Tekken 7 came out to arcade rooms in Japan back on 2015, and it has been a long time since the last installment that came out to our consoles, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in 2012 – Tekken Revolution 2013 and the last major chapter – Tekken 6 – is about eight years old.
Tekken 7 arrives at a sweet time for the genre, at least as the lack of options is concerned. Nevertheless, its long maturation in arcades has been beneficial, and much. We get a fighting game that has gone through balances, which increased the content of scenarios and characters with the updated version now on consoles – and for the first time, comes out to PC – brings some new modes including the story mode. You might almost think that Katsuhiro Harada’s team learned their lesson from the problematic launch of Street Fighter V and by not doing the same mistakes to ensure that the buyer will be more than satisfied from the first minute of purchase. Yes, there is some advertised downloadable content, but hardly anyone will have the feeling of receiving a half-done game.
The Tekken Tag Tournament brings together practically all the characters in the series, but saving the teams mode that gives a name to the game, do not suppose a drastic innovation in a playable matter. There are touches in movements, combos and some extra fighter as a novelty, but the revolutions arrive with numbered deliveries. Tekken 7 fulfills this requirement and re- cleans the roster, keeping the faces better known – by charisma and number of players – plus a few handfuls of fighters of appearance and varied styles.
For the part of the returning fighters we have Alisa, Asuka Kazama, Bob, Bryan Fury, Devil Jin, Eddy, Feng Wei, Heihachi, Hwoarang, Jin, Kazuya / Devil Kazuya, King, Kuma, Lars, Lee, Leo, Lili, Xiaoyu , Law, Miguel, Nina, Panda, Paul, Dragnov, Steve Fox and Yoshitmisu. Also the vampire Eliza from the Tekken Revolution -, that although it is not new, practically it will be for plenty of players; That yes, available first with the reserves of the game and more ahead of payment.
It is possible to miss some veterans who, hopefully, will be added in the future. The most in demand are Lei Wulong, the police and kung-fu master who had not missed a game since his debut in Tekken 2, but we also remember Marduk, Zafina, Bruce or Mokujin – who randomly takes the moves of another character -. However, it is a collateral damage of the said main deliveries; Remember the purges of Tekken 3 and 4 to introduce new blood to your selection.
These characters have been renewed, and although they are controlled in a similar way to what we are accustomed, once again we will have to learn combos and new movements. But there are also plenty of fighters willing to compete with your favorites of the series, and most are not simple replacements to other acquaintances, bring new martial arts that had not been seen in Tekken.
One of the claims of Tekken 7 has been Akuma, classic antagonist of Street Fighter that enters by the great door in the game and the official history of the franchise. He maintains the projectile launch, not very usual in Tekken, with which it compensates its low speed and the limited range of many of its movements in the series of Capcom – rotating kick and hooks. The control, of course, is adapted to that of Tekken 7, so no fan will find it too strange when it comes to playing.
The Raven Ninja is replaced by Master Raven. In this case, we can speak of a substitution; Is not completely new because the style is similar, but his personality leaves a mark on new techniques. Like Raven, a fast character who confuses his opponents with combos at different heights.
The Brazilian Katarina Alves reminds us by her appearance to Christie Monteiro – in Tekken 7 we have Eddy -, but her style has little to do with capoeira. She is very good with arms and legs, remembers vaguely Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, and developed thinking about the newbies. In short, a character that is easy to get your potential from our first contact.
Claudio Serafino is a mysterious incorporation with magical powers. The truth is that his style is not the most colorful and does not seem too inspired by real martial arts, but in practice that matters little; Is fast and many of his kicks are designed to lift the opponent, allowing you to start demolishing combos.
Lucky Chloe will like fans of the most exuberant movements. He displays street-style twists and turns a kind of hip hop and though we have serious doubts about his effectiveness as a real martial art, he has nothing to envy Eddy about in terms of agility. Your best weapon: the opponents who do not know their attacks will not know where each hit comes from.
Shaheen is the response of Tekken community of Arab fans, as it was Rashid Street Fighter V. It is also suitable for novices for their easy combos and leg control – spinning patterns, and landslides. Definitely one of our favorites of the new wave.
