Tekken 6 Scenario Campaign Impressions

We visit Namco Bandai's E3 2009 booth and check out Tekken 6's recently announced Scenario Campaign mode.

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A couple of hours after E3 closed its doors on day one, Namco Bandai issued a press release announcing that Tekken 6 will feature a cooperative Scenario Campaign mode in which you and an online friend can pit your skills against waves of enemies and, oddly, equip your favorite combatant with weapons that include staffs, flamethrowers, and machine guns. We already checked out the PlayStation 3 version's Arcade mode yesterday, so this morning we headed for the Xbox 360 version and asked a Namco Bandai representative to show us Scenario Campaign.

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In the finished game, you'll be able to play as any of the fighters on Tekken 6's 40-strong roster, but the E3 demo features only five of them. After opting for Paul, we were somewhat surprised to see that there was a second, AI-controlled character accompanying him. We already knew that the game was designed to support online co-op play, but didn't realize that in the absence of a second player, the AI will step in. Based on today's demo, the AI isn't going to be nearly as useful to you as even a moderately skilled player would be, but it at least gives the enemies two targets to worry about.

The demo kicked off in a series of back streets and alleyways where generic-looking (at least when compared to Tekken's regular cast) enemies wasted no time launching their attack. There were rarely more than four or five enemies onscreen simultaneously, and they didn't appear to pose a significant threat, but their health bars were long enough that they'd at least stay standing long enough for you practice combos on them. Alternatively, you can just find yourself a weapon and mow them down.

Weapons are dropped by certain enemies and can, of course, also be found inside destructible crates. The only weapon that we got to see on this occasion was a powerful minigun that, used in conjunction with the lock-on targeting system, made short work of several enemies before they could even get close to Paul. The weapons have limited ammo, so don't think for a moment that this is a third-person shooter that just happens to star your favorite Tekken characters. You'll have access to your chosen fighter's full repertoire of moves in Scenario Campaign mode, and you'll need them when you come up against bosses from elsewhere on the roster (on this occasion, the bosses were Anna Williams and Dragonov), who are invariably accompanied by a number of other enemies.

Did you call me a Nancy?
Did you call me a Nancy?

Another boss--or at least a bonus boss from the single-player game--who put in an appearance was the large "Nancy" robot that you'll be able to play as in certain Scenario Campaign levels. We got to see Nancy in action and, as you'll already know if you've fought against it in an arcade, it has a repertoire of moves that's almost as deep as those of the regular fighters. Stomping through a shopping mall filled with the enemies, Nancy's projectiles, area-of-effect stomps, and spinning attacks proved devastating, and although Nancy was taking a good amount of damage as well, the enemies were dropping plenty of life-restoring chickens to pick up.

After defeating Anna as Nancy, the E3 demo finished, but not before we got a look at the score screen that details how many enemies you killed, your score, and any items that you managed to find. On this occasion, Paul had picked up a pair of blue flight gloves that, when equipped, afford him extra defense. We're not sure what happens when items drop and both players try to pick them up because, on this occasion, the Namco Bandai guy showing off the game didn't know the answer to our question. We look forward to bringing you that answer, as well as other information on Tekken 6, in the coming months.

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