Tekken 7 is the brand new instalment of the world famous fighting franchise from Bandai Namco Entertainment. Full of a roster of characters ready to fight, arcade modes and a story ready to be beaten, Tekken 7 shapes up to offer one hell of a great experience. However, the game has taken a long time to be released since originally hitting select Japan arcades back in 2015! Should it have been left in Japan or has Tekken reclaimed the fighting genre crown for the series? Let’s find out!
The first thing to strike players when playing Tekken 7 is amazingly not a fist. In fact, it is that visually the game is nothing short of damn right stunning! From the sharper character models, to the clean animations all the way through to the crazy variety of locations and environments. Graphics should never sell a game completely but it is one of the main ways that Tekken 7 improves upon the last Tekken iteration. Notably the cut scenes are nothing short of CGI movie quality. Say what you like about a fighting game having a storyline but the cut scenes alone make it a worthwhile investment of your time.
Fear not, no plot related spoilers will follow but let’s discuss the story. Surprisingly, and maybe because of the quality of the cut scenes, the story does manage to get across the mild emotional elements of the otherwise over-the-top story. Tekken 7 is a fighting game at the end of the day, it needs a slightly daft nature to it, to be believable. Told from the viewpoint of an outsider, a journalist, players will get to see some loose ends tied up, from the on-going and world devastating Mishima saga. The cut scenes flow nicely and directly into the combat. By making it a fluid change from cut scene to fight the lines become blurred engrossing the players more into the story. It won’t be winning any awards for the writing but it does a good enough job to warrant a playthrough by veterans of the series and new players alike.
Those new to the game will be stepped into the game by the storyline, which offers some tips along the way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t delve overly deeply into the controls of impressive moves or combos. It does mean that players are not constantly fighting like in the arcade mode, being thrown straight into the deep end of fight, after fight, after fight. Some players may benefit from being thrown head first into arcade, others may wish to button mash between cut scenes in the storyline until they are more confident. Either way a more structured tutorial should have been included, it would certainly benefit new player.
Don’t worry if this is your first venture into the iconic Tekken franchise. Despite not having a formal tutorial the controls are simple to pick up but hard to master. This allows anyone to get some level of enjoyment from the game. You can even catch up with the story as the cut scenes from all previous Tekken titles are available, via spending the in-game currency that player earn by fighting. Missed out on the previous games or just want to refresh your memory and Tekken 7 has you covered. New players could completely ignore them and still get enjoyment from the storyline, but they are there in case you want to give characters a backstory. A backstory which gives special meaning to select fights.
The roster of Tekken 7 is a great size. It is small enough so that players are able to learn and remember the slight differences and some special button combos for most characters. It does this while enabling a large amount of variation from one fight to the next. For a Tekken novice like myself, you may find it easier to stick to the same core group of characters, learning their move sets in more detail. The roster size also means that when playing arcade mode the chances of seeing the same characters match after match is extremely rare. Personally, my favorite new addition is Bandai Namco’s take on an anime cosplayer in the form of Lucky Chloe. She offers something different visually to fights with her dance style. I’m sure Bandai Namco will add to the roster via future DLC but the base roster is plentiful for the fighting action we have come to love the series for.
Each character has a few unique outfits assigned to them, even before players get their hands on the rather extensive character customization. This customization module allows players to unlock a wide variety of items for characters to wear, hold or equip. It can best be described as an unnecessary addition that strangely adds entertainment to the game. Many the items are more for comical effect than to be serious outfits for characters. Still, it is nice to see options of differing outfits for characters alongside peculiar items such as pineapples, steampunk glasses and frog hats. The color pallet options are most likely going to be the most used for each clothing item, even if it results in rainbow costumes.
As I admitted above, I am firmly in the novice camp when it comes to Tekken 7. Yet, I am still able to grab a controller and button mash my way to a rough victory against the AI. The AI can give you a good experience, though Tekken 7 truly comes alive when you pass a second controller to a friend. You can almost get the same experience battling one of the thousands of random people playing online but you don’t get the same sort of banter, or friendly abuse, as when battling in person. Perhaps this is the reason why Bandai Namco went with as the tagline of “Every Fight Is Personal!”
Button Mashing will only get players so far in Tekken 7. Take the example of Treasure Battle mode, which is similar to arcade mode but it’ll unlock chests of loot for character customization after each bout. I can button mash my way through several rounds but each gradually gets harder until the odd combos I need become a necessity and then become not enough. This is one issue that a decent player that can remember the control schemes for characters will always have the advantage. Thankfully, anyone can enjoy the game in their own style if they choose their fights wisely.
When it comes to the menu style and get user interface everything is kept clean. The menus are intuitively laid out so you can quickly find what you want: be it the button configurations, video gallery or simply to jump straight into a fight. When in fights, the UI is kept crisp and to the point. It gives the exact information you as a player require at a glance. It is kept very much to the edge of the screen so to not distract players; from the unfolding action or the fantastic environments players bounce around. Most importantly when I play my opponent gets to see the K.O. plastered across the screen as the best character, King, wins yet again! At least that’s what I aim to happen…
Tekken 7 doesn’t stray from what it is good at, offering an over-the-top fighting experience that puts fun first and foremost. It has jaw-dropping graphics that color the screen in vibrant colors amidst the fast action, that will draw players in to wanting to play. Helpfully, anyone can pick the game up regardless of skill and start pummeling AI, at least in the early rounds, or battle it out with a friend. New players are left to fend for themselves somewhat when it comes to the combo controls but the basics are intuitive and the rest will only come, as with all fighting games, with time. I came into Tekken 7 looking for the next chapter of fighting fun and I certainly am not disappointed.
[Editor’s Note: Tekken 7 was review on Window PC. The game was provided to us by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe for review purposes.]Tekken 7 Review,