Def Jam 3

Thursday 31 August 2006
It's Def Jam, gamers, but not as you know it. The hip-hop obsessed chaps at EA Chicago are hard at work on a PS3 and 360 sequel to the none-more-urban beat-'em-up that starred Snoop Dogg, Method Man and Carmen Electra. And, from what we've seen so far, Def Jam 3, or the so-called EA Chicago Hip-Hop Project (catchy, eh?), is going to be big news.

Kudo Tsunoda, the wild-eyed and zealous head of EA Chicago, tells us he wants to "reinvent fighting games". We already know he's up to the task - his team was behind the excellent Fight Night Round 3 for Xbox 360, which famously did away with pesky things like health bars and what not, instead using the next-gen graphics grunt to show each fighter's condition in their physical appearance.

Above: This grainy snapshot from the trailer we saw at EA's LA headquarters doesn't do theamazing visuals justice, but it gives you a glimpse of thesolid character models

For Def Jam 3 (working title), Tsunoda has similarly big plans. In addition to stripping the screen of any recognisable 'game furniture' like health meters, Def Jam 3 ups the ante by fusing the fist-fighting with the beat-heavy music backdrop, and by staging each face-off in what EA calls "living environments".

We've seen just one example of how your surroundings will evolve and interfere with the action during a bout, and we're still reeling. With two rap star-esque brawlers clashing on the forecourt of a petrol station, the trailer shows how you'll be able to fling your opponent through glass doors, smash them into the bonnet of gleaming Cadillac Escalades, or simply hurl them into pointy parts of the background.