22 years ago, Tekken was released on the original Playstation, the first in what would become one of the best fighting series ever made while taking on the likes of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. The series is beloved by many for it’s tight controls and over-the-top storylines which focuses on The Mishima family and their never ending circle of power, revenge and demonic abilities in from the Devil Gene.
22 years and the Mishima story is coming to an end, but sadly, this isn’t the bang that the series needs to go out on.
Tekken 7 takes place shortly after the events of Tekken 6, Jin has defeated Azazel but is missing in the dessert, leaving the Mishima-Zaibatsu completely open for take over. This brings Heihachi back out of hiding and take back his company to complete his revenge against his son, Kazuya. His plan? Another King of Iron Fist Tournament, which he would expose Kazuya’s Devil Gene and turn public favour back to Mishima Zaibatsu.
While Tekken has always told its story through playable character’s fights, this is the first time that the game has presented a coherent story which features the game’s combat system (rather then an action brawler like Tekken Force missions or Tekken 6’s story mode). The story for the Mishima’s is well told and provides some great moments like the appearance of Street Fighter’s Akuma and Heihachi punching rockets out of the way… you know, because he’s Hei -Mother #@!$ing – hachi.
But there is a major flaw. While the story of the Mishima’s has always been a front and centre event for Tekken, some of the best moments from the Tekken series comes from other fighters such as Law, Paul, Nina and others. These character get their moment to shine in some side stories, however it is completely structured as small story clip – a single fight – then end cutscene. I feel like this is a giant slap in the face to those who enjoyed Tekken for the other characters, plus it stops us from getting interested in newer characters like Lucky Cloe.
That being said, Tekken is all about the fighting and it has never been this fluid or looked so good. The classic gameplay is back with controls focusing on left-right handed strikes, opening a variety of attacks and combos that can be used, however the developers did add a new ultimate attack which feels strange for a Tekken title, but are generally easy to pull off and can easily change the tides of battle while looking extremely cool.
For those looking to master every character, they have some work to do as the game holds 38 characters with more coming with DLC in the future including some additional Guest fighters. Players can rank up these characters on and offline by participating in battles, earning fight money that can be spent on customization items that changes characters looks, as well as the designs of your health bars and name card. While the customization options are really cool, some of the items feel limiting or rehashed when you see the same items on sale for another character.
Of course if you’re like me, you could also use that fight money to check out the history of the Tekken series including every cutscene for each of the character stories in the museum, which is full of fun nostalgia including a jukebox mode which allows you to select what music you want to highlight in the game including every tune from past Tekken title.
The biggest problem with Tekken 7 though is the overall lack of content. Where games like Injustice 2 new challenges, single player ladders and a strong multiplayer to pull new-comers and single-player enthusiasts in, Tekken 7 focuses on the Online and Tournament player, and will quickly leave completionists with a lack of things to enjoy.
That being said, if you are one to focus on Multiplayer Fighters and Tournament games, Tekken 7 is definitely the game for you, with the best controls that the series has ever experienced and the most well-rounded cast of any fighting game on the market.