Def Jam Vendetta offers three game modes: battle, where it's just you against up to the three takers; survival, in which you fight all comers until you lose; and, where the real meat of the game takes place, story, in which you fight as one of four brawlers. The journey begins at the Face Club where you step in for your injured pal Manny. From there you'll move on to other venues such as DMX's Junkyard and Ludacris' Club Luda and climb the ranks to the ultimate showdown with D-Mob. The route there isn't a cakewalk, but the more battles you win, the more money you make to upgrade your fighting attributes. Victories also bring the ladies calling who literally fight for your attention--win a fight by playing as the newest girl to approach you and you'll unlock pictures of her in your photo gallery.
Action inside the ring is gritty and furious as you can lay down a multitude of moves and combinations with names like hurtin' unit, spittin' teef, ghetto thuggin', and death row delivery, to name just a few. Momentum is key in building toward blazin' mode in which you can utilize your signature move for the sure KO. In the meantime, though, there's still plenty of fun to be had in decking your opponents and watching them writhe about in pain and moan.--Larry White
- Excellent graphics, all the way from the burning trash barrels outside the rings to the tread on Ghostface Killah's boots
- Hard-hitting fight realism
- Entertaining storyline
- Can't create your own character
- Limited replay value
- Unsophisticated button mashing gameplay