Don't believe the hype. Since when did games get good scores because of graphics and not gameplay?
There are a total of 6 different fighting styles with each character in ICONS possessing just 1 of these different styles. For example, Big Boi & Sticky Fingaz both have the Beatboxer fighting style, so they fight exactly the same.
The fighting styles include:
Street Kwon Do
Each fighter also has a total of four grapples or wrestling moves, so if you're expecting a wrestling game, you will be sorely disappointed. Most of the fighting in the game consists of a few punches/kicks, then a grab, and finally a throw into a nearby environmental hazard. Then you trigger the hazard by pressing left trigger button and spinning your right thumbstick. By describing this to you, I have already described how most of your fights will play out.
Another thing this game lacks is the inclusion of 4 players. The modes included in ICONS are for the most part, 1v1, 1v1 Online, Story Mode, and Practice Mode with no turntables (who would even play in this mode?). So unless you have a roommate or someone to play with regularly, this game will be extremely boring to you. I would not depend on Online play since the game is sluggish already offline, combined with lag from online and this game becomes nearly unplayable.
This review is mainly negative, but there are a few good things to come from this game. The turntables and the music inclusion is innovative, but at the expense of a deep fighting system. The music is great and the graphics are wonderful, each rapper looks like their real life counterpart, it is unfortunate they all fight pretty similiar though.
No matter how great a game looks, it can not make up for a lack of gameplay or depth. If you're a fan of the previous Def Jam games, you will be disappointed. If you've never played the previous Def Jam games, then you might like this game simply because of your ignorance of the other games. If you want a better value for your money and you still own an Xbox, I recommend picking up Def Jam FFNY for $20 on Ebay.