As a big fan of fighting games, Tekken has always been one of my favorite titles. When Tekken 7 originally came out, I played it for an abnormal time. However, that game has small issues that I hope Bandai Namco will solve. Now that the series is 30 years old, my wishes have been fulfilled with the release of Tekken 8. Thanks to an early copy from Bandai Namco, I could immerse myself in a world that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. It’s an understatement that Tekken 8 attempts to revitalize a legendary series. It is a game with many new characteristics and features. I’m experienced with both online and single-player games. And, without giving away the full review, I will state that the developers have created something fantastic with the current system. With that stated, here’s my detailed review of Tekken 8.
Let The King Of The Iron Fist Begin
Tekken 8 continues the Mishima narrative, with the world immersed in a conflict between Jin Kazama’s Mishima Zaibatsu and Kazuya Mishima’s G-Corporation. Following Tekken 7, the game features a showy battle in New York between Jin and Kazuya, who duke it out while destroying everything. Tekken 8 is fearless in its heritage. The game expertly strikes the delicate balance between combat and the CGI cutscenes we’ve grown to love. Legacy players will like the fantastic throwbacks to past cutscenes from earlier games.
Tekken 8’s story retains the flashiness of its predecessor. I had a wonderful time fighting on the most beautiful reactive stages ever. However, issues are lurking under the sparkle. Well, after I started nitpicking, the plot became more confusing.
Reina, the new character, has sinister purposes underneath her charming façade. However, I thought her execution and the plot were weak in one example, which I will not divulge: the game disregards well-established mythology in favor of shock value. Unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring issue throughout the single-player story The Dark Awakens.
Tekken 8 fully concludes the Mishima narrative from Tekken 5. However, the saga’s conclusion was rushed and hardly made sense in light of the plot. Regardless, if you consider it an out-of-this-world hilarious story, which it is, you can ignore the plot inconsistencies and enjoy the dramatic conclusion. While the Dark Awakens campaign leaves much to be desired, the other two game types do not.
Duke Out In The Character Episodes
Tekken 8, like previous games, features character episodes for each character. The only two exceptions are Jun Kazama and Reina. Both will be accessible only after you finish the main story. Character episodes are fun what-if scenarios that bring this fighter-specific history to life. These are independent from the main plot yet nonetheless crazy and fun. You finish four matches for each character, and they earn new in-game stuff. It is an excellent addition for removing your disappointment from the Dark Awakens. I found most of the tales here fun and was reminded of how ridiculous Tekken stories can be.
Cutesy Tutorial Is A Nice Change
Aside from the plot, there is additional new single-player content. Named Arcade Quest, this is a full-fledged game lesson disguised as a story in which you follow the adventure of a new player. You create an in-game character and then begin learning the game, becoming the world’s finest Tekken player.
This game mode is at home. It helped me brush up on the basic game principles. And novel mechanics were presented more clearly. So it helped to prepare for the problems. Furthermore, if players do not have an Internet connection, it is a useful tool for warming up. If you are a newbie, I recommend this game mode.
Overall, the single-player content in Tekken 8 provided enough value. You get the typical customizing options, Tekken Ball for fun moments, and a vs. mode, among other things. While it is less diverse than Capcom’s Street Fighter 6, it’s perfect for me. Finally, I nearly got my money’s worth out of the plot.
The Brand-New Battle System Spices It Up
Aside from the story, which may not do credit to the Mishima tale, Tekken 8 has received an upgrade in the gameplay sector, instantly transforming the whole atmosphere. Tekken 7 was a hazardous fighting game. If you attempt to do anything dumb, you will face severe consequences. This encouraged players to play the game conservatively. However, Tekken 8 introduces a new Heat system component, which dramatically alters the game’s operation. When you press 2 + 4 (Triangle and Cross on a DualShock or Y and A on an Xbox controller), your character enters a unique condition. During this time, if your opponent blocks any of your assaults, they will lose health due to chip damage.
You may consume up to 40% of your opponent’s health with a verified strike. You get one heck of a combination when you include it in a combo. A white outline on your health bar represents chipped damage; an opponent may use heat to restore it. You may also convert your heat to a heat rush, allowing you to lengthen your air combos. Rage art returns, larger and brighter. Each character has them, which seem more intense than in Tekken 7. The essential fighting mechanics remain unchanged. The heritage fighters from Tekken 7 play identically in Tekken 8, with few exceptions.
Asuka, my Tekken 7 main, has received adjustments to her move set, for instance. These modest adjustments rendered several existing combinations unusable. You also have unique styles for new players who only play the game sometimes. These are auto-combos that the game will execute for you at the push of a button. If your buddies aren’t big fans of fighting games but still want to enjoy it, you may play Tekken 8 with them.
Overall, this new aggressive playstyle suits me well. I always like to attack my opponents headfirst to cause them more harm. As a result, the Heat system in Tekken 8 fundamentally alters how everyone plays the series. At the same time, the shift is not so drastic that you won’t be able to adjust to it. Something like this positively reinvents a series, preserving its individuality while improving on what is already perfect. I love this new system, however.