Josie Rizal combines kickboxing and Eskrima in its defensive variant, rather than weapon-oriented, two styles that result in something similar to Yaw-Yan, well-prepared to counteract the failed attacks of their rivals. No need to underestimate Josie despite her innocent appearance.
The appearance of Gigas leaves no doubt, is intended for users who prefer brute force, blows and blows. It may be that Marduk’s absence is justified by Gigas, which is a more brutal and wild version of his movements.
Gigas does not wipe out another mechanical fighter, Jack-7. Although it is cataloged by new, evidently it is not, it is the name for the classic Jack, a slow robot, little agile and loose with the legs, but lethal with its enormous arms. An expert user in Jack-7 will keep his opponent in line thanks to the range of action of each punch.
The latest news, but not least, is Kazumi Mishima, Heihachi’s wife, and Kazuya’s mother. It is one of the keys to the history of Tekken 7 and in terms of gameplay we will remember the karate of the Mishima family but with new surprises, it can levitate, and many of its combos are finished with the entrance of a tiger. Quite fun to learn. The demonic version – a deadly ray and flight – is not controllable.
The template is very solid, and the incorporations touch almost all styles. We especially liked Katarina, Shaheen, and Kazumi, but surely all Tekken fans find a new favorite to learn.
New mechanics and modes
Tekken 7 refocuses on one-on-one combat and continues with some of the mechanics introduced in Tekken 6, such as multi-storey scenarios or attacks with personalization items, but also changes in rebounds during combos influenced by Tekken Revolution.
One of the novelties is the Rage Arts, which use the energy Rage, the equivalent of the devastating movements of Street Fighter or the last Soul Calibur. Like those, it gives rise to a brief animation that can cause 30% damage – it is inversely proportional to our health. The Power Crushers instead allow us to continue attacking while receiving high and medium attacks – the damage received applies equally. In Fated Retribution was added the Rage Driver, an attack – or series of attacks – that is are a good alternative to the Rage Art – can be combined.
These changes introduce new strategies to the battle of Tekken and modify the game more than it seems. For the classic player may assume elements too unbalanced, almost unfair, but are tools available to all the characters. Its reason for being: to prevent a user with a clear advantage can not lower guard at any time, and encourage the user with a weak health to turn the game that he believed practically lost. We have liked these changes, but we will see how the community reacts.
Very few hits can be put to Tekken 7 in gameplay and variety of characters. Although there are more fighters announced for downloadable content, something that does not escape any fighting game, at no time gives the sensation of launching half-finished. But equally important are the game modes, and Tekken 7 offers a good handful of options although we also miss others.
In offline modes, we find the arcade, treasure bout, duel – local place – and practice. Arcade confronts a series of enemies controlled by artificial intelligence and ends with a boss, in this case, Kazumi. It is very brief – half the fighting of the usual – and it does not give a video CG as in past Tekken, so we do not think that it has much more utility than the one to train at high difficulty levels.
Combat treasure becomes, in the absence of Survival, Time Trial, a Tekken Force or minigame of bowling/volleyball, in the main mode for a player once we complete the stories. We face endless rivals, earn money, upgrade experience and personalization elements. There are hundreds of clothes and decoration for the user’s card, so keeping the game as far as possible rewards us with better prizes – and difficulty raising. Occasionally the conditions of play are changed, for example, games with more speed, double damage, etc.
The practice mode is typical of Tekken, and even with some more adjustments. The pity is that it is only about that, try combos on our own. The novices who approach the saga for the first time will be very lost and is that the closest thing to a tutorial we will see in story mode. At no time are explained in detail the new mechanics or the best strategies of each fighter, new or veteran.
And of course, there is “The Saga of the Mishima family,” the story mode that tries, finally, to order and tell everything that happened in the saga from the beginning. We dedicate an article exclusively focused on this campaign, full of cinematic, narration about illustrations and combats, not many, but the most epic ones. History is what it is: the eternal confrontation between Heihachi and Kazuya, accompanied by the alliances that form on each side. In general, it sums up well the argument of the Mishima, but if you need to refresh the memory, Tekken 7 also includes galleries with all the videos of the saga – to acquire with the money obtained -, they are important or mere gags.
