50 Cent: Bulletproof

How much street cred can nine bullet wounds buy? This is the question 50 Cent’s career seeks to answer. Can you have your own flavor of pink mineral water and still call yourself a “gangsta”? Apparently. Can you star in a game in which you gruesomely stab people, steal their wallets, and then use their money to buy an assortment of promo merchandise? You bet. Bulletproof, a third-person shooter in the vein of Dead to Rights or Max Payne, was part of 2005’s 50 Cent holiday marketing assault, and like all advertising it favors image over substance. The cut-scenes are top-notch, with dark, druggy art direction and great voice acting from 50, Eminem, and Dr. Dre. But as a game, Bulletproof is a disaster. Your G-Unit allies are so dumb they had to be made invincible to keep them alive. Your enemies, on the other hand, sense your presence from 100 yards away and run in erratic patterns as they spray bullets, a frustration compounded by sloppy aiming controls. Bulletproof is a blur of lazy design, pandering gore, and shameless product placement.