Even 32 fighters
Why or what makes Tekken 8 deserve to be perhaps the best fighting game title? The first and one of the most important things is the list of fighters. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a fighting game that offered players as many as 32 different fighters on release day. In comparison, last year’s Mortal Kombat 1 had 22 base fighters on release day, while Street Fighter 6 only had 18. Another big plus for Tekken 8 and its developers is the selection of these fighters. To my credit, all the best or brightest fighters from every previous Tekken installment are included, not leaving out Asuka, Lili, or even Zafina, who was just a downloadable bonus fighter in the previous installment.
Also, the developers pay tribute to the old Tekken players, so there will be Paul, Yoshimitsu, Jin, Kazuya and others familiar to the veterans of the series. More importantly, the developers, while promising several additional downloadable fighters later, aren’t even trying to cheat. All the fighters that players miss and love are here, so none of them will be locked away under the lock of additional downloadable content. The latter practice, by the way, is very fond of the developers of “Mortal Kombat”. Therefore, a big thank you to the creators for such a gift – as many as 32 long-awaited fighters.
Before we get into the other highlights of the game, there’s another mention of Tekken’s thirtieth anniversary. If you like or want to remember the soundtracks of previous Tekken games, the Tekken 8 selections have the soundtracks of every game in the series released so far and you can listen to them, mix them together or play them in place of the Tekken 8 soundtrack. Although it may seem like a small thing, it is really nice.
Two different story campaigns
Time to discuss the story campaign. More precisely, there are even two story campaigns here. The first is the classic Tekken story mode, where we will follow an unscrupulously told story in the style of the series, with battles interwoven at the most important moments. We’ll spend the lion’s share of this story campaign playing as Jin or other forms of this character, but we’ll also meet a good portion of the other characters. In total, this story campaign will consist of 15 chapters, and all of them, including battles, will cost us about two hours.
Those who haven’t played Tekken’s story-driven campaigns should be in for hyperbolic and fantastical action that’s most reminiscent of the plots or presentation of anime movies. But through it all, Tekken manages to find and convey a unique style that can’t be confused with any other series or game. Also, what the developers do very well with the main story campaign is the continuation of the entire series.
Each story campaign, including this one, is a direct continuation of the previous one, and those who played Tekken 7 and made it through should understand the strong note that the last game ended on and the expectations they leave Tekken 8 with. It can be said that the developers even exceeded these expectations by a lot. In addition, for those who are just starting to get acquainted with the Tekken series from this part or have played only a few previous parts, the developers offer a separate gallery where we can see stylized videos of all the main parts of the Tekken series. They won’t be very detailed, but each one will contain a gist that will help you make the main points.
Another story campaign is a tour of arcade machine clubs. Here we will create our own animated avatar and, controlling it, we will find ourselves in a virtual world where a new part of Tekken has just appeared and its championships are taking place. This whole mode is like a reflection of our childhood, when we used to hang out with our friends at the arcade machines and play our favorite games at that time. The same will happen in this storyline campaign. We will make friends and fight against others, and when we become the best, we will move to another arcade club. We will travel like this until we become the best and prove our abilities in the championship. The finale of everything – the main competition against the strongest fighter, whom no one has yet defeated.
This mode is fun because it’s sure to be full of combat, and it’s also important because you’ll get valuable lessons from other characters as you unlock more and more levels. Every once in a while, we’ll be offered to learn new moves, strategies, or be introduced to new Tekken mechanics. For example, first of all, there will be a completely new Heat mode, which when activated for a short time will make our attacks stronger and we will be able to either use it strategically or spend it at once for several strong hits that we may not hit if the opponent defends well.
Another innovation is the facilitating mode, which we will be able to activate at any time and which will greatly facilitate combinations or other attacks, and we will be able to perform them with just one or several button presses. It is for this reason that Tekken 8 is extremely friendly to newcomers to the series and allows them to learn the game and get into it at their own pace. On the other hand, there is also something for the veterans of the series to do here – both because of the abundance of attacks or new mechanics, and because of the opportunities to make the game difficult in various ways.
Finally, if the main two story modes are not enough, you can go through the individual stories of each character within the story frame. Since there are many characters, we will definitely have something to do – if we want to see the individual beginnings and endings of each one. It’s surprising that the developers didn’t bother to create good quality ending movies for each character, and some of them will even be very funny or unexpected, so these short individual stories will be worth going through for each fighter.
Artificial intelligence will allow you to fight against yourself
Tekken 8 also offers extraordinary innovations. For example, the game will even feature AI-controlled ghost fights. We will be able to either fight against ghosts controlled by other players or the computer, or even against ourselves. How does it work? We choose a character and fight with a computer dummy that carefully records our fighting style, aggressiveness, attack combinations. In this way, AI creates a self for us to fight against and try to defeat. The more or more often we defeat, the stronger or better the AI-controlled ghost will become. Later, other players in the network will be able to play against him.
It’s nice that in addition to improving your avatar or changing your appearance, you will also be able to fully modify your chosen fighter. We will be able to change practically every piece of clothing or accessory and choose from many options, so we will create exactly the kind of fighter we want – both in terms of fighting skills and appearance.
What has the game borrowed from its competitors?
However, the creators of Tekken 8 took something away from their competitors Street Fighter 6, and this is a huge leisure space where you can freely browse and meet other players online. Specifically, their avatars. Admittedly, Tekken 8’s such space is significantly livelier, better, and more fulfilled than last year’s Street Fighter 6. In the latest installment of Tekken, we will be able to not only freely run around the entire network mode area, but also explore its corners – for example, a perfectly recreated beach area or accessory vendors.
Next generation fighting game
And, of course, the graphics of the game. We’re definitely not lying if we say that Tekken 8 is the best looking and most visually impressive fighting game out there right now. This impression is reinforced by both the very complete and detailed models of the fighters themselves, as well as the unseen and unexpected combat environments – and finally their effects. For example, if we hit our shots well, we will be able to impressively break the wall of the level together with our opponent or during the fight, and then break into the lower unseen part of some levels.
These and similar effects or solutions make the fighting game very lively and engaging, so it will definitely become a good choice for party games as well as for those who like to play professionally against other players. We also want to praise the impressive super attacks, which will take a lot of lives from the opponent every time and will be accompanied by impressive fight animations.
So what is Tekken 8 and what is it worth? Considering all the highlighted pluses and the paid off efforts of the developers, this is simply the best fighting game currently available. On the other hand, it’s almost 9 years since the previous part, so the developers took their time with Tekken 8. This development process has paid off, and players now get not only content-rich content, but a fully-fledged fighting game that will last for a really long time. For these reasons, Tekken 8 should be in every gamer’s game library – especially if you have friends over from time to time and want an immersive multiplayer game.