Tekken 8 – Game Review


Tekken 8 – PS5 Review

Tekken 8 is the 11th game in the Tekken franchise, dating all the way back to 1994 with Tekken 1 as an arcade machine and on the PS1.

The game takes place 6 months after the events of Tekken 7, with the world at war after the disappearance of Heihachi at the climax of the prior game. Players take control of Jin as he tries to find a way to stop his father Kazuya from plunging the world into complete chaos.

Pros:

Visuals.

This is the first Tekken game to be made in the Unreal 5 Engine, this next gen game engine is what allows Tekken 8 to be miles superior in graphical fidelity for the fighters and the amount of moving elements in the background of the arenas.

The various arenas in this game carry on the great variety aspect that prior Tekken games have used, from Ancient Incan temples in Peru, to even a falling meteor in the upper atmosphere.

So, all 15 stages are a joy to fight on as they all have different themes, along with mechanics for bonus damage, like explosive walls to make the opponent bounce in the air for extra combo damage or breaking the floor for extra damage.

Frame rate.

The game did not drop below 60fps during any of my offline matches, even when using heavy particle effects or stage transitions between arena levels.

So, players will experience a perfect offline frame rate with it only dipping below 60fps when playing online since you cannot guarantee to face an opponent using an Ethernet connection instead of bad Wi-Fi.

Story mode.

Tekken 8 has my personal favourite story mode as it feels like a real conclusion to the ongoing storyline that has been in place since Tekken 1, so long time fans will be pleased with the way it is handled.

The player controls Jin for the majority of the story mode but does get the option to test out other characters over the course of 15 chapters. So, both story mode and the Arcade Quest do a great job of teaching players the basics and how multiple characters play.

It also has the best final boss fight due to the new visual aspects, even the soundtrack being used, as it blends perfectly between the new songs and even some retro songs that fans of the franchise will recognise.

Heat mechanic.

The new signature battle mechanic is the Heat function, where players get a smaller bar below their HP that when pressing R1 (On PS5) makes the player go into Heat mode.

Heat mode is a time limited mechanic where the player will gain a blue aura and all attacks will now do chip damage if the opponent blocks, making defence more difficult in this game.

It also gives players access to new moves including the new Heat Smash, which is similar to the pre-existing Rage Arts, but also more traversal options with the new Heat Dash to close the gap between the opponent if they try to retreat or have been launched away due to a combo.

Customisation.

Bringing back the great customisation from Tekken 7 this game does not disappoint with the amount of varied items that players can use and freely change the colours of.

Also defying the industry tradition of extreme microtransactions for character skins Tekken 8 instead has every piece of customisation unlockable using in game currency that players earn just for playing the various modes, or certain items locked behind the Super Ghost Battle mode against difficult CPU opponents.

Loading times.

Loading times are super fast in Tekken 8 with going from choosing characters to beginning a match in under 5 seconds and that’s with the character introductions, meaning there’s virtually no loading time. 

This is compared to Tekken 7 which had quite lengthy loading times where players were just looking at a black screen for upwards of 15 seconds, which doesn’t sound like a lot but quickly adds up with back-to-back matches.

Tekken Ball.

Tekken Ball returns to the mainline series in Tekken 8, after going missing since Tekken 3 on PS1 or the spin-off Tekken Tag Tournament 2 on Wii U.

It plays just like it did on PS1 but now has the ability to be played online against other players instead of just the CPU, and it also has been updated to use all the new mechanics in the game like the Heat function to really make a comeback in the matches.

Soundtrack.

Tekken has always had an amazing soundtrack for every game so far and Tekken 8 does not disappoint with it’s heavy electric hip-hop focused soundtrack, with some rock inspired songs too.

The songs I always found myself listening to and putting on some of the other stages (Using the Jukebox function) were the main theme My Last Stand, Storm Rising and Volcanic Bomb.

The full soundtrack is now also on Spotify, so players have easy access to the full soundtrack on the go.

Arcade Quest.

Arcade Quest serves as the tutorial for players in a small-scale story mode, as it features the main character learning about Tekken, from the basics all the way to the end of the story where they face off against more difficult A.I opponents.

It goes in-depth with the controls for new players and explains all mechanics in good detail and easy to understand wording.

These tutorials are also completely optional so advanced players can just do the story and get to the end when it reintroduces more difficult opponents, but also advanced tutorials.

So, I would recommend new players start with Arcade Quest instead of the main story of Tekken 8 to learn at the very least the basics, otherwise they may struggle with the other game modes.

Crossplay.

Unlike Tekken 7 this game does feature cross platform play, so it’s easier than ever to play with others on different consoles or PC.

Replays expanded.

Replays have seen a massive improvement compared to other fighting games on the market. 

As now players have the ability to pause a replay in motion and the game will tell the player how they could have avoided damage or punished the other fighters move. 

This is an amazing feature when learning matchups for online play as players can learn in depth how to counter specific characters, so as to do better climbing the ranked ladder.

Cons:

Online issues.

When the game is using an Ethernet connection only, instead of Wi-Fi, the matches have been very smooth and low latency.

However, I did find that when facing off against opponents on a Wi-Fi connection across regions then that is when there would be stuttering in the matches and players disconnecting, so I would recommend applying the filter that only allows higher levels of connection for battles.

Certain story mode issues.

A few minor issues I had with the game’s primary story mode is that while the action was fluid there would be stuttering whenever story cutscenes started immediately after a fight.

This story mode will probably not be for everyone as it’s very focused on Jin with only a couple of times switching to other characters to play as. This wasn’t an issue for myself as I’m a fan of Jin, but others may not like the direction they decided to take.

A minor issue I had was when trophy hunting and required to restart a fight to meet a condition. There was no easy way to restart apart from to restart from chapter select. So, while not an issue to players aside from trophy hunters, it could be solved with a simple retry function.

The story mode is also on the shorter side, even though it’s 15 chapters long, since each chapter is only a couple of fights at most then cutscenes. So, while what we got was incredible it is a shame it went by too fast.

Conclusion:

A step up from Tekken 7 and probably my favourite entry in the Tekken franchise since Tekken 3.

The new heat mechanic adds new complexity to the game, but the game explains fully all the new mechanics through the tutorials and Arcade Quest gameplay mode.

If a player is a fan of the Tekken franchise or fighting games as a genre then I would highly recommend Tekken 8, as it has a plethora of both offline and online options to keep players busy for a long time.

Score: 9.6

Reece Imiolek
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

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The Next Axia10th July 2024
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