It may have got some respectable review scores (including 7/10 from Eurogamer), but 50 Cent's latest game hasn't proved as popular as its predecessor.
Street Fighter IV batters competition to lead the UK all-formats chart this week.
Following all sorts of speculation, the sequel to 50 Cent: Bulletproof has officially been announced.
A secret source has confirmed to Eurogamer that a second game based on the adventures of popular musical star 50 Cent is on the way.
Rumours of the game emerged after an image of the latest EGM cover, bearing the words 50 Cent II, appeared on the Internet.
Now our source has said the game is in development at Swordfish Studios, the company bought up by Sierra Entertainment (or Vivendi Games, as it was known then) back in June 2005. Swordfish was responsible for Cold Winter and is working on the Xbox 360 version of World in Conflict. And 50 Cent II, obviously.
Well-known introvert and occasional US rapper 50 Cent is suing an internet advertising company for USD 1 million claiming it used a picture of him in an interactive advert. Which is a "videogame", according to Associated Press, and therefore a "page impression" according to us.
50 Cent has been shot nine times. Did you know that? It's possible this fact has passed you by, since Mr Cent doesn't like to make a big deal about it. Apart from, you know, when he brings it up in interviews. Or on his albums. Or uses it as the basis for his autobiographical movie, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. Or for the revenge-fuelled plot of his videogame, Bulletproof, which slunk onto consoles this time last year.
And, lo and behold, as the opening level of Bulletproof's reworked PSP version comes to a close, poor old 50 Cent gets shot once again. In the back. Nine times. Seriously, what are the chances?
Def Leppard Jam
A lead designer at High Voltage Software (the people who brought us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude) has spoken out on on what makes bad games bad - and why it's not always the fault of the developer.
One of the peculiar predicaments of the habitual gamer is that we become connoisseurs of simulated violence. Of course the same could be said of cinema-lovers, but videogames aren't eulogised purely on the basis of how the violence looks. Instead we are concerned with a process, the feedback of violent images to controlling hands and thinking minds. It is, in part, our own imaginations that need to be exercised when engaged in digital combat. If it is possible to kill inventively and stylishly, and for us to feel that we are responsible for that moment of visceral thrill, then the experience is vastly more interesting, and can be recommended with the connoisseur's expert nod.
It's on this basis that we have to discuss games like 50 Cent: Bulletproof, a game that is yet another cousin in that family of games where violence is everything. It's heavy with cut-scene gloss, but the muscle beneath the elegantly tattooed exterior is a third-person, gun-heavy action sequence. 50 only occasionally gets distracted by puzzle-solving, with some buttons to press here and there, elevators to activate, power switches to throw, and so on. Bulletproof's 50 Cent is an action hero of the Vin Diesel school, with ultra-violence acting as an aperitif for the main course of cartoon gun-toting.
Following in the Fila-falls of a large swathe of contemporary games, Bulletproof is about fantasy fulfilment for the hip-hop generation. These new fantasies aren't concerned with cowboys or space opera, but with the idea of an alternate reality where the gangsta rap icons actually inhabit the fictions of rap lyrics. It's a world in which their street style puts them closer to gritty action hero than mere drug dealer with a hint of pistol. These new game avatars are anti-heroes whose raison d'etre is American-brand cool, perhaps cast against a backdrop of sweet revenge.
Hip-hop and gaming have been cosy bedfellows for years, and the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas just over a year ago proved how rich the pickings can be if you marry the two in the right way. With the world, his wife and probably his ho scrambling to cash in on the phenomenon, VU's decision to go all-out and deliver a brutal shooter based on one of the world's biggest rap stars could prove to be an inspired decision - commercially, at least.