no experience points or leveling up, just cash that you can use to buy music videos, songs, clothes, and weapons.
It features a mini-map in the corner, but it's nearly useless. It doesn't show enemy locations or even an arrow to point you in the direction of your objective. Levels become tiresome routines of running around shooting enemies until you see an exclamation mark on your radar.
You can do a little more than shoot your enemies, but not much. If you have enough stamina, you can perform a disarm attack that will trigger a violent cutscene. Some of these are entertaining, but you'll quickly tire of them. Outside of the disarm moves, you can also grapple opponents, followed by a throw or an execution. This method is more time consuming, as simply shooting them to death is infinitely quicker.
The plot is a generic revenge story, but the cutscenes are actually decent. 50's voiceacting is passable, and other familiar faces (Dr. Dre, Eminem) make appearances. For fans of G-Unit, there is a wealth of music videos and unlockable tracks available.
While the character models and graphics in the cutscenes look great, the in-game visuals are downright ugly. Textures are muddy, environments are dark and uninteresting, and characters lack any sort of detail.
Fans of 50 and G-Unit will be able to find content they'll like with Bulletproof, but certainly not enough to warrant a purchase. They'd be much better off buying a CD than being forced to trudge through gameplay this monotonous.
First Play: 5.5
Replay Value: 5.0