Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone



50 Cent Bulletproof: G Unit Edition  (PSP)

By Michael Palisano

Taking the action to the streets, Vivendi's 50 Cent Bulletproof - G Unit Edition for the PSP is a solidly entertaining and challenging brawler that offers a surprising amount of depth. The game offers players the chance to battle through dozens of levels and acquire numerous unlockable items along the way. The action is engaging with plenty of weapons and special items to uncover. Add an engaging storyline, tons of bonus videos and songs and you have an excellent title that should appeal to both 50 Cents's hardcore fans and gamers in general.

Set in the violent urban streets 50 Cent came up from, Bulletproof - G Unit Edition allows players to relive the famous rapper's years on the street as he rose from street hood to legend. The game begins with a short action level where you have to wipe out a series of enemies and collect items until you reach the infamous point where 50 gets shot nine times, yet somehow survives. Once you have this level under your belt, things open up and the game's later levels more closely resemble an action RPG. During these levels, you run through the levels and can talk to other people in his gang, who will give you advice and allow you to purchase items and upgrades. There are many things you can purchase including guns, ammo, body armor, painkillers, health kits plus tons of clothing options for you to wear. This gives you plenty to unlock throughout the course of the game. If you earn enough money, you can also buy additional videos and songs to add to your playlist. The tracks themselves feature both full and instrumental versions and fit the mood of the action perfectly. Once you get through with the basics, you'll find that 50 Cent Bulletproof G Unite Edition's layout is fairly straightforward in presentation and controls. There isn't too much in the way of convoluted controls, and the simple interface means that most players should be able to jump right into the action.

Most of the action in 50 Cent Bulletproof takes place in a top-down perspective, allowing you to get a good view of the action, while not making things too confusing. You can gauge your position using the onscreen map, and find out the enemy locations. This is helpful in pointing you in the right direction. Each level is set up simply and this allows players to get through the areas without depending on it. You have access to a number of different weapons and can use these to knock out any rivals you might see. Switching weapons is fairly simple using the weapons screen, which allows you to select quickly and easy. There are more than 20 different types of weapons in the game including Billy clubs, guns, knives, 4X4's and other items. When you encounter a bad guy, you can choose to either knock them down using your standard moves, or can perform a brutal execution attack at close range, which has the added benefit of minimizing the risk they can cause you. If fighting hand-to-hand isn't your thing, you can also launch grenades at groups of thugs as well. At close range, you can also grab and use other opponents as human shields, which means any nearby punks won't attack you either. After you knock down your opponents, you can press the O key and grab any items they may have on them as well. There are numerous items you can grab, with money and gold chains the most common. When 50's life bar gets low, he can pop in some of his pain pills to restore energy. These can be found in the pockets of foes and can be called up any time by pressing down on the cross-bar. Bulletproof's levels are large with numerous hidden areas and places to explore. You can find additional items and weapons hidden in these areas as well, so it pays to fully explore each area before moving on. When you reach the end of the level, you'll usually face a boss encounter, with a really tough bad guy to face, though this usually leads to plenty of extra rewards and items for your efforts.

50 Cent Bulletproof's single-player game is exciting and engaging, but the game also includes several online wireless multiplayer modes as well. These include a decent selection of mini-games, such as one where you have to hold onto your stash without getting knocked out. The one who stays alive the longest wins the match. There are also more standard modes where you have to play against other players to see who can take out the rival gangs the fastest. Playing these online modes was fairly easy, with simple set up and excellent play that didn't suffer too much from lag or dropped games. From an aesthetic standpoint, the in-game action is nicely rendered with large, expansive levels. This approach gives you a great deal of freedom to explore and find secret areas, but not too big where you find yourself getting lost. These action sequences are complimented by a number of nicely rendered cut-scenes that brought the story forward in a convincing way. The voice acting was excellent here as well, with many famous rappers making cameos along the way. 50 Cent Bulletproof includes a very large number of videos, songs and, trailers and everything comes together nicely to create a seamless glimpse into the streets.

While the game isn't perfect, it's a lot better than you'd expect it to be. There's a surprising amount of depth with the RPG elements, and the action sequences are solid. It would be easy to dismiss a title like 50 Cent Bulletproof - G Unit Edition as a cheap cash-in on a popular rapper, but that would be a mistake. On the PSP at least, the title's solid mixture of brawling action and RPG elements makes for an engaging and challenging title that should please even non-fans.

Grade: B+

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