A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is riddled with questionable and offensive material. Superstar rapper 50 Cent lords over his 'hood with supposed strength and integrity. But really he's a murderous, pot-smoking thug blindly pursuing revenge after surviving an execution-style shooting (as did the real-life 50). Along the way, guns are purchased in an alleyway, heads explode, corpses are looted, cops are bribed, and the body count grows from sickening to ridiculous.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
50 Cent's prodigious marketing machine never fails to point out that before he became super-famous he was shot nine times -- and survived to become one of the world's most successful hip-hop artists. 50 CENT: BULLETPROOF turns this event into the catalyst for a story based mostly on finding 50's assailant and bringing him to (street) justice. Players move 50 Cent through New York neighborhoods tracking down clues and squeezing information out of opponents in a quest to uncover the identity of his attacker. Loaded down with shotguns, Uzis, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and more, 50 blasts through his opponents, looting their inert bodies for wallets and credit cards to help him purchase helpful items that support his pursuit.
Is it any good?
50 Cent: Bulletproof glorifies the worst images the gangsta world has to offer in order to elevate its protagonist from human celebrity to superhuman legend. The intensity of the violence is worth noting: Blood sprays, bullets hit flesh, and dead bodies flop realistically against the scenery. Players can grab enemies and pistol whip them for information, use them as human shields, or simply execute them with a close-range gunshot.
Developers clearly spent a lot of time on impressive, cinematic cut scenes that frame the story and add to 50's legend. If they had spent similar effort on quality AI, a serviceable targeting system, more lively and interactive environments, and puzzles or problems that require more than button-mashing gunplay, players might have been able to forget the questionable source material and get lost in the fun of the game. In the end, the game is both offensive and boring.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the game is used to deepen the 50 Cent mythology. In real life, the man survived a brutal gun attack and went on to parlay his experience into a successful career in a musical genre that places a premium on toughness. Does this game reinforce the 50 Cent legend and elevate him to the status of superhuman gangsta? At what point is the reality of his experience subsumed by fantasy ghetto of the game?
- Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Vivendi Universal Games
- Release date: March 28, 2006
- Genre: Third-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.