Test Your Might Online
Note: We could not experience the Tekken Lounge mode and the new lobby as envisioned. We never found someone to test these features with because of the small netplay population and limitations. As a result, we are refraining from making any specific remarks on these game features. However, once Tekken 8 is online, we will provide an update on these game types.
Nowadays, modern fighting games are all about being online and having a good experience that keeps players interested. The rollback system and crossplay in Tekken 8 are to credit for this. It worked as expected, and I’m happy to report that the few matches we played during the review time were playable with no input delays. There were a few exceptions, but indications were in place to address the problem. Out of the five matches we played, the majority of them went well. On Wi-Fi, we played against a player with a 65ms response time. We also faced a wired player on a PC with a ping of 280ms and a Wi-Fi-enabled PlayStation with a ping of 130ms. We experienced no latency in any of the three scenarios. However, there was one instance of 400ms, and the game seemed unpleasant.
The point is that the rollback works as it should. It has limitations, but the days of suffering through Tekken 7 netplay are over. I smiled after having such a fantastic online experience. When you don’t have to worry about slowdowns or stutters, you can enjoy the game immediately. Fans of the series will love what the team has in store for them; Bandai Namco’s collaboration with Arika for net code development benefited both firms.
Improve Knowledge In Practice Mode
Tekken 8 also includes a significant update to the practice mode. Everything that appeared in Tekken 7 has returned. You have all the tools you could need. You may take advantage of this depending on your skill level. Need help understanding the numbers in the frame data? Follow the visual instructions. Would you want to learn some fundamental combos? Try other sample combinations. Want to learn how to punish a character’s assaults on the block? Try punishment training. You do not have to trawl the internet for information. You always can, but the tools help you learn the basics.
Once you’ve brushed up on a character, you may begin ranking or rapidly matching from the practice screen. Such quality-of-life adjustments usually make me happy, and this is no exception. Furthermore, the training mode has advanced significantly from its inception before Tekken 7. Back then, players depended on enthusiastic groups of individuals who meticulously documented every game element. So, having such accessible modifications in the practice mode at launch is encouraging. I spent several hours in practice mode learning Reina. So, when the game releases, look for me in the Asia 1 lobbies.
Tekken 8 Graphical Performance
Given that Tekken 8 is built on Unreal Engine 5, Bandai Namco ensured that the visuals were of the highest quality. Tekken 7 was criticized for having antiquated character models, which occurred since the home versions used arcade models. Thankfully, Tekken 8 differs from this since every aspect of the visuals has been meticulously refined. This is one of the most visually appealing fighting games on the market.
For our review, we used a gaming rig with these components.
CPU – AMD Ryzen 5600
GPU – NVIDIA RTX 4070 Ti
Ram – 16GB DDR4 @ 3600MHz
Storage – WD SN570
Running the game on 1080p, 75Hz
You are immediately presented with several graphical options for the game. However, in the case of Tekken 8, you will always get a maximum frame rate of 60FPS, regardless of the hardware you use. The key distinction here is keeping a steady frame rate. Otherwise, the netplay experience deteriorates, even after rollback. Fortunately, Bandai Namco has included frame-generation upscaling options. You get to employ DLSS, FSR, and even Intel’s XeSS. These guarantee that the game retains its visuals without sacrificing performance. We’ve played the game with and without DLSS, and the performance has been consistent in both circumstances.
CPU-GPU usage was varied, ranging from 16% to 32%. We experienced a 20% to 39% increase in GPU use. These statistics were mostly identical with or without DLSS. Overall, the answer is straightforward. If you have a PC with lower-end specifications, it will easily run Tekken 8. While the minimum specifications claim that the game will run at 60FPS on a 1050 Ti, I doubt it. In that case, I recommend forsaking the PC and purchasing a PlayStation 5.
Is Tekken 8 Worth Fighting For?
Overall, Tekken 8 is a well-deserved sequel that lives up to expectations. The new fight system enhances the game experience, allowing players to play aggressively. While the single-player story left a bad taste, the character stories maintained the series’ trademark goofy fun. My main concern was how Tekken 8 would handle the net code and online experience. Fortunately, the title confirms itself and then some. The rollback implementation and crossplay compatibility offer a consistent experience. Furthermore, Bandai Namco has gone out of its way to make the training and tutorials the most accessible experience possible. Tekken 8 effectively joins Street Fighter 6 and Guilty Gear: Strive, among others, to usher in a modern-day fighting game renaissance. And, with years of content and upgrades ready to go from launch, things will only get better. With that, I recommend that everyone download Tekken 8 and enjoy the new battle experience.
Pros & Cons
- The whole new fighting system seems distinct.
- UE5-powered visuals are stunning.
- Improved netcode compared to Tekken 7.
- The Mishima saga’s conclusion is rushed.
- Plot points appeared out of thin air.
Tekken 8 provides new gameplay that reinvents the series and creates a fresh entrance for new and experienced players. While the primary story is uneven and often rushed, the online experience and game types make up for it. If anything, this is the finest Tekken has been in its long thirty-year history.