One of the world’s best fighting game franchises is back on the PlayStation 4. As we enter into the King of Iron Fist Tournament once again, what can we expect in the 7th installment?  Read on as we give you our full review for Tekken 7.

 

I Will Never Forget You For Throwing Me Inside a Volcano. Never!

Ever since the first game way back in the mid-90’s, the over-arching story was all about conflicts within the Mishima Clan. Remember that time when old gramps Heihachi threw his son Kazuya over the volcano? Well one thing led to another (7 games to be exact) and the Grandfather-Son-Grandson feud is still going strong! So what can we expect story-mode wise? Well for starters this will definitely (?) mark the conclusion of the epic saga (Finally!). And what better way to end that feud? By bringing some heat from the street via Akuma (Gouki) from Street Fighter fame of course! Yeah I know it’s hard to connect.

 

While not spoiling much, what’s really got me excited while playing the story mode though was the seamless integration of the cinematic cutscenes transitioning to the actual fight! And this time you get to choose which side you will control as you play out the climactic events from the Tekken lore.

 

New Mechanics Reshape the Previous Mold (Rage Mode, Rage Drive, Rage Arts)

A new feature, called RAGE, perfectly gives us an idea on how the mechanic plays an important role in the game both in story and gameplay. It was actually a distinguishing feature back in Tekken 6 and now they gave it another twist with Rage Mode, Rage Drive and Rage Arts.

 

In Rage Mode, a player who is near-defeat can access this power (signified by a red hue). From there you have the option to choose from a Rage Drive attack, which can be a single move or a flurry of attacks, both of which are devastating and at the same time it also provides you with a blue aura and temporary invincibility.

 

Or when the occasion calls for it you can also pull of a Rage Art which is a nod to super combos from previous fighting games. I guess we can thank Akuma for that?

 

Slow-Motion Finishing Blows Add a Moment of Tension and Anxiety to the game.

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature aside from Rage is that time seems to slow down during climactic moments when your life bars are about to deplete. Thanks to the last second-slow-motion-who’s-going-to-win moment not only creates suspense for the players, it is also a joy to watch during competitive E-Sports events!

 

New Characters Enter the Tournament!

Tekken, like most fighting games, strive to create a roster that’s always unique and varied both in personality and skill set. While some characters are re-implementations of previous characters, there are some who are new and fresh that can change the meta in the years to come.

 

Here is the list of new characters:

  • Akuma (Gouki)
  • Josie Rizal
  • Gigas
  • Jack-7
  • Master Raven
  • Kazumi Mishima/Devil Kazumi
  • Katarina Alves
  • Claudio Serafino
  • Lucky Chloe
  • Shaheen

 

Customization Aplenty!

Got a favorite character in mind? Why not give him/her a total makeover? Here you are able to save up to ten versions for your main fighter. And I have to say the customization options are staggering! This is really a great way to differentiate the characters especially when playing online. Adding to this, you can also change the look of the interface for you to become more recognizable and gives a sense of uniqueness outside the match.

 

Music to Match the… Well, the Match!

Another added feature that will appeal to the most die-hard of Tekken fanatics is the Jukebox option in the menu. Here you can replace the original tunes to the ones heard from previous games. So for those who still holds on to their Tekken 3’s would be happy to know that the old soundtracks are here. Fan service!

 

Conclusion

Having played  all the previous installments, the latest entry in the series is generally presented as more of the same tried-and-true mechanics (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?) at the same time introducing some new concepts into the mix that even though it looks and feels fresh, it definitely is the Tekken you know and love for 23 years and counting. Hey, I still have all my Xiayou, Jin and King moves retained in my muscle memory. And they are all carried over here!

 

So why bother with the same mold over and over again right? Well it’s simple really, if you are a Tekken vet it’s a no-brainer that you will definitely pick this up despite whatever I say. Everything you love about the franchise is all right here and then some!

 

So what about the newcomers? Well this being a fighting game that is continuously being refined with every new title, no better way to start than with the latest right? To those still on the fence in starting out in a fighting game, I have to say that the actual fun here, at least for me, is practicing the intricacies of your chosen character for hours on end, learning every combos and juggles, honing your skills with every match, is the true essence of every great fighting game. And this is definitely one you should consider getting.

 

Final Thoughts:

  • Solid gameplay elements that we all know and love are still intact and feels more solid than ever.
  • Fresh new set of characters (Akuma!)
  • Rage Art provides a sense of urgency and tension…
  • …While the slow-motion effect gives out a brief moment of suspense.
  • Numerous ways of customizing your character.
  • While cheesy at times, the story mode has definitely improved.

Final Score 9/10