This story mode – which will end in less than two hours – also hides episodes of characters, which are the small adventures of the rest of the staff. We have said that arcade does not conclude with a video and it is true; More or less, are moved into this category. Of course, they consist only of a combat and a short sequence, but we assume that most fans will want to take a look at all these adventures.
We have online modes, with qualifying games and the great idea of integrating tournaments for up to eight users, with adjustments around or double, spectator mode, text chat … probably become the favorite choice of the most faithful community Tekken. However, we miss an option to save and sort the replays of our games other than using the retransmission or video capture functions. In our tests – before the launch – it has sometimes failed to accept an opponent, but there are no notable problems during the online games, which have worked without lag effects.
In the PlayStation 4 version, there are two extra modes. Granola, which allows changing the soundtrack of the game – which is good, although perhaps not as memorable as others – by the themes of any other Tekken, and VR Mode, an experiment for PS VR that allows seeing some combat or modeling of the game An inquisitive curiosity.
The personalization of the wrestlers offers an enormous amount of accessories, clothes and other elements to change – including auras and portraits. As in the Tekken from Tekken 5, these masks, hats, and dresses range from the most elegant to tacky. Surely in your online games, you will cross with a half-naked Heihachi, giant battery pack and deer head.
Unreal Engine 4, the king of the fight
Little is said about how Epic has succeeded in turning its technology into the standard of the genre, even those studies that until a few years ago used own motors – that was the case of Bandai Namco with Tekken – have been directed to Unreal Engine 4. Be careful when comparing Tekken 7 with Injustice 2, Street Fighter V, Killer Instinct or Guilty Gear Xrd, because the merit is greater: we speak of three-dimensional struggle, with more freedom and interaction on the stage.
We tested the game on PS4 Pro – on the original PS4 models, and Xbox One does not reach the 1080p resolution – and visually it is a step ahead of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, specifically in the aspect of materials, lighting and modeling Characters – clothes and hair. It does not aspire to the realism in the faces of NetherRealm Studios, the referent for Tekken are its computer generated graphics, designs slightly inspired in the anime. During the heat of the game it is difficult to appreciate its quality but in the kinematics and the step of the sequence to the game allows to see the generation jump.
Although more than a decade ago that the saga has ceased to be a leading title in graphics – as it was in 32 and 128 bits -, you can not put too many hits to this section except one: the irregularity of their scenarios. It seems a simple problem of originality or lack of time. There are a number of stands that look good, although sometimes they remind too much of old Tekken landscapes – some of it is blunt, Dragon’s Nest case of Tekken 5 – but probably because of the need to appear in the main story, most are Very sober subject, without the spark of the first deliveries.
This does not mean that it does not have very striking scenarios and climatic changes. The Mishima building – a lift that climbs to reach the rooftop – the dojo, the Duomo di Sirio, the arena – very similar to some of the TTT2 – or the market are among our favorites. On the other hand, Arctic Snowfall – the characters leave no trace in the snow -, the volcanic zones – Geometric Plane or Infinite Azure – used for virtual reality – are certainly below average.
Mention that the loading times are a bit long for what we are accustomed to fighting games, and even reload when we accept an online rematch – other games immediately return us to the game.
Tekken 7 is undoubtedly one of the best games of the genre, and today the best in 3D fighting. The incorporations will make us quickly forget the absence of some classic fighter, and the new techniques present the most important changes in the gameplay since the introduction of physical limits in Tekken 4. Taking advantage of the new strategy requires a little learning, but the effort is worth it if you plan to squeeze the template.
In the end, Tekken is played by the online and local pikes. We appreciate Bandai Namco’s effort to make a story mode with good production values, but once finished, Tekken 7 is a bit lame in solo options – except for collectibles. Luckily, we ‘re talking about a fighting game that easily compensates us with dozens, hundreds of hours of fun. What more could you want?
We made this review with a PS4 PRO with a press copy provided by Bandai Namco.