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Review

Tekken 7 Review

  • First Released Jun 1, 2017
    released
  • Reviewed Jun 5, 2017
  • XONE
  • PC
  • PS4

Panda-monium.

The Tekken series has a long-standing reputation in arcades, but for many players it was the console ports that left a lasting impression. These versions often introduced offbeat, dramatic story campaigns, as well as more extensive additions such as delightfully odd beat-’em-up and sport modes. And in recent years, the goal of unlocking and customizing outfits for the game's large cast rounded out the most rewarding objective of all: getting good. Tekken 7 keeps most of these traditions alive and once again delivers the tight, hard-hitting action for which the series is known. The game has some server-stability issues at launch, but it's otherwise a great sequel that confidently claims its position among the best fighting games today.

Similar to other 3D Fighters like Dead or Alive and Virtua Fighter, Tekken 7 focuses on utilizing space and lateral movement during combat. By and large this is a game of inches; most fighters punch, kick, and grapple up close to one another and there's little margin for error. A moment of indecision or a sloppy move against a more skilled player can lead to a string of pummeling strikes and a hasty defeat, courtesy of the game's long combo strings. Though Tekken 7 can be punishing, its fighting system isn't as difficult to get into as it lets on. With an intuitive control scheme that assigns one button to each limb, you can learn how to attack and retaliate, step by step. The long-term trick is putting in the time to dissect and memorize your favorite character's moveset to hone your reflexes and diversify your tactics.

The biggest complaint you can lob at Tekken 7 is that it doesn't do a good job of explaining the intricacies of its mechanics, let alone how you should approach learning your character of choice. The move lists for each character often hover around 100 entries, serving as a mix of one-off special attacks and combos. Save for a few icons--which represent attack properties that the game also fails to thoroughly explain--lists are disorganized, with no categories or hierarchy to speak of. The best you can do is hop into training mode and shift from one move to the next. Thankfully, you can scroll through attack hints live, during practice, and without repeatedly entering menus.

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None of this is to say that Tekken 7 is too deep, which would be a ridiculous complaint--the depth of its roster and fighting styles is to your benefit. The point is that new players will have very little help learning anything beyond the basics once they jump into battle. This is disappointing, given that other fighting games have demonstrated that the best way to retain new players is by giving them a fighting chance, and the lack of instruction is odd for Tekken, which only one game prior (Tekken Tag Tournament 2) gave players Fight Lab mode--a place to study how mechanics and different types of attacks can dictate the flow of a match.

But if this isn't your first King of Iron Fist tournament and you've kept up with Tekken over its more than 20-year tenure, you’ll find that Tekken 7 delivers the same great combat you know and love with a hefty batch of new characters--and a few new mechanics. The game includes notable new supermoves that can be triggered when a character's health is dangerously low, which is also the right time to unleash a rage drive--a powered-up standard combo attack. The most important new addition is the power crush attack attribute: Relevant attacks can absorb incoming hits mid-animation, allowing you to risk a little health to increase your chances of landing a critical blow, which injects Tekken's otherwise familiar fights with a renewed element of surprise.

With more than 30 playable characters, Tekken 7 offers plenty of fighters and opponents to study. Impressively, nearly a quarter of the roster is brand new. The most conspicuous Tekken freshman must be Akuma, the red-haired bad guy of Street Fighter fame. The introduction of fireballs and hurricane kicks might seem like an odd fit for Tekken, but they don't feel overpowered in light of the fact that every character comes with their own advantages. And when it comes to facing down Akuma's projectiles specifically, they can be easily sidestepped given the game's 3D movement. Street Fighter fans will appreciate how easy it is to fight as Akuma, since many of his traditional moves and inputs are present and accounted for. Even Street Fighter's meter-based mechanics have been carried over for his Tekken debut.

Interestingly, Akuma also plays a pivotal role in the main story mode. Hailed as the final chapter in the series' long-running story of martial-arts papa Heihachi Mishima and his quarrelling family, Tekken 7's narrative will delight Tekken veterans, especially when the oft-referenced-but-never-before-seen Kazumi Mishima breaks onto the stage. The only major downfall here is the robotic and stale narrator, a reporter covering the Mishima family. His delivery is too shallow to take seriously and not witty enough to make his deadpan cadance funny. You may also notice that some fights seem arbitrarily difficult along the way, but thanks to the gift of shortcut commands for powerful attacks--a system referred to as Story Assist--they’re more of a temporary annoyance than a barrier.

