TEKKEN 7 Review
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Bandai Namco Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro with 1.01 patch (Game Provided by Bandai Namco UK)
Release Date: June 2nd, 2017
MSRP: $59.99 / £49.99
Tekken returns with the latest installment of the series which has been running a staggering 23 years, but does Tekken 7 live up to its predecessors?
It has been a very long time since our last numbered Tekken game, with Tekken 6 releasing in November of 2007. Tekken 7 was first introduced two years ago, but it was only available on arcade machines under the name Tekken 7: fated retribution and only featured a standard arcade mode and vs. Since the game’s initial release, Bandai Namco have evidently been working hard to bring the full Tekken experience to consoles and PC.
I will always have fond memories of the series, mainly the original game on the PS1. I would play for endless hours in arcade mode and with my dad & brother in offline vs. Since then though, I haven’t really been into the series much, or fighting games in general. Tekken 7 caught my eye last year though and I was looking forward to playing it after all these years.
Tekken 7 follows the Mishima family feud, which has been running for a very long time with the series. You have Heihachi, one of the most iconic Tekken characters and his son, Kazuya. Both of them have been at each other’s throats since Kazuya was just a child, and rightly so. The story continues this feud between the two, as well as following other main characters in the series such as Jin and Nina. The story will take you roughly 5hrs to finish, with most of that time being cutscenes. One of my favorite gameplay elements in the story is the “Story Assist” option. This allows you to hold down L1 and then press one of the face buttons to execute one of the more difficult combat moves in the game that requires two buttons to be pressed or a succession of buttons etc.
This feature is great for somebody who just wants to enjoy the game and not have to worry about executing the perfect button actions or combos. The game on easy difficulty though is pretty simple, and even with this feature, you wouldn’t struggle to beat it if you aren’t amazing at fighting games. If you prefer a challenge though, Ultra Hard difficulty unlocks when you complete your first playthrough. This difficulty is very hard, and the story assist will be no assist here as you’ll need to have mastered every element of the game to get through this.
If that wasn’t enough story content for you, there are also “Character Episode Stories” that you can play. These stories are for the characters who weren’t in the game and it reveals some info and backstory on the character. These episodes are very short though, with a small intro with some text which explains the setting and then a two round fight. You’ll then see an ending cutscene and it’s finished. I was kind of let down by these and was expecting more from them. In the past games, you would have arcade mode endings but those have gone from Tekken 7. In a way though, these episodes might not be the best but at least you don’t have to play 5 fights just to see the characters ending like before.
Besides the story and the character episodes, Tekken 7 does not offer much more in the terms of single-player content. There is a new mode called treasure battle but it gets repetitive. This has you fight character after character to earn “Treasure Boxes”. These boxes are like the microtransactions we see in today’s games (you cannot buy these for real money in Tekken 7) where you get rewarded with a random cosmetic item for a character. You’ll get one box for winning a fight and more boxes per win if you can keep up a win streak.
You can also use this mode to rank characters up offline if you want to get the trophy for reaching “Warrior” rank within this mode you can and it will also display the rank below your name in all offline game modes. This mode has some modifiers that appear during some fights, but there are only two, one which causes double damage and one which speeds the gameplay up drastically. I feel like they could have expanded on these two and added some more in. Tekken primarily is a competitive fighter game, but if you are looking for a great single player experience then Tekken doesn’t really do that very well.
The customization in Tekken 7 is, however, poor in my opinion. Most of the characters have the exact same options and most of the shirts, hats etc are just the same hats on a different character. There are very few outfits to choose from, and even then, the outfits are all pretty much the same. A lot of the better clothing items are locked behind the treasure boxes, so if you want something specific you’ll have to grind Treasure Battle for it. Most of the items you do buy with the in-game currency though, and that is very easy to get a hold of. I would liked to have seen more outfits, but there are a ton of customization options even if they are similar for each character. Don’t expect a lot of fashion though from a lot of the items, as there are options such as Jenga blocks balancing on your head to full deer heads for helmets. This is a very small issue I have though, as the default character costumes are perfect.
The online in Tekken is your standard, fighting game multiplayer. There are ranked matches, which allows you to rank up and fight the best of the best online. Then you have player matches, which are more chilled out games which don’t rank you up, but you can play without worrying about leaderboards and it affecting stats. Then finally you have the tournament mode. This mode supports up to 8 players runs with an elimination system. Winner stays on and the loser gets eliminated. I didn’t have any issues with lag while playing, and I was always able to find somebody playing in each mode. If you play fighters mainly for the online, I highly recommend getting Tekken 7 just for this.
Finally, the trophies/achievements. Tekken games have always been notoriously easy for their trophies, and Tekken 7 follows the tradition. If you focused solely on the trophy list, you could get 100% within 10-15hrs or maybe quicker. I think this is great though, as Tekken isn’t exactly an easy game to master and if the list had you do things like finish the story on ultra hard, it would ultimately put a lot of people off from playing the game. The game even gives you the option to gain ranks offline, which is amazing as this allows you to get the trophies for ranks, offline against the CPU. A lot of the players online are very good, and ranking up against them would have been very difficult. Bandai Namco understands trophy hunters and Tekken 7 has a good, fun trophy list.
Overall, Tekken 7 lives up to its predecessors and at its core, is the Tekken experience we know and love. It is great for newcomers and also pays homage to the past games, sticking to the same gameplay and style Tekken has always had. I enjoyed my experience with the game, offline and online and would definitely recommend buying it if you are a fan of the series, a fan of fighting games or just looking for a game you can sink some time into.
+ A huge lineup of characters
+ Satisfying combat that anybody can pick up
+ A cinematic story experience
– Not a lot of single-player content
– No tutorial for advanced combat