Tekken 7 debuted on June 2, 2017 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows. The final saga in the Mishima family rivalry. This worldwide fighting game phenomenon, is published and developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment, yes the same company that makes Pacman. The game was first originally released in Japan on March 18, 2015 in arcade, and on Japanese consoles on July 5, 2016. It is the ninth installment in the Tekken series which started December 9, 1994 with over five years since the last Tekken game. It is the first game however created using the Unreal Game Engine.
The game follows Heihachi Mishima, Kazuya Mishima, and Jin Kazama in their bitter family rivalry that includes a large supporting cast, with Street Fighter legend Akuma, making a special appearance, as well as 9 newcomers and a large cast of returning fighters, fan favorites like Nina, Asuka, King and many more. With so many new installments and great games in the fighting genre today, such as Street Fighter V, Injustice 2, King of Fighters, and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Tekken 7 proudly shouts, “we will not be outdone!” Tekken 7’s nostalgic scenery and gameplay, makes it fully accessible to all manner of players, from novice to advanced. The story mode of the game, follows the Mishima family crisis with only a few times deviating from them, though there are side quests you can partake of that aren’t part of the main story that involve other characters, but not many. For novice users, during the story mode you can use simplified inputs, 4 pre-selected attacks, allowing you to use signature moves of characters you not accustomed to.
The gameplay is comparable to previous installments of Tekken, with a few great exceptions, such as the Power Crushers, Rage Drive and Rage Arts system. Rage Arts are brilliant and flashy moves that can be executed with a unique button combination when you’re at 25% or lower health and Rage Drives similarly flashy, but also allows you to perform follow-up strikes which can be used to your advantage. During your Rage Drive or Rage Art, you are gifted with an awesome cinematic combo performed by you character. Power Crushers allow you to absorb mid and high attacks, and even though you take damage, it allows you to hit back with a strong attack. Now to the fans of Tekken Tag Tournament, sorry the gameplay is one on one, with not tag feature included. There is great online multiplayer though, where you can find heavy competition from all over the world, and the connections seem to be strong worldwide for excellent matchmaking.
The most exciting aspect of Tekken 7 must be its customization features. Akin to NetherRealm Studio’s Injustice 2, players have the ability to completely upgrade their characters’ appearance in a huge way, changing their aesthetics to fight any situation. The character customization possibilities are almost endless, with the ability to change not only fashion styles but also health bar frame art, auras, portraits, tile backgrounds, and multiple alternate costumes. To obtain these treasures you can play thru the main storyline or play the added mode called, Treasure Battle. Where players play continuously against the computer AI for more and more of the goodies, eventually facing the “boss” character for that stage. You can win classic gear from previous games to feel nostalgic or obtain more modern outfits. With the fights becoming more difficult and rules of the match changing, such as increased damage or at double-speed. You can unlock extra content to use by completing Treasure Battle, spending your fight money that you acquire during the game or playing matches in online Tournaments.
To encourage new players to the game, tweaks have been added to it, such as lowering launcher damage and total damage from a combo juggle and damage scaling which has reduced the amount of damage that longer combos can do. The music of Tekken 7 is what takes gameplay to the next level by including the favorite soundtracks from every single Tekken since 1994 and allowing you to substitute in any of those favorites to create playlists, though to do this you must be playing on a PlayStation 4 since it is an exclusive feature.
Overall Namco’s Tekken 7 is a fantastic game. However much like Street Fighter 5 there is plenty of great things that can be said, and much criticism that can also be given. The removal of fan favorites such as Lei, Anna, and Julia was a sore spot for some, they may be available as DL content, but that’s not confirmed. The slow story mode, as its retold from the perspective of a journalist, whose voice acting was rather lack luster, though this might have been asked for or intentional. The PlayStation VR support, which could have been a great idea and feature if you could actually play the game or story thru it. The VR that was a big selling point for many players that they feel Namco let them down on. With heavy competition from the recently released NetherRealm Studio’s “Injustice 2”and Arc System Works “Guilty Gear Xrd 2”, fans expected better and more from Tekken 7. The cinematic story is quite beautiful though, albeit short. The online modes are seemingly lag-free and full of fighters to challenge from all over the world. Largely Tekken 7 delivers and as one of the best and oldest fighting games series out here today it’s definitely worth playing. I give it a solid 4 out of 5!