Tekken 7 Review
Overall 7

The King of Iron Fist Tournament is back with Bandai Namco’s 3D fighter Tekken 7. A love letter to the series and fighting games as a whole, should you get ready for the next battle?

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Tekken 7 Review

The King of Iron Fist Tournament is back with Bandai Namco’s 3D fighter Tekken 7. A love letter to the series and fighting games as a whole, should you get ready for the next battle?

Tekken 7 Review

Those who have yet to throw down in Tekken’s world can pick up the mechanics of Tekken 7 fairly quickly. Controls are comprised of two punches and two kicks, with the ability to chain long combos between the four. It’s a fairly straightforward system that is beginner friendly, but those who take the time to master each character can effortlessly juggle and slam people like the finest WWE match. Matches are fast, and the moves take cues from some of the greatest action heroes to grace TV, movies, and anime. Those who have got a thing for Capoeira, lucha libre, or Bruce Lee types will find somebody to like in the roster.

Tekken 7 changes things up a little bit with a few new mechanics. The big one at play is the Rage mechanic, which can be triggered at low health. When players are on the ropes, they can trigger a Rage Art, which is similar to the “Super” moves found in the Street Fighter series. Landing one of these moves offers a flashy display of fisticuffs, dealing a fair amount of damage. It is an interesting comeback mechanic, and though most inputs to activate it for each character are simplified, it is still a welcome addition nonetheless. There are some other smaller tweaks made, including the attack-absorbing Power Crusher moves, but the biggest addition is undoubtedly this Rage system.

Flying solo? Single-player modes are limited to an Arcade mode made up of a handful of matches (fewer than usual for a fighting game), a straightforward Training mode, and a Treasure Battle mode that has the player fight consecutive opponents to to earn customization items. Players can play dress up with each character and create truly unique ensembles complete with laser swords, fish, and guns. It can be fun seeing a serious warrior dressed up like this, but the ability to create a character a la Soul Calibur would be a perfect fit. Something like the Tekken Force or Tekken Bowling modes from previous installments would be ideal, or even more fleshed out training modes like the one found in Guilty Gear. What is here gets the job done, but it’s not the robust package around.

Tekken 7 - Gamers Heroes

The biggest draw of the single player options would be its Story mode, which tells of the Mishima Zaibatsu’s fight against the G Corporation. Told between hand-drawn stills, CG videos, and brief fights, it has a number of key players in the form of hardened journalists, demon lords, military soldiers, and some good ol’ fashioned family feuds. Sounds over-the-top? The insanity is dialed up to 11 with the form of scantily-clad robot girls, bouts in raging volcanoes, and fist fights with semi-automatic weapons. You can’t help but laugh at its absurdity, but it will keep you entertained amidst its two hour runtime. There are also character stories for a set amount of characters that tell one-off tales with different members of the cast. These are short-lived, but will keep you entertained nonetheless.

The current state of Tekken 7’s online modes leave something to be desired. The usual Ranked, Player, and Tournament options (with rankings) are all present and accounted for, but connecting to a match is an exercise in patience. After a week since launch, we have yet to connect to a single Ranked match, even after 30 minutes of trying. Player matches in private lobbies with friends did connect, but the resulting matches were choppy and borderline unplayable. This is terribly unfortunate, and mars things greatly.

Tekken 7 is more of a sidestep than a total knockout for the series. It’s broken online modes and sparse single player content leaves something to be desired, but those looking to throw down will appreciate its depth and complexity.

This review of Tekken 7 was written based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game. A digital code was provided by the publisher.