Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
  1. The game’s music system puts game audio in a brand new light, making it an integral part of the action. The whole game seems to course in line with the music in a synergy that hasn’t been done, but definitely should be replicated.
  2. A great entry to the series, combining a fluid control scheme, pulsating environments, and cool simulation features for the most comprehensive Def Jam title yet.
  3. ICON successfully combines the label-management career mode and surprisingly deep fighting. This, coupled with great graphics, interactive environments, and a killer soundtrack, make ICON an easy game to recommend.
  4. Spinning a new tune for the franchise, Def Jam ICON’s incredible graphics, a really fresh gameplay innovation, great hip-hop soundtrack, the ability to play to your own “beats” and solid online fighting come together in (Bone, Thugs-N) harmony.
  5. Def Jam: Icon plays well enough, but it really shines thanks to its crazy story mode and healthy roster.
  6. While the “DJ beat” system is not all it was cracked up to be, the deep story mode, destructible environments, and kick-ass soundtrack polish out the game quite well.
  7. There are some minor drawbacks, but with its innovative fighting style, thumping tracks and visual excellence, Def Jam: Icon offers some fresh new school flava that you really have to savour with your neighbour.
  8. In the end, Def Jam Icon is more like a bump-n-grind slow jam instead of the club banger that it should have been, but it still deserves merit.
  9. Fight for NY was a critical success, so EA has taken a curious risk by remixing the game's features and flow. [Apr 2007, p.84]
  10. A beat 'em up that is both pretty and a lot of fun with interesting music-related gameplay ideas. The controls are a bit too complicated for a beat 'em up, though. And where has the 4-player game gone? [Mar 2007]
  11. 80
    But as pretty as the game is, and as great as the soundtrack might be, the game's real draw lies in the eight amazingly detailed rumble locations. [Apr 2007, p.83]
  12. Icon is a fun ride, but it's got some pretty deep shoes to fill. It is fun and the music features are pretty cool, so give it a look. [Apr 2007, p.46]
  13. After a while, the recycled environments and repetitive battles start to feel like a chore rather than a reward. [Mar 2007, p.96]
  14. While the environments, sound effects and music are some of the best that I’ve seen in a next-gen game yet, I can’t say the same thing for the fighting system that seems to lack variety.
  15. Hip-hop fans will almost certainly have one hell of a time with this game, with the focus on building label and the extensive soundtrack.
  16. Building a Label isn’t deep, but it’s fun and silly, the engine makes for some nail biting fights, everything looks great, and the musically-timed catastrophes are worth the price of admission alone.
  17. While Icon is the best looking of the Def Jam games, the combat system isn’t quite as entertaining, dropping the previous games’ over-the-top wrestling moves for more straightforward street fighting. It’s not a bad system, but it’s just not as wild and entertaining.
  18. For me, there's too much 'on paper' that is wrong with this game – the music, the characters, the clichés, the lack of options and lack of variety. Yet, in practice and in spite of all this, I did enjoy Def Jam Icon.
  19. Too bad the slow-as-molasses combat (and too-savvy computer-controlled opponents) keep this fighter from rivaling classics like "Tekken," "Street Fighter" and "Soul Calibur," but the innovative use of music, as both an aesthetic and a weapon, adds depth.
  20. 70
    Weak fighting moves, a lackluster story mode and inconsistent game mechanics complicate what would otherwise be the evolution of the franchise.
  21. Overall, DEF JAM ICON is a decent game, although a little disappointing in that the story line is unaffected by your actions and decisions throughout.
  22. There is no doubt that Def Jam Icon is a fun game that is easy to play and full of neat ideas for a fighting game. However due to the lack of depth and variety to the game play means you are left with a basic brawler that simply looks very nice.
  23. Fantastic visuals, a decent plot and an interesting music-based fighting system are hampered by some tacked-on non-features, iffy controls and a thinner roster of rappers. Bring back Lil Kim!
  24. 70
    The Xbox 360 version of the game lets you import your own music, but besides only being able to use your music in one game mode, the game just doesn’t do a very good job of bumping the background to your music.
  25. It's just a pity there isn't as much variety in the fighting as there is in the outfits, as we could've been looking at an even higher score. [Apr 2007, p.91]
  26. The move towards the slower paced boxing style of Fight Night was an interesting concept, but everything else in the game screams wrestler. The combination just doesn't work well.
