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Posted February 10, 2017 by Andrew Cathie in Feature
 
 

Tekken 7 Hands-On Preview


Fighting games have been a staple of our gaming libraries since the heady days of Mortal Kombat on the Sega Master System and Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo. While we love 2D-plane fighters, the introduction of Tekken on the original PlayStation opened our eyes to the world of 3D-plane fighters. So imagine our disappointment when after three years into the current console generation we still hadn’t seen the release of a new Tekken game. Luckily, Bandai Namco gave us the opportunity to try out the console version of Tekken 7 and get our long-awaited Tekken fix.

The first thing we noticed when we jumped into Tekken 7 for the first time was just how big the roster was. It’s refreshing to a large roster of fighters after watching other games like Street Fighter V and Killer Instinct launch with limited rosters supplemented with DLC characters. There are several returning favourites from past Tekken games, like Kazuya, Heihachi, King, Law and our burning fist wielding buddy Paul.

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Along with the returning fighters, there’s also a large contingent of newcomers that are entering the fray for the first time. The most notable of these new fighters is someone you may already know: Akuma from Street Fighter. Continuing the relationship set up with the announcement of Street Fighter X Tekken, Street Fighter’s Akuma has come to the King of the Iron First Tournament to prove his strength. Playing as Akuma felt instantly familiar after countless hours playing Street Fighter, and he even carries over his EX bar from his own series.

Beyond Akuma and his EX bar, we also tried out a few of the other new characters introduced for the first time in Tekken 7. Gigas is a hulking beast, physically imposing and powerful, but with little potential for combos and continued attacks. Shaheen, who hails from Saudi Arabia, is different and was a more versatile to play. His style favours kicks, and his combos and style made the demo a breeze to play through. Finally, we tried Lucky Chloe, who took the fan service to the extreme. As a cosplaying cat-girl Lucky Chloe is incredibly nimble and has a style of constant movement reminiscent of Eddy Gordo.

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Each of these characters, and all characters other than Akuma and his EX bar, make use of a new system called Rage Arts. Rage Arts seem to be geared to turning the tide of battle for more dramatic eSports and home matches. When a fighter’s health is low, the enter a ‘rage mode’ and begin to exude a red aura. In this state, they can unleash their Rage Arts, which are special super moves that can completely devastate the opponent and turn the tide of battle. If you prefer to stay away from special attacks, you have the option of utilising a Rage Drive instead, which powers up your regular attacks, causing your combos to hit harder than ever before. It’s an interesting system that completely changes the flow of matches and is the single biggest change to the Tekken formula since Tekken Tag Tournament.

While we only played on a handful of stages, we were interested to find that they had multiple versions with varying weather effects. One round would take place in daytime with clear skies, but the next round would be filled with rain and darkness. The effects, stages and characters were all graphically impressive as well, with significant upgrades compared to Tekken 6 and didn’t suffer from any instances of slowdown.

Overall, while our time with Tekken 7 was as long as we would have liked, what we saw was incredibly promising and well-polished. Rage Arts look to be an interesting addition to the Tekken formula and the large roster of characters means there is a character for just about any playstyle.

Tekken 7 releases on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Friday June 2nd.


Andrew Cathie

 
Rocket Chainsaw's premier Fantasy-loving Editor. I basically play anything and everything that looks like it could be fun or interesting.


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