Review: Tekken 7
Tekken 7 is a fighting game that has just released on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game actually already exists since March of 2015 in Japanese Arcades. It has been developed by Bandai Namco and runs on the very popular and stunning Unreal Engine 4.
About the Game
What makes it distinct from other games in this genre are two key points. The first one is that while the game plays in 2D like other fighting games, the characters actually move and act in a 3-dimensional space. Sidestepping to dodge some of the attacks is one of the possible maneuvers in this game.
The other point would be the combo and button input mechanics in this game. While Streetfighter has both three punch and three kick buttons in light, medium or heavy variations, Tekken chooses to instead use only 4 button inputs, which represent left and right kick and punch. Tekken also focuses on a sequence of button inputs to do combos, rather than relying on circle movements of the analogue sticks.
The story of the game revolves around the Mishima family, consisting of Heihachi Mishima, who is the father of Kazuya Mishima who in turn is the father of Jin Kazama. The game starts off in the past, shortly after Heihachi killed his wife Kazumi, after finding out that she posesses the devil gene. Under the assumption that Kazuya also has this devil gene, Heihachi proceeds to throw him off a cliff.
Fast forward to the current day, Kazuya survives the fall, which proves Heihachi’s suspicions correct. Starting the game, it is explained to us by the narrator of the story that the world is currently at war, with the two primary factions being the “Mishima Zaibatsu” and the “G Corporation”, both of which are military firms. At this point we are being told that Jin Kazama is the leader of “Mishima Zaibatsu” and is actually the one who started the war in the first place. The story then unfolds from there and is mainly being told from the perspective of a reporter, who is currently writing an exposé on the two companies.
When looking at the story of the game, it has a very decent background and seems to build up fairly well. However, it does seem to end quite abruptly, with little explanation on some of the final motivations of the characters. If you are interested in Tekken, you are probably interested in the gameplay rather than the story. It is worth a playthrough though, especially since it teaches you to play the game quite well.
Let’s look at how the game tries to teach you its mechanics. Right in your first fight, the game attempts to tell you how to duck. What the game does is put a very standard enemy into the field, who simply shoots at you with a gun. To avoid taking damage from the shot, all you have to do is to duck. Moving forward before the enemy takes another shot is the key to defeating him here. From this point on the game tends to introduce one mechanic after another, always with an enemy doing appropriate attacks and a little tooltip describing the necessary action.
When first trying to fight, one may think that the game is quite slow. Kicking and punching in succession takes a lot of time and you’re left wondering if that is the actual premise of the game. However, the moves list, which is accessible at anytime from the pause menu, comes to the rescue. In them a great and accurate description of the combos is shown to you and after a little of trial and error, we were easily able to string together some of the basic combos. Learning and pulling of these combos feels both satisfying and rewarding, which in turn encouraged us to try and learn some more of them.
The base game features 36 characters, which will either be introduced in the main campaign or in the single character episodes. Each character episodes is a simple best out of three fight, which is always playable from both perspectives. With the story focusing on a few key characters, these are a pretty good tool to be introduced to the backstory of the entire roster, as there is a short text and a small cutscene to each one of them.
While a couple of basic moves are always very similar between most characters, everyone seems to have unique attacks with the more complicated combos. In the diverse roster, you’ll probably find something for you in there, as the cast of characters includes pretty much anything from buff dudes, demons, robot anime girls and even a giant panda. If you want even more diversity in the characters, you can customize each one of them with customes and accessories, which you can buy with ingame currency.
We did found a couple of things to critize, which will probably affect novice players the most. The first is the rage mechanic. Getting to low health will active your character’s rage mode, which will allow you to unleash a very strong attack on your opponent. This means if both opponents are similarly matched, the one who reaches the low health first will be able to use this attack and therefore defeat the opponent. This feels cheap, as you doing well, is simply countered by a single attack from a low health opponent.
There are some fights in the story mode of the game, which could have been implemented a lot better. For example the fight against Kazumi; although the game tries to teach you the Sidestep mechanic in this fight and the situation, when you must use it is relatively clear, the difficulty of this boss jumps immensely compared to the earlier battles. Kazumi regenerates health over time and does a lot of damage to you. What is even more annoying is that you are unable to retry the match at will to save you some time, if you feel like you will be unable to win this round anyways. You have to let yourself get killed to retry a fight.
Furthermore, in some story fights, there is a little end sequence, where the boss does some sort of power up animation, which then effectively ends in a QTE. In the fight against Kazumi, it was very unclear on what you need to do, do you need to sidestep or do you need to do some form of attack? Kazumi regenerates health at a much faster rate and Heihachi’s attacks were doing little damage, which is why we believed we had to do a dodge at the right moment to avoid the powered up attack. However, we actually just had to spam some attacks to get the QTE sequence to trigger. Dying multiple times during the end sequence, after the boss itself was already hard enough, was simply insult to injury.
Graphics, Atmosphere and Performance
Tekken 7 has some of the best fighting game graphics we’ve ever seen and it has them with a really good technical performance too. The framerate stayed very stable over the entirety of our playthrough and menues and options are very well designed too. However, we were somehow only able to choose a resolution of 1600 times 1200, when playing in borderless windowed mode. This is a minor issue, as we were able to play at the standard 1080p in fullscreen mode. It is unclear to us whether this is a bug or a limitation, but be aware of this issue if you exclusively play games in borderless windowed mode.
When talking about the graphics of a game, one must always follow up with its atmosphere, which in this case is pretty good. Everything from the characters to the menues, stages and soundtrack is extremely polished and sets the tone of any given situation very well. The characters themselves are well-voiced too, but always in their own native language. English characters will speak in English, Japanese characters in Japanese and so on. We found this a bit off-putting, when characters were talking to each other in completely different languages, but overall this is a minor issue. A great variety of twenty stages, which all have destructible elements to some extent, also add to the game’s atmosphere.
As Red Value Gaming, we try to review games a bit differently to others, by giving a second review score in form of a monetary value. With this value, we try to give you an objective measure of the content of the game.
Tekken 7 features 36 playable characters with some of them feeling very unique and 20 stages, which all include a somewhat destructible environment. The game runs on Unreal Engine 4 and therefore has very impressive graphics, while also delivering a very good performance on PC. The soundtrack in Tekken 7 is also quite decent, giving the game a very cool atmosphere. The game also includes all modes expected by a consumer nowdays, which is a story mode, arcade mode, training, local multiplayer and online. All in all, with the quality of the port and a good amount of content available, we believe the value of the game to be about $42.
Tekken 7 is a very well polished fighting game with a good port and great diversity of characters and locations. The game also makes it easier for newcomers to get into the game by teaching you its mechanics in the story mode. With only a few minor issues and Tekken 7 simply being a decent game, we give it a rating of 81.
(out of 100)
Tekken 7 is a decent and polished fighting game, which in contrast to some other games released with all the necessary single- and multiplayer content desired by the consumer nowadays.
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