Def Jam: Icon - Xbox 360

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Also for: PS3
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: EA Chicago Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 23 Mar 2007 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 18
Accessories: Hard Disk Drive


What up, dawg? Insert further hip hop-flavoured stereotypical phrases here...Def Jam has returned, so it's time to take to the streets of New York once again to stake your claim and build your rep in the gangsta-laden world of rap music.

Def Jam: Icon takes a step in a slightly new direction compared to the franchise's previous outings. The primary thrust of the game comes in the form of Build A Label mode. You'll need to create a character and step into the cut and thrust world of music production. Using the F.A.C.E. character building system, you'll pick everything from your character's physical stats to their fighting style and personal theme song. From there, you'll be thrown into a story of betrayal, rivalry, seedy underworld dealings and even government conspiracy.

To get ahead you'll have to sign artists and manage their careers to dominate the charts. Pumping the right amount of cash into production and marketing is a necessity to building your empire, as is managing the burgeoning artists' personal demands. You wouldn't want them throwing a hissy fit and storming out because they don't get that new car, would you?

All the classic elements of the franchise are here, though, so don't worry that the traditional ‘balls to the wall’ fighting you've become accustomed to has been thrown out for a management game. You'll face a constant barrage of artists and thugs from rival labels, and you won't be able to manage your way out of facing their wrath.

Music becomes a weapon in this latest entry into the series. Beats trigger hazards in your environment, so using the right tune to 'splode a petrol pump and rain fire down on your enemies will be just as important as your toe-totoe fighting skills.

And, of course, there'll be the expected complement of hot honeys to distract you. But don't keep your eye on them for too long, or artists like Big Boi, The Game, Ludacris, Paul Wall and T.I. will be on hand to make trouble for you.