When we heard Mr. Cent was making another foray into the gaming medium with 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, we thought the idea was ludicrous. But once we heard that Fiddy would be fighting terrorists for the sake of America, we gleamed with happiness. Think about it: that’s exactly the jingoist shot in the arm our United States needs now that a new President has taken office.
We needed to get to the bottom of this new rapper/freedom fighter concept and went straight to 50 Cent’s Game Director, Julian Widdows for more information. Read on!
GamesRadar: Aside from using “Fiddy” as the protagonist, what are a few of the features that will set Blood in the Sand apart from shooters without hip hop artists in them?
Julian Widdows: I think the first thing you’ll notice is how irreverent and over the top the game is. When we first started working on it we really wanted to create something that complemented the feel of a rap-music video: iconic, in-your-face and, more than anything, fun. We felt that being stoic - treating the whole premise too seriously - would have been a recipe for disaster.
I mean, look at what we have here, the world’s most identifiable rap icon going to this foreign country and chasing down a diamond encrusted skull. You can’t treat that concept too seriously or the game would feel fake. What’s great is that 50 Cent and the G-Unit guys recorded all this in-game dialogue and banter that supports the vision - their speech reflects the fact that the premise is crazy and that makes it work. This vision is supported by the over-the-top action - the points, scoring and combos system, the huge range of weaponry, the non-stop carnage, and the arcade feel that permeates the entire experience. This is what makes Blood on the Sand such a unique proposition.
GR: What are some of the ways that you’ve been able to take advantage of having 50 Cent in your game? And how is he better than Marcus Fenix?
JW: Fifty Cent vs Marcus Fenix. There’s a thought. Gears is a phenomenal franchise and one I respect enormously. Although built on the same technology and spiritually similar, our main character is Bulletproof for starters! In this game you can afford to take more risks and not feel like you’re going to get overly penalized for them. The regular checkpoints and other mechanics support this, including gangsta fire - a slow-motion mode with a twist in that you continue to move at normal speed while the world slows down.
As I mentioned earlier, having 50 in the game has allowed us to build what’s a totally unique licensed property. I can’t think of any other way we could have built this game if it hadn’t been for 50 Cent.