  27. Like the previous Def jams, Icon can't decide what kind of game it wants to be. [Apr 2007, p.88]
  28. 68
    The whole thing feels like something of a work in progress, full of interesting and potentially brilliant ideas that somehow just fail to live up to their billing.
  29. Even if you don't own every Ludacris album, watching the rich environments rattle to the music is reason enough to give this a play. Just don't expect much depth from this beat 'em up.
  30. There's no way to imagine these fights as anything but someone's absurd rap fantasy that was somehow shoehorned onto a fighting game. [Mar 2007, p.53]
  31. 65
    This one's fun, no doubt about it, and the way the beats bang the environment is a must-see. But its lack of fighting depth definitely keeps it on the casual tip.
  32. Def Jam: Icon is undeniably stylish, sporting wondrously surreal next-gen visuals and bumping the latest and greatest of mainstream hip-hop. But for all its flash, the fighting engine disappoints, coming off as sluggish and unrefined.
  33. Despite a few different fighting styles, matches tend to play exactly the same way no matter what environment you’re in or who’s doing the fighting. It’s like an album where every song sounds the same.
  34. The DJ system is unique and intuitive, the visuals well polished and, even with my rock/punk roots, the soundtrack is a commendable mix of uncensored beats. Nevertheless, the broken fighting mechanics and sluggish pacing are enough to keep this game from reaching true icon status.
  35. While the visuals are amazing, the game just doesn't deliver as well in the fighting as it should.
  36. It’s strange that EA Chicago responsible for the amazing Fight Night series couldn’t capitalize on the Def Jam series.
  37. 60
    Icon is serviceable, but it’s not something you’ll be spinning in your disc tray for very long.
  38. 60
    For anyone who feels like hip-hop is more than the soundtrack to the suburban mall thug experience, the game is really a disservice to a rich culture that involves more than misogyny and violence.
  39. 55
    This isn't fun, this is sloppy. Fights devolve into senseless button and stick mashing, and often lead to a lot of controller throwing moments.
  40. Thanks in no small part to the slavish love of motion capture over more manageable keyframe animation, the fights in Icon are sluggish, crude and practically underwater when it comes to control. [Apr 2007, p.79]
  41. ICON may look the business, but it falls down in that most crucial of areas - it makes fighting a chore rather than an enjoyable experience.
  42. It's just about throwing people at stuff. And it's dull. [Issue 18, p.78]
  43. 50
    This game feels more like "Fight Night: Street" than a next-gen Def Jam game, regrettably. All we ever wished for were new moves, new fighters, better graphics and online and EA gave us all that but in the process they broke the main thing that made this series interesting in the first place; the fighting engine.
  44. Stylish it may be, but ICON's core mechanics are simply too slack for us to recommend it to anyone that wants to splash out on a decent fighting game. [Issue #23, p.55]
  45. The controls are slow and unresponsive, the kiss of death for a fighting game.
  46. Even if I couldn't set my love for the series aside for this review, I'm sure that Def Jam Icon's problems are so clear and inarguable that even if I'd never played any of the previous titles I would have rated it exactly the same.
  47. The controls are a bit sluggish and sometimes unresponsive.
User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 7 out of 24
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    7
    If you consider yourself a fan of rap music, you're almost guaranteed to have a good time using your favorite artists to beat the snot out of your least favorites. Even if you're not a fan of the music, there's still a lot of fun to be had here due to a solid, albeit somewhat flawed fighting system. The story is excellent for a fighting game, and the voice acting performances are among the best I've seen, with every major character voiced by their real life counterpart. The graphics are great for the most part, although the color filters that flood the screen after the musical track is switched can be a bit jarring. The audio is outstanding, with the most impressive licensed track library I've ever seen and some phenomenal voice acting jobs done by the rap artists in the game. While there's a few issues that hinder the game, it's still a perfect addition to any fighting fan's library. Full Review »
  2. Apr 16, 2012
    2
    I slowly died inside when i played this game. It's so slow and the animations are not what it was. Def Jam Fight For NY was a really great game and now they gave us this? Okay maybe the game is fun for an hour? The only thing i was happy about is that Lil John was in the game not more. Full Review »