TEKKEN 8 Review

Tekken 8, the latest marvel from Bandai Namco, marks a new era in the storied Tekken franchise, a series renowned for its deep combat mechanics and engaging characters. This installment breaks away from the traditional arcade-first release, debuting directly on consoles and PC, a move that signifies the evolving landscape of the gaming industry. The anticipation for Tekken 8 has been building steadily, fueled by the long gap since the release of Tekken 7. This new entry arrives at a time when the fighting game genre is enjoying a resurgence, particularly in 2D offerings, and Tekken 8 stands out with its exceptional production values and innovative gameplay mechanics. The game’s direct release on modern platforms ensures a simultaneous global launch, allowing players worldwide to experience the game together. This strategy, coupled with the game’s impressive production values, positions Tekken 8 as one of Bandai Namco’s most significant releases in recent years.

The anticipation surrounding Tekken 8 is palpable, especially considering the extended period since the last installment. Fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting a new chapter in the Tekken saga, and Tekken 8 promises to deliver an experience that both honors the series’ legacy and pushes the boundaries of what a fighting game can be. The game’s focus on high production values and cutting-edge gameplay mechanics is evident from the outset, setting it apart from its predecessors and contemporaries in the genre. Tekken 8’s release strategy, eschewing the traditional arcade-first approach, reflects the changing dynamics of the gaming industry and the decline of arcades as testing grounds for new titles. This shift allows for a more unified and immediate global gaming experience, ensuring that players around the world can enjoy the game’s offerings simultaneously. The game’s arrival during a period of heightened interest in fighting games, bolstered by the popularity of streaming and esports, makes it a timely addition to the genre.

Tekken 8’s narrative unfolds in a world reeling from the aftermath of Heihachi’s disappearance, with Kazuya Mishima’s unchecked power posing a global threat. The story mode, “The Darkness Awakens,” is a cinematic journey that follows Jin Kazama and other key characters as they navigate this tumultuous landscape. This mode represents a significant improvement over Tekken 7’s story offering, with higher production values and a more coherent narrative. The story revolves around the heroes’ efforts to thwart Kazuya’s plans, with Jin Kazama playing a pivotal role. The narrative is engaging and well-paced, providing a mix of high-stakes drama and intense combat. The focus on Jin’s struggle with his demonic powers adds depth to the storyline, making it a captivating experience for both new players and series veterans.

Setting and Story

Tekken 8 introduces the Heat system, a game-changing mechanic that encourages aggressive play and adds a new strategic layer to the gameplay. This system, along with other innovations like the tornado for aerial combos and enhanced stage interactivity, makes Tekken 8 the most dynamic and fast-paced entry in the series. The Heat system allows players to enter a temporary state with various benefits, including new actions, convertible damage, and access to the powerful Heat Smash.

The roster in Tekken 8 is meticulously crafted, featuring 32 fighters at launch, each with revamped designs and movesets. The focus on quality over quantity is evident, with each character offering a unique and entertaining playstyle. The new additions, Victor, Azucena, and Reina, embody the game’s aggressive philosophy, adding fresh dynamics to the roster. The return of Jun Kazama, absent since Tekken 2, is a significant highlight, adding nostalgia and depth to the character lineup.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Tekken 8 shines in its multiplayer offerings, with robust online features that include rollback netcode and cross-play support. The online hub, Tekken Fighting Room, provides a seamless experience for ranked, quick, and custom matches. The inclusion of the PS5 Tournament feature enhances the competitive aspect of the game, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable online experience. The game’s replayability is bolstered by a variety of single-player modes, including the Arcade Mission mode, which offers a nostalgic nod to the arcade roots of the series. This mode provides a unique narrative experience, blending a covert tutorial with challenges against multiple ghost fighters. The Ghostly Super Combat feature is a notable addition, offering a more realistic simulation of playing against human opponents. This advancement in AI technology allows for a more authentic and challenging experience, as the ghost fighters mimic the strategies and playstyles of real players.

