Reviews

Review: Tekken 7

Tekken 7
Tekken 7

Tekken has finally returned, but as a good number of its rivals have grown and improved, can it still be a serious player in the fighting game genre? Watch or read our review to see what we had to say.

Tekken first punched its way into gamers hearts in 1994 and set it self as the defacto 3D fighting game. In these early days of the original Playstation, Tekken stood against Battle Arena Toshinden and Tobal No. 1, and completely dominated them.

Since then, it has grown from strength to strength with each sequel being critically and fan regarded. We would go as far to say that it's the only thing that has kept Namco in players' minds for the last fifteen years.

Tekken 7 was originally released in 2015 in arcades in Japan. Console owners had to wait another two years to finally get the game and finish off the Mishima Zaibatsu corporation saga.
 
Gameplay
 
When it comes to gameplay of Tekken 7, we gotta say that it honestly is brilliant. The game just feels great and has that true Tekken feel to it. To be honest, we were a bit sceptical - and downright scared - that Namco would change certain elements of gameplay with Tekken 7, but they haven't. They've stayed true to the original formula which, we can rightfully say, makes Tekken the best fighting game of all time. Basically, it feels identical to good old Tekken 3, just that it has much fancier visuals.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 feels just as great as any of its prequelsTekken 7 feels just as great as any of its prequels

For any fighting game sequel there are two important things to cover. New characters and changes to the fighting style. So let's get into it.
 
New Characters
 
First up is Kazumi Mishima, the mother of Kazuya Mishima, grandmother of Jin Kazama and wife of Heihachi Mishima. Kazumi's fighting style is Hachijou-Style Karate, but mixes with Mishima-Style Karate. She utilizes a strong combination of the two styles, to the degree she was a threat to Heihachi in his prime.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Kazumi MishimaTekken 7 - Kazumi Mishima

Next up is Josie Rizal who tries to support her family by being a model and a professional kickboxer. Josie fights using Eskrima based Kickboxing. This is a style of combat that emphasizes on weapon-based combat that generally involves sticks and knives.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Josie RizalTekken 7 - Josie Rizal

Katarina Alves enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to use the prize money to find her adoptive father. She uses a Savate fighting style which is better known as French Kickboxing.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Katarina AlvesTekken 7 - Katarina Alves

Lucky Chloe has dedicated her whole life to becoming a Japanese Idol. She fights using Freestyle Dance. Her fighting style is somehow similar to Eddy and Christie's style Capoeira, without the leg movement part of the main stance.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Lucky ChloeTekken 7 - Lucky Chloe

Claudio Serafino is the leader of the Archers of Sirius, an ancient group of exorcists who have been banishing supernatural entities from the world. They have joined up with the Mishima Zaibatsu to subdue the devil gene. Claudio utilizes a discipline called Sirius-Style Purification Sorcery which conjures the holy power of Sirius within him to overwhelm his enemies in battle.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Claudio SerafinoTekken 7 - Claudio Serafino

Gigas is the latest biological weapon created by the G Corporation and has been entered into the King of Iron Fist Tournament for two reasons: first, to pit the strength of their next-gen humanoid weapon against a similar weapon of G Corp's; and second, to provoke Heihachi Mishima. Gigas fights using an "original" fighting style which is simply referred to as "Destructive Impulse", and it is pure brute force.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - GigasTekken 7 - Gigas

Master Raven is a member of the UN's intelligence bureau with a top-secret mission to Infiltrate the King of Iron Fist Tournament and confront her assigned target.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Master RavenTekken 7 - Master Raven

Lastly, we have Shaheen from Saudi Arabia. Shaheen works for a private military firm specializing in the provision of security services. During his time in the army, he earned a reputation as an expert in one-on-one combat. In the game, he fights using a Military Fighting style which prioritises kicks, acrobatics and takedowns.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - ShaheenTekken 7 - Shaheen

New moves

So we have got three new moves in Tekken 7:
 
A Screw move will force an airborne opponent to spin around 360° and land with their legs pointing vertically whilst their backs/heads touch the floor. In this state, players are vulnerable to combos and continuations of combos, and as such, low parries can now grant full combos with use of moves with a screw property.

Power Crush moves absorb damage from a mid or a high attack, and it still continues despite taking damage.
 
A Rage Art is a significantly powerful attack of a character when he/she uses Rage. A significant note is that when a Rage Art is performed, the character will immediately lose their rage. These arts can also be done during a combo.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Rage ArtTekken 7 - Rage Art

Personally, we think Power Crush is a bit OP with certain characters, for example Paul. It's also used quite often online, people spam it far too much and it can be a nuisance for new players, as basically, if hit by 3-4 Power Crush punches with Paul, they'll lose 99% of the time, because chances are they won't know how to dodge or take advantage of the fact that Paul can still take damage whilst "loading" his Power Crush attack. Rage Art is fine though, it can be used strategically to win fights - it's not as OP as Power Crush.
 
