Throwback Thursday: 50 Cent Bulletproof

When you could find 50 Cent in an Xbox or Playstation game, not just…in da club

When you think about 50 Cent nowadays what comes to your mind? Bankruptcy? A pointless feud with Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather? Rumours of an I’m a Celebrity appearance?  Well it was all very different in 2005 for Fiddy. The Massacre hit the shelfs (before MP3 really kicked off) earlier that year to huge success, and Get Rich or Die Tryin’  portrayed 50 Cent’s life to a mainstream audience. 50 Cent was arguably not only the biggest music icon, but also the biggest brand of the time period. And 50’s team felt it was time to bring that brand to gaming.

As gamers we’ve come to expect that big name film companies will try to cash in on the gaming business. They usually fail. Usually these companies only have one budget, and most of it goes towards the film, leaving little for a game that turns out to be lacklustre. This could have easily been the case for Bulletproof, it could have been a really gimmicky game with no lasting appeal. Luckily 50’s first dip into gaming was better than that. Is Bulletproof a classic? No. But it’s certainly a game that will go down in video game history as a solid shooter with a lot of replay value.

bulletproof_pspwallpaper_tattoo-blk-A2005 boasts a very solid lineup of First Person Shooters – from Medal of Honour to Call of Duty 2. However Fiddy’s FPS went back to basics. You could run right into the line of fire and absorb countless bullets before you died (without getting rich). Honestly it seemed very reminiscent of classic shooters like Goldeneye or Perfect Dark. 50’s game wasn’t really about being tactical, it was all about the action: epic gun fights with powerful guns and ridiculous amounts of ammo. Although the gameplay can’t really be praised for adding anything new to the genre, it went back to basics. It felt refreshing. It made First Person Shooters fun again.

Where Bulletproof really does stand out is in its storytelling. Much like his semi-biopic film Get Rich or Die Tryin’  50’s first game is also meant to be loosely based on his life. Early on in the story you see our hero get shot. The game then follows Fiddy through his redemption story – seeking revenge in a way only 50 Cent knows. Along the way you can also expect special guest appearances from some of Aftermath’s finest: G Unit, Eminem and Dr Dre. Bursting into an enemy gang’s territory with Eminem (as a crooked cop) and shooting out every last gangsta is something that will never get old.

As well s being able to utilize the great icons within 50’s record label, Fiddy’s music is also ever-present within the game. From the694625-926686_20051024_006 very beginning you are shooting and stabbing your way through enemy lines while listening to some of 50’s most well known songs. But you are then given the chance to buy all of 50 Cent’s music and most of his music videos too. All of these can be bought by the money you earn in each level (usually through robbing the gangstas you just killed). The music is obviously a huge part of the game, and it’s used perfectly to really enhance the player’s experience.

It is clear to see that 50 had a lot of input in the game. Fiddy certainly comes off looking like a larger than life icon. From cut scenes with countless women, to gun fights that should have left him dead. Bulletproof was a PR machine for the protagonist, and it delivered. Fiddy never felt so iconic. If nothing else it was a chance for 50 Cent to make himself the most formidable character in gaming since Duke Nukem.

50 Cent really tried to tap into the Hip-Hop culture that was pumping through the veins of our culture in the 2000s. Being able to control one of the most famous icons in Rap was huge for a lot of gamers and Hip-Hop heads alike. Although Bulletproof obviously could not reach the hefty heights of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 50 Cent brought the Hip Hop culture to gamers again. Just like the man himself, 50 Cent’s Bulletproof will probaby never be remembered as a true great, but as an important part of gaming/Rap that should never be forgotten.

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What are your memories of playing Bulletproof? Do you miss being able to tap square in a FPS to unleash your knife? Do you think 50’s game is worth remembering? Comment below and have your say!

 

Written by Stan Cohen

Yeah I bought The Massacre on the day it came out. I’m gangsta. Honestly.

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