Beyond the two to three hours spent on the main story, every character not present therein gets their own brief chapter, limited to a short text intro, a single fight, and a unique ending cutscene. Not all are created equal, but there are gems to find that are purposefully awkward and light-hearted--the perfect complement to Tekken's pervasive melodrama. Fans of the alien samurai Yoshimitsu will, for example, appreciate how he's initially humanized and made vulnerable, only to be subsequently kneed in the groin by the object of his affection.

Tekken 7 lives up to the series' penchant for tongue-in-cheek shenanigans and generously gives you access to the series' entire back catalog of cutscenes, from the very first Tekken's low-res clips all the way to background movies made specifically for Japanese pachinko machines. There’s a lot of Tekken history to unlock, and the collection is a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Using Fight Money earned by playing the game's various modes you can purchase both cutscenes and cosmetic items for characters. Tekken 7 offers a lot of basic variations of hairstyles or glasses to buy, and an equal amount of stranger outfits and accessories--including neon butterfly wings, a floating clownfish companion, and automatic rifles, to name a few. While you certainly don't need to dress fighters up in ridiculous outfits, doing so will give you a new appreciation for how comfortable Tekken 7 is in its own skin. It's a hardcore, demanding fighting game, but it's also happy to be the butt of its own jokes.

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Items--so-called "treasure"--can also be unlocked rather than purchased within the Treasure Battle mode, which puts you in a series of fights with increasing rewards and challenges. There's also training mode and an arcade mode where you can practice your moves, but Treasure Battle is easily the most attractive way to spend your off-time in Tekken 7. If you're going to practice before hopping online to fight, you might as well have something to show for it.

A few days after launch, Tekken 7's online modes are experiencing a few issues across all platforms, and while these are mostly isolated to ranked matches, it's not uncommon to lose connections in casual matches, either. It's an issue that publisher Bandai Namco is aware of and plans to patch, but at the moment, it's not always easy to get into a match unless you're willing to hammer attempts for minutes on end. When you're eventually able to get into a match, pray that it's over a better-than-average connection; Tekken 7 becomes a slide show online under lesser conditions.

Notwithstanding that ranked matches are currently a crapshoot, Tekken 7 remains an easy game to recommend. Its diverse roster is packed with a wide range of personalities and fighting styles, bolstered by a raucous attitude that begs to be taken seriously while simultaneously mocking its more peculiar whims in the process. Tekken fans will find their next favorite game--one that's the product of decade's worth of refinement. And while some of this depth will be lost or out of reach for newcomers, there's enough fun to be had outside of hardcore competition to keep players from all walks of gaming thoroughly entertained.

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The Good
A deep fighting game with dozens of unique fighting styles to explore
The mix of melodrama and slapstick comedy keeps the overall experience grounded
Contains a heartwarming repository of the Tekken series’ most memorable moments
Treasure battles offer a rewarding means of training offline
The Bad
Mechanics aren't properly explained
Unstable servers make it difficult to find ranked matches online
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Peter has been a home-schooled Tekken player since the series debut on the original PlayStation. He completed the main story mode of Tekken 7 and every individual character story on PS4, and spent a few hours fighting treasure and online battles on all platforms before writing his review. GameSpot was provided with a complimentary copy of the game for all platforms.
144 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for facts23
facts23

too much focus on boring online matches. not supporting online crap.

Avatar image for lilhurk1985187
lilhurk1985187

Luckey Chloe is the best character in the game.

Avatar image for zubairismail
zubairismail

I was still sticking to the oldschool tekken 3 because i do not like the other versions including tekken 6. Now as the Tekken 7 is out.. It looks awesome by the looks. Lets give it a try :D

I have seen it on thepcgames.net though

Avatar image for romeothebeast
RomeoTheBeast

There are only 2 bad things about this game. The story mode for individual characters and the lack of a normal Vs. mode against the A.I. I think the older games did Arcade mode right where at the end you got to see a character specific ending.

As far as the fighting goes this game is spot on. Not as good as 3 & 5 but it's up there. Worth buying if you're into fighting games. Runs incredibly smooth on PC.

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

Online servers... 1 out of 4 games crash. Even received a warning that i may get a penalty. Thats ridiculous!! Please fix!

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

It's called Iron Fist Tournament....why haven't they created an actual IRON FIST TOURNAMENT mode vs ai or human opponents??!?!?!

