Thursday 12 October 2006
A feature planned for Xbox 360's next-gen outing of Def Jam, EA's hip-hop flavoured fighting game, will enable you to import your own songs into the action, see how they affect the beat-driven fighters and their moves, and even set up clashes between your chosen track and a friend's preferred rhythm.
"Let's say you like speed metal and I like Sade," says lead designer Kudo Tsunoda, "so we both put in our songs and we fight and I can prove to you that Sade is better than speed metal," Tsunoda revealed to MTV.com.
As we found out in our last eyes-on with Def Jam next-gen, this episode of hip-hop battling emphasises the link between sound and action, so arenas reverberate to the rhythm of the music, each fighter's moves are tuned to work best against a certain type of track and hazards around you are triggered by the ever-pumping beat. "That's the main thing of the game - knowing the beat's coming and pow!" Tsunoda says.
Plans for next-gen Def Jam will see a move away from the gritty, underground feel of previous titles, with Tsunoda commenting that TI - one of the rap star characters in Def Jam - is "not hanging out in these underground fighting clubs".
Other features will also include the ability to build your own hip-hop empire, releasing music videos cut with scenes from your fights and signing up other artists to your label.
Tsunoda is aiming to shake up the world of beat-'em-ups with Def Jam's fresh, intriguing beat-based focus: "There haven't been any real innovations in the fighting-game genre in the longest time. It's all the same."
Next-gen Def Jam won't burst on to the scene until well into next year but expect to be moved by its ambitions when it finally takes centre stage.