Let’s find out together, in this dedicated review, whether and to what extent Tekken 8 has respected that level of hype that has gradually grown since its announcement: the king of fighting games is here, let’s find out together
With the arrival of Tekken 8, the circle of new chapters of the great fighting games closes, which began last year with the release first of Street Fighter 6 and then of Mortal Kombat 1 (here is our review). Now all the competitors are officially in the ring and the challenge to see who will emerge victorious will have, as the first decisive factor, the engagement of the public in the coming months. Leaving aside basic market analyses, if they can be defined as such, after several dozen hours spent fiddling, we finally thought it was time to talk to you about it. The epic between Jin and Kazuya continues, between one throw off a cliff and the next, and we are therefore ready to tell you about our experience with Tekken 8 in this dedicated review: if you have even remotely grasped the hype that arose after launch, you will already know well how it will end. Let’s begin!
Rude and Reckless | Review Tekken 8
Let’s start, therefore, from the single player component of Bandai Namco’s production and, more precisely, from Tekken Team, which has nothing to envy to multiplayer in terms of abundance. Starting from the Story mode which picks up exactly where Tekken 7 left us and, specifically, the now inevitable father-son epic between Jin and Kazuya, but takes an incredibly narrow turn towards the more basic concept of “tamarro”, with absurd clashes, incredible special effects and bossfights so spectacular that they seem to have come out of one of the most classic B-Movies of the 90s.
A mixture of completely crazy moments, incredible battles, extreme tamarrage and naked fanservice: a single-player campaign so crazy that it becomes so enjoyable, even for non-fans, which one cannot help but define as brilliant. All accompanied by an exceptional and inspiring soundtrack. The true, only sin is only one: that it lasts too short. About ten hours on normal difficulty, which will increase or not based on the level you choose and the number of Game Overs you will encounter on your path.
Deep Space | Review Tekken 8
Completely opposite is the Quest Arcade, which turns out to be, on balance, the true single player mode. After creating your avatar, with chibi features and completely customizable, you will gradually face a series of battles against AI-controlled opponents to rise in rank and compete in the Tekken World Tour. The Quest Arcade is especially useful for newbies, because it gradually traces all the main game mechanics, and is therefore characterized by a difficulty level set downwards. Not a simple tutorial, therefore, but something more engaging and which also gives you a nice loot of game coins and items for customization.
To accompany the Main Story we also find the “character episodes” in which, at the end of a short series of battles, we will be able to witness specific cutscenes that delve deeper into each of the 32 fighters present in the Roster. Tekken Ball is also back, one of the most loved and requested minigames since Tekken 3, which can be played both offline and online. What is that? A beach volleyball match with punches and kicks, in which we will have to empty our opponent’s energy bar by hitting him with the gigantic ball. The multitude of single player modes, which join the classic Training, makes it clear that the gaming offer proposed by Tekken 8 is not limited to eSports and online battles, but also aims to slowly and gradually bring new talents together.
Storm Rising | Review Tekken 8
The roster of characters, as already mentioned, is quite extensive (and will certainly be expanded further in the future) and boasts 32 different fighters. Most, of course, will already be known to series veterans, but there are also valuable new additions. From Reina, who will please the players who are now orphaned by Heihachi, who uses the Mishima style, to the coffee fanatic MMA fighter Azucena, to Victor, who we found quite useful for getting to grips with the game mechanics.
As is obvious, not all characters can be handled well by Tekken novices. Some are extremely more technical and can only be managed by expert hands, but nothing prevents you from “maintaining” them from the beginning and gradually taking them on thanks to the multiple tutorials and some simplifications. And some accessibility options have been designed specifically for beginners, such as simplified commands that can be activated by simply pressing a button during any battle which automates special attacks and some basic combos.