Its just vs mode vs human opponents, story mode , a truly terrible arcade mode and a treasure mode where you fight random ai, to unlock stuff.

Why couldnt they finally put an IRON FIST Career mode in? or Iron Fist Tournament mode?

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topkek420

Heihachi Mishima.....is dead

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

@topkek420: ... again

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S7eventhHeaven

kudos to namco for bringing the 360 version to xbox one via backwards compatibility.

Avatar image for StokeMeAClipper
StokeMeAClipper

I watched some gameplay on Youtube. I don't like how many hit effects they have now. In the older games there were small effects to accent blows or a bit of electricity to highlight when someone was charging up a powerful strike. Now the on screen effects look like something from various Street Fighter or Marvel Vs Capcom games when you pull off powerful special attacks. I prefer it when the impact of a move is conveyed through animation, not a laser fired through a kaleidoscope in the middle of a fireworks display.

Avatar image for D3dr0_0
D3dr0_0

Best Tekken since Tekken 3 gameplay wise. I've been having intense fights with my friends and random players these past 2 days. I already plat it too. If I had to rate it I'd give it a 9.

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity
ProjektInsanity

Good lord, that narration is just painfully bad. Who thought that was acceptable for a game in 2017, especially one as mainstream to the fighting community as Tekken?

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

@ProjektInsanity: agreed...

Avatar image for fkguy300
fkguy300

I was really looking forward to this game for some time however because the game only scored an 8 out of 10, I'll have to pass, I only buy games that score above 8. Maybe I'll pick it up when it goes on sale in the near future.

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

@fkguy300: your lost bud

Avatar image for Misiek612
Misiek612

@fkguy300: You only buy games above 8? You must play a very few games than :/ On IGN Tekken 7 has 9,5/10, so go see the rewiev there, than change your mind and buy it -___-" And seriously as for now offline content is nothing special, we are still waiting for some additional modes, but gameplay is very good. I don't assume you are a Tekken fan (you would have the game already) but if you like fighting games this one is the best there is, specially when you go a little deeper into game mechanics like hit frames etc.

Avatar image for fkguy300
fkguy300

@Misiek612: I like fighting games for sure. I just don't want to waist money on half baked games like I did when I purchased street fighter 5. Is the game half baked like street fighter5 or would you say it's more of a complete game?

Avatar image for Misiek612
Misiek612

@fkguy300: Well, i won't be lying to you. I am a little disapointed in single player content. There is only story mode (played once, not thinking about playing it again), arcade (5 battles), VS and treasure battle (winning customization items vs cpu, something like ghost battle in TTT2) and... that's it :/ They will add some other modes in DLC's (i hope it's not tekken bowl, like rumours say). The customization is quite poor, nothing special there, some recycled items from past games, billion glasses, few t-shirts, not many cool items. The net code as for now sucks big time (i play on PS4, they say on PC is a lot better). The online tournament mode is fun (although if the host leave the whole thing close). As for gameplay it's really good for me. Fights are fast, intense etc. At the beginning (watching videos from japanese arcades) i didn't like all the light effects, sparks and all, but it look nice on PS4 (again, they say on PC is better). I didn't like the new mechanics either, Rage Arts specially, but i will just adapt. So yeah, generally speaking the community is a little bit disapointed in T7 becouse they have 3 years and didn't deliver. Some say that is becouse they didn't have the budget, maybe that's true, maybe not. I will play this game for sure, becouse at the end of the day we all end up online playing some offline modes from time to time. What i would like to see is "team battle" for offline (online team battle would be awesome), survival (played it from time to time) and some mini games like "tekken ball". What they will give us? Time will tell. If you are not a die Tekken fan just wait for price to drop (online issues bothers many players right now, Namco will release another patch in a few days, maybe thing will be better). Hope that was helpfull in some way. Cheers!

Avatar image for romeothebeast
RomeoTheBeast

@fkguy300: Do you play on PC? The game is $49.99 on Steam and cheaper on other sites right now. I picked it up last night for $40.99. Didn't get a chance to play it yet but the steam reviews were very positive.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

@fkguy300: Shallow fkguy300 it is, it's a good game. U bought Mass Effect and skipping this 😐

Avatar image for MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

@fkguy300: Seems pretty shallow minded to only buy games rated above a 9 from this website, especially considering their inconsistent history of rating games. Did you see the 9.1 user ratings? Also many other sites rated it above 9. If you like fighting games or the Tekken series itself, you'd brush off this 8 score and get the game anyway. You do you tho

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

Seems really great, for anyone playing offline.