Game Modes
 
Story Mode

The story in Tekken 7 is narrated by an investigative journalist, whose task is to reveal the secrets of the Mishima family after his wife and child died during a battle between the Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporations. Story mode is really well done, but it just feels kind of empty.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Story modeTekken 7 - Story mode

Normally, fighting games - and all other games for that matter - use story mode to introduce players to the game's mechanics and it basically teaches you how to play the game. In Tekken 7 however, the story mode feels kind of redundant as it tells the same tale we've heard a million times before, and it doesn't teach you a thing about the game itself. The game has a roster of 38 players, but the story involves a very small handful of the bunch.
 
Nonetheless, it's a somewhat fun mode to play, as it offers simplified special moves and combos which either serve as display of what a certain character is capable of, or as a means of helping players fight through all the battle sequences without breaking much of a sweat.
 
Arcade mode

Arcade mode is a recurring game mode in the Tekken series, and it's probably one of the iconic things of the game. Usually, in Tekken games, after going through all the stages with a certain character, you'd get a specific ending for that character. This time around though, things seem to be a bit different, as we didn't get a specific ending, or even a boss fight at the end.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Arcade modeTekken 7 - Arcade mode

We did, however, get different fights when we played with different characters, but that was about it. We still like this mode though, because like we said, it's one of those modes that really takes you back to those times where arcade and couch co-op were basically the only modes to play.
 
Treasure Battle

Treasure Battle mode is another offline mode available in Tekken 7 and it's very similar to Ghost mode. After each fight, you'll get in-game cash and loads of customisation items from a treasure chest. You can use these items to customise your character to your heart's content and then show off your style online. Since this mode can be played offline, it's also a great way to hone your skills before stepping on the online stage.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - Treasure BattleTekken 7 - Treasure Battle

VS mode

Versus mode is exactly what you'd expect it to be. A standard offline versus mode where you can take on your friends and laugh in their face as you spam kicks from Hwoarang or punches from Paul.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentTekken 7 - VS modeTekken 7 - VS mode

One thing to be mentioned about this mode though is that you can't fight the CPU - you can only fight another player. If you want to play against the CPU, you'd either have to player Arcade or Treasure Battle mode, or just go into practice and set it to "VS Cpu" and then just let loose till your thumbs are sore.

Online

Online is where the real fun is at, but it's also the place where all the troubles start. There's the standard online mode of 1v1, where you can choose between a standard or ranked match, and there's also the very interesting Tournament mode, which is really our favourite.
 
The tournament's style is knockout, but this can somewhat be changed with the newly introduced "Double Elimination" mode, where, even if you lose, you still have a chance of making it to the finals. This mode is pretty straightforward from creating your own tournament, or searching for one online.

However, even though this our favourite mode of the game, that doesn't mean that it's perfect. Far from it. The game is riddled with lag issues. While you don't necessarily experience lag during matches, finding a match is at times damn near impossible. This is especially frustrating during the tournament mode where you get randomly kicked out of the session because another player who has a bad connection decided to join your party.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentThe blue screen of Tekken 7The blue screen of Tekken 7

Finding a regular 1v1 match is also very, very difficult. Mind you, the problem doesn't lie in the number of players, as there are loads of fighters playing the game, it's the poor servers that are to blame. Namco have tried addressing this issue with introducing a patch that was supposed to fix the online issues, but to no avail. The problems are still very much present.

We really hope they iron these issues out, because right now, playing online means biting your nails in fears of being disconnected seconds before winning your first tournament.
 
Controls

We've played the game on a PS4, and we can honestly say that we don't have a single complaint when it comes to the game's controls. The DualShock 4 controller feels very responsive and works flawlessly, even when mashing random buttons in hopes of performing a sweet combo. 

Players who are used to traditional Tekken controls will have zero problems playing the new game, because like we said, the game plays exactly the same as its prequels.
 
Graphics

Tekken 7 may not be the most graphically astounding game we have seen, but for fighting games this is not a must. Sometimes a simpler style makes it easier to absorb yourself in the action. For example, we prefer the graphical art style of Marvel vs Capcom 2 as opposed to the later games, as it's not as distracting for your eyes or the gameplay.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentVery good visuals, even for a fighting game where it's not exactly mandatoryVery good visuals, even for a fighting game where it's not exactly mandatory

For the first time in the franchise's history the game has come to PC, so the PC master race can now add this to their trinkets for ultra graphics - check out our comparison video of the PC vs PS4 Pro.
 
Music
 
The music for Tekken 7 is clearly a product of its time, nothing by EDM and Dubstep, which is great if you like the music, but if you don't, there isn't really a variety of styles to keep you happy with the new music. The game does redeem itself by letting you listen to soundtracks to every single Tekken ever released, including the Tekken Tag Tournament games.

Bandai Namco EntertainmentLoads of tracks to choose fromLoads of tracks to choose from

Also, all the cutscenes from previous games can be viewed, along with static image galleries, the videos and pictures combining to tell the full story of the series.
 
Final Verdict

Overall, Tekken 7 is a celebration of the franchise as a whole. It's a fun fighting game that maintains its core style with some added tweaks. But it's not the best Tekken game, and we are hard pushed to say it's the best fighting game on the market. It falls just below due to a lackluster story mode that has been 23 years in the making, and its online troubles.
 
Online gameplay has been around long enough now for there to be no excuses for the experience you are getting. And yes, it will be patched, so if you are interested in the game, maybe wait until a patch and price drop come around.
 
AltChar gives Tekken 7: 7/10