Liberation | Review Tekken 8
One particularly interesting addition in Tekken 8 is the sistema Heata sort of temporary enhancement of the fighter’s skills that can be activated once per turn and which will empty the bar located just below the Life Points bar. Heat can be activated in two ways: either by pressing a single button, which will activate it immediately (Heat Burst), or through some new special moves, which you find in the combo list and which are marked as Heat Engager. If you decide to take advantage of the first mechanism, you will have a way to get back into control of the game, because the Heat Burst is very fast and often interrupts a series of opponent combos that risked knocking you out.
When in Heat Mode, the fighter will deal damage with their attacks even if the opponent is in the defensive phase. Furthermore, new moves and unique abilities will be available for each character which will consume the Heat bar completely or partially and which, in addition to increasing the combo list and the spectacular nature of the battles, will be able to reverse their fate in a few single frames. Return from Tekken 7 (here’s our full review!) the mechanics of Rage, which activates when your life points are low and which has two effects. The first is, of course, that of exponentially increase the damage dealt to the opponent, while the second is to be able to unleash powerful Rage Drives, the Ulti of Tekken 8 in short. Compared to the prequel, the damage of these techniques has been reduced, but it matters little given the possibilities given by the Heat.
Silenty Boisterous | Review Tekken 8
And so far, in this review of Tekken 8, we have analyzed everything regarding the single player sector and the new mechanics. So let’s move on to multiplayer which, like it or not, becomes the central experience of a title like this, deliberately devoted to competitiveness. Let’s skip the pleasantries and head to the elephant in the room: how netcode behaves? Following our test, not as professional players, but as lovers of competition, we can say that we did not encounter any major problems and, indeed, the result is more than good. Considering that, unlike other competing titles, Tekken 8 is a fighting game that develops in three-dimensional arenas, the application of the classic netcode is not the simplest, and Bandai has therefore decided to use a hybrid of it.
The resulting overall general stability will give great satisfaction to those who do not aim for high levels, but will hardly disappoint even professionals. We have not encountered any lag issues in matches on European servers, while we had greater difficulties with the other continents, Asia in particular. We also carried out the test with both a cable and Wi-Fi connection, with the former obviously more stable, compared to the much more unstable second option.
Baroque Attack | Review Tekken 8
We carried out the test for this review of Tekken 8 on an Xbox Series S, therefore not one of the best performing hardware to play on. Despite this, the game performed more than decently with its 1080p resolution. The wonderful hand of the Tekken Team has managed to make the graphic impact well optimized in the face of hardware power pushed to the limit, making it absolutely enjoyable if you don’t look at aesthetic minutiae that will not impact your experience in any way. The stability of the software is excellent, no noteworthy drops, and the aesthetic expertise on the character models and their animations makes Tekken 8 one of the most beautiful fighting games around.
The desire to be rude in the title is also reflected in the soundtrack, with pieces capable of enhancing even more the moments that already make you jump in your seat even with your headphones off. A soundtrack that blends perfectly with the style of play, in short, and which aims for heights of exaggeration that have rarely been seen in this series.
My Last Stand
We conclude this long-winded review of Tekken 8 by recommending the title from Bandai Namco and the Tekken Team to practically anyone who just wants to get their hands on a fighting game. Even with this iteration, the franchise proves to always be in constant evolution, without the need to revolutionize itself at the base, but exclusively deepening its basic mechanics and its strengths so loved by fans. The tamarra twist may not please many, but there is no doubt about the quantity and quality of the content brought together in a single product, which will also be updated and expanded over the next few months. Tekken 8 is, indisputably, the current king of fighting games. Without ifs and buts.
Tekken 8 is currently available on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series S. Let us know what you think below in the comments and stay tuned with us at techgameworld.com for all the news, guides and reviews on gaming and tech themes!
Points in favor
- Narratively tacky and exaggerated…
- Solid and expanded gameplay
- Huge roster
- Many modes in both single-player and multiplayer
- Fun even for those who don’t like fighting games
- … which not everyone will like
- Some Netcode problems in non-European clashes