But for online players, HELL

Avatar image for D3dr0_0
D3dr0_0

@biggamerdude: Player match and Tournament mode is working just fine.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@D3dr0_0: thats good to hear

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@biggamerdude: single player could be better to be honest a tournament mode with Ai would of been great.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@nyran125tk: Oh, is there not a tournament mode?

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@biggamerdude: there's nothing really, lol. Almost. Online mode is fine, vs etc. It seems to be running fine anyway, even on PC, witha few lag spikes here and there. Theres an arcade mode where you have to fight 2-3 guys then the SAME fighters like Heihachi and the flame winged chick over and over and over and over and a treasure mode where you fight a random character. Where you unlock stuff and its like a vs mode against random Ai, but you cant choose who you can fight, so its just totally random. Seriously, they really could of done a few better modes.

Im surprised they could make a video over 2 minutes for the review. I dont hate it, because the fighting as usual is epic , fun and just as good as it ever was. But its 2017, they could of thrown in a few new modes. A REAL Iron FIST tournament mode, would of been perfect.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@nyran125tk: Bit disappointing, but tell me, its still got more content than SFV right?

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@biggamerdude: I suppose....there are actual modes outside of vs human opponents online, lol...barely though...just...barely. Why not have a true Iron Fist tournament mode vs Ai or human opponents? Even online, that would of been great.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@nyran125tk: it really makes you wonder what they did for years

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@biggamerdude: the game is good , dont get me wrong, online its epic and the story mode is ok. Just would of liked to see a tournament mode against the Ai or even something as simple as a vs mode against ai. Treasure mode is that, but you cant choose your opponents, its random.

Avatar image for biggamerdude
BigGamerDude

@nyran125tk: Well thanks for the information

Avatar image for Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

I have some strange bug when playing Ranked that I can't get promoted at all..it says promoted to...but it doesn't go by 9th kyu and I don't know why.

Offline ranking works (I got to the last rank from Treasure battle), so I have no idea if it's a bug or not.

Avatar image for martintule24
martintule24

Had a few disconnect issues on pc when starting an online match would say connection would be lost but I jump into the warm up to practice while I wait and so far so good. The game itself runs great offline with a GTX 1080 on a 27 1440p gsync monitor. King is my man.

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LongFlopper

I'm in love with Lucky Chloe.

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S7eventhHeaven

@longflopper: lucky chloe fills my ballsack

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Mogan

@longflopper: Gross.

Avatar image for longflopper
LongFlopper

@Mogan: whats gross about love?

Avatar image for daveisthemusic
daveisthemusic

Pretty much the best game I've played in all my 34 years. Intense, immediate, INSANELY difficult to master.

Avatar image for dlM0kn
dlM0kn

I agree that it's kinda sad that there is no good tutorial in-game but that's where Youtube, Discord and the Tekken Zaibatsu forums come in. It's like the game encourages you to search for learning material and chat with fellow players who are happy to help you if they can.

Avatar image for Deathtralp
Deathtralp

No way this game is better than Injustice 2!!!

Better story, better gameplay, better offline content .... !!!!

Avatar image for stelios
Stelios

@Deathtralp: The gameplay in Tekken is leagues ahead of injustice 2 and all modern nether realm games.

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CraigTL

@stelios: and what is crazy is its been like that since the 90's. Once Tekken 2 came out they had the combat mechanics perfected for all fighting styles.

Avatar image for silphe
Silphe

The fact that it took you this long to produce a review is seriously concerning. You should sit down with editorial and alter your approach.

Avatar image for longflopper
LongFlopper

@silphe: ...salt.....

Avatar image for dachozen1
DaChozen1

I'm sitting here listening to the music in Tekken 7 right now. No way is this game an 8.

Avatar image for longflopper
LongFlopper

@dachozen1: lol

Tekken 7 More Info

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  • First Released Jun 1, 2017
    released
    • Arcade Games
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Tekken 7 is the latest installment of the venerable franchise, powered by the award-winning Unreal Engine 4.
    8.2
    Average Rating129 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Tekken 7
    Developed by:
    Bandai Namco Games
    Published by:
    Bandai Namco Games
    Genre(s):
    Action, Fighting, VR, 3D
    Theme(s):
    VR
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence