A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that many teens will want to play this fighting game because it features big hip-hop and rap artists, but it's very much an M-rated game. That's why this well-constructed game gets plenty of stars for quality but earns our rare "Off" rating for 17+. Characters punch, kick, and throw each other across the room; onscreen characters bleed after a severe beating. In-game harsh lyrics are common, including "bitches," "N"-words, and "hoes," and lines like "tell yo buddies I f--ked you right, tell 'em how you licked my b--ls."
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What's it about?
You can playDEF JAM: ICON as or against some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Ludacris, Big Boi, The Game, Method Man, Sean Paul, Paul Wall, and T.I. As with most fighting games, you must discover and exploit the weaknesses of your computer-controlled or human opponents. But this is no "button masher": Gamers who don't take the time to learn how to best punch, kick, grab, throw, and block won't get far in this brawler. Music can also be used as a weapon -- by timing your attacks to match the beat of a song, you can trigger environmental hazards in time with the music, from exploding gas pumps to an electrifying lighting rig at a TV studio.
Is it any good?
This fresh take on the struggling fighting video game genre works -- but its appeal may be limited to hip-hop music fans and its blinged-out superstars. Def Jam: Icon, the latest in this hip-hop fighting game series, offers greater interaction with music, more characters, online play for long-distance brawls, and outstanding graphics. Visually, Def Jam: Icon delivers an interesting blend of photorealistic characters with a surreal effect of buildings and cars that pulsate and crumble to the beat.
Def Jam: Icon is a fun and unique take on the fighting game genre, where music isn't just used in the background but plays a key part in the gameplay. Mature hip-hop fans who love fighting games will find Icon a perfect blend of the two.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the bad behavior and language. Why is it glorified in some circles as part of hip-hop culture? What does the word "icon" in the game's title have to do with this glorification? Which artists do you see more as icons than musicians? Why do you think so many hip-hop artists use such graphic language?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.