The single-player offerings in Tekken 8 are a significant improvement over its predecessor, providing a more engaging experience for players who prefer to play solo. The story mode, “The Darkness Awakens,” is a cinematic masterpiece, blending high-quality storytelling with intense combat sequences. The narrative focuses on Jin Kazama’s efforts to stop his father, Kazuya, from causing a global conflict. The mode is well-crafted, with a compelling storyline that keeps players invested from start to finish. The Character Episodes feature returns, offering short stories for each fighter in the roster. These episodes provide insight into the motivations and backgrounds of the characters, adding depth to the overall narrative. The Arcade Mission mode is a standout feature, offering a unique blend of storytelling and gameplay. This mode takes players on a journey through various arcades, each with its own set of challenges and ghost fighters. The mode serves as both a tutorial and a narrative experience, making it a valuable addition for both new and veteran players.

Multiplayer and Replayability

Tekken 8’s multiplayer experience is a testament to the game’s commitment to providing a robust and enjoyable online experience. The inclusion of rollback netcode and cross-play support ensures smooth and fair matches across different platforms. The Tekken Fighting Room serves as the central hub for online play, offering a variety of options for players to engage in competitive matches. The PS5 Tournament feature adds an extra layer of competition, allowing players to participate in official tournaments and showcase their skills on a larger stage.

The game’s replayability is further enhanced by the Ghostly Super Combat feature, which provides a realistic simulation of playing against human opponents. This feature adds a new level of challenge and excitement to the multiplayer experience, as players can test their skills against AI opponents that mimic the strategies of real players.

The online experience in Tekken 8 is complemented by a range of customization options and rewards. Players can earn money and accessories through various modes, allowing them to personalize their fighters and online avatars. The customization options are extensive, offering a wide range of possibilities for players to express their individuality. The return of Tekken Ball, a beloved minigame from Tekken 3, adds a fun and casual element to the multiplayer experience. This volleyball-style game is a great way to relax and enjoy a less competitive aspect of Tekken 8. The online hub also features a replay section, where players can save and review their best matches. This feature is particularly useful for players looking to improve their skills, as it provides valuable insights into their gameplay and strategies.

Graphics and Sound

Tekken 8 showcases a significant leap in graphical fidelity, taking full advantage of the Unreal Engine 5. The game’s visuals are a stunning display of the engine’s capabilities, with highly detailed character models, dynamic environments, and impressive special effects. The character designs have been completely overhauled, resulting in more natural and realistic appearances. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the game, from the intricate clothing textures to the expressive facial animations. The environments are equally impressive, with a variety of settings that range from urban landscapes to fantastical realms. The game’s artistic direction strikes a balance between realism and stylization, creating a visually cohesive and immersive world.

The sound design in Tekken 8 is equally impressive, with a soundtrack that perfectly complements the game’s high-energy gameplay. The music ranges from intense electronic beats to more traditional instrumental tracks, creating a diverse and engaging auditory experience. The sound effects are crisp and impactful, adding weight and intensity to every punch, kick, and special move. The voice acting is top-notch, with each character’s personality shining through in their dialogue and battle cries. The game’s audiovisual presentation is a testament to Bandai Namco’s commitment to delivering a high-quality gaming experience.

Final Thoughts

Tekken 8 is a triumphant return for the beloved fighting game series, offering a fresh and exhilarating experience that both honors its legacy and pushes the boundaries of the genre. The game’s innovative gameplay mechanics, robust multiplayer offerings, and stunning audiovisual presentation make it a standout title in the fighting game landscape.

The inclusion of new features like the Heat system and Ghostly Super Combat adds depth and replayability to the gameplay, ensuring that players will have plenty to explore and master. The single-player modes, particularly the story mode and Arcade Mission, provide a compelling narrative experience that complements the game’s competitive aspects. Tekken 8 is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike, offering a fighting game experience that is both accessible and deeply rewarding.

We prepared this review with a digital copy of Tekken 8 Ultimate Edition for the PS5 version provided by Bandai Namco.



As far as I can remember, I've been surrounded by technology. My father bought us a Commodore 64 so I started playing games as a baby, following my passion with Amiga 500, then PC and so on. I love game related collectibles, and when I'm not collecting I review games, watch movies and TV Shows or you may catch me keeping a low profile at Game Events.

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