The Tekken franchise is a storied one filled with an interesting story, diverse cast of characters, and incredible gameplay that stands the test of time. Spanning 20 over years, the franchise continues to grow in popularity across both arcades and home consoles alike becoming one of the most recognized fighting games today. Now, Tekken 7 adds to the series with new gameplay mechanics, new characters, and a new chapter in the long fought Mishima family conflict.
If you’ve played Tekken in the past, you’ll feel familiar with the gameplay mechanics as much of the core mechanics remain the same. Combat still follows the more strategical, and planned out, gameplay the series is known for; contrary to projectile based attacks found in other fighting games. The most significant changes to the gameplay come in the form of Rage Arts and Power Crush’s. Rage Arts work as special moves that become available when the player’s health falls below roughly 30%. At this point players can launch a devastating attack that can instantly change the outcome of the fight. While this may sound like an unfair addition for players that are winning, the Rage Arts can be blocked and dodged. Not only are the Rage Arts a game changer, they look incredible awesome when executed.
The new Power Crush technique is another new feature to Tekken 7 that adds new ways to win. The Power Crush allows players to absorb some damage while charging up a powerful counter strike. This feature comes in handy when getting barraged by your opponent without any opening to counter. The Power Crush allows players to absorb damage for a brief second allowing you to land a massive counter. Power Crush’s, while useful in terms of ending opponent’s pressure, can end up placing you in a worse off situation if used too much.
Though Tekken 7’s gameplay stays true to the series, new players aren’t welcomed too kindly as there is a lack of a tutorial to help you understand the gameplay mechanics. With a game that offers such a complex combat system, and new features such as Rage Arts, a tutorial mode to help players understand the game. While you can get away with button mashing, you’ll want to go to practice mode to work on combos to succeed. Though you can grasp how to use the Rage Arts as you play, features such as the Power Crushes aren’t as easy to understand; and honestly you may go without knowing how to use it as there is no mention of it as you play.
Tekken 7 continues the long running feud between Kazuya and father Heihachi through The Mishima Saga; which serves as the games story mode. Mishima Saga focuses on the struggle between Heihachi as he attempts to take down Kazuya by taking over the Tekken Force. The story mode offers a bit of fun, but has numerous flaws that make the mode feel like an unfinished project. This isn’t to say that the mode isn’t worth playing though. Not only is the mode easily accessible for all players, with simple button commands unleashing powerful combos, but it does a great job at continuing the feud between Kazuya and Heihachi. What I really enjoyed was the addition of Street Fighter villain Akuma, who felt like a perfect fit in the story. While Akuma is an added character in Tekken 7, he plays a vital role in the story and it doesn’t feel forced. Not only do the scenes with Akuma look incredibly awesome, they are also the most fun as well!
The reason that the Mishima Saga feels like a letdown revolves around the limited playtime of only 3-4 hours. While this wouldn’t typically be a negative for a fighting game, there are a few reasons why this hurts the story. Firstly, the story builds the anticipation of Jin returning to the story, so you’d expect an expect battle at some point where you’ll see Kazuya vs Jin in an expect confrontation. Sadly, the story is left with a massive cliffhanger that could have extended. Instead, we are given multiple side stories for the other characters of the game. While each of the others character’s stories are enjoyable, they offer little interest; feeling like filler episodes in an anime.
Tekken 7 does offer the traditional arcade mode, with the addition of Treasure Battle. For long term fans of the series, you’ll most likely try your hand at arcade mode first. Players face off against 5 stages worth of enemies, with 1 of 2 final bosses to face off against. Treasure Battle plays much like arcade, except you face off against endless stages of enemies and earn customization items as you progress. As you progress further through Treasure Battle you’ll not only earn currency to buy items, but earn the items themselves. The further through the mode you progress, the rarer the items become; but the difficulty increases as well. Modifiers appear in certain matchups either making it easier, or much harder to win the battle.
When it comes to modes, Tekken 7 feels a little empty. In terms of single-player content, there is little keeping you coming back for more; besides unlocking the customization options, the single-player experience won’t last too long by itself. The multiplayer experience does make up for this by offering lag-free and fun competition. Another nice addition to the multiplayer is the addition of the online tournaments which allows you to set up matches between you and friends to see who is the best of the best.
Tekken 7 offers everything you could want from a Tekken title with in depth combat, a diverse cast of characters, and now with awesome special moves that look incredible. Sadly, if you haven’t played past games in the series you’ll face quite a bit of a learning curve. This becomes problematic as the game does little to nothing to help you learn. Combat is hard hitting, and fast paced, and offers enough depth to keep coming back for more. While Tekken 7 does offer fun gameplay, the lack in single-player content can cause you to get bored fast; especially if you don’t want to play online. If you love Tekken, or want a great entry to start with the series, Tekken 7 is the perfect fit.
- In-depth combat system feels incredibly advanced compared to most fighters
- Massive roster offers diversity in characters
- Online mode runs seamlessly, with little lag
- Does little to help newcomers understand the combat system
- Single-player content is limited
- Side stories in the Mishima Saga feel like filler, while the main story feels like much is left out; with a massive cliffhanger to make it feel even more unfinished.