Def Jam Icon review

Beat rap royalty and put Outkast in a plaster cast

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Improved analog controls

  • +

    Music incorporated nicely

  • +

    Gleefully violent


  • -

    Needs more venues

  • -

    Fighting's a little repetitive

  • -

    Story mode hasn't really improved

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Using music as a weapon is nothing new. Westlife songs regularly cause us agonizing pain, while Radiohead makes us want to slit our wrists in despair. But never have we seen music used to such brilliant effect in a fighting game, and after the series' more typical entries on PS2, we really didn’t expect the latest Def Jam title to be so amazingly inventive.

When you select your character, you also choose a song to represent them and play over the top of fights. Environments now contain plenty of interactive hazards that pulse in time to the beat, and if you smack your opponent into one of them at the right moment, you create even more damage. This includes exploding pumps at a gasstation, the blast from a broken fusebox on a rooftop, a hefty kick from an annoyed pole dancer in a club, and a swinging light rig inside a TV studio.

More info

DescriptionA photorealistic hip-hop fighter with complex stages and hazards that move with the music. When we say 'next-gen,' this is exactly the sort of thing we mean.
Franchise nameDef Jam
UK franchise nameDef Jam
Platform"PS3","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"18+","18+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)