Deus Ex Mishima
Game: Tekken 7
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Reviewed on: PS4 (Review code/copy provided)
I was brought up on the games of the PS1 generation. Arguably one of the best series on that console was the Tekken franchise. Delivery story in a way I had never seen before I was instantly hooked. Now Bandai Namco have given us Tekken 7 (finally) and all my nostalgic feels have come rushing at me. However, the last few Tekkens haven’t quite been as golden as I remember the classics to be. Will Tekken 7 pick that quality back up and finish the story of the Mishima clan in style?
I’ll start off with the basics. Tekken still feels like Tekken. The classic side scrolling action is still present and feels as awesome as it does nostalgic. There are some new additions to the gameplay, such as “finishing” moves for the lack of a better phrase. You can press R1 when down to a certain amount of health to either help you finish off a close fight or drag yourself back into the battle. Depending on what mode and difficulty you play you can simplify combos in order to create a more theatric experience. Otherwise, it is the same style of fighting Tekken fans have become accustomed to over the years.
Graphically the game looks… okay. I was a bit let down to be perfectly honest by the hair textures especially on the characters. Tekken has a very specific style of character and that was brought back for T7. Overall character models looked good, but for a game that was so long in the making, it doesn’t feel they improved upon the graphics we saw in the Arcade version we saw released in March 2015. The sound however is keeping in line with what we expect from a Tekken title. It’s music and sound affects are perfectly executed and produce the right atmosphere for you to enjoy your time in the game without ever really thinking about it.
One area I am particularly upset about is the lack of characters in their roster. There are classic characters who are missing from the line up replaced by ones we know nothing about and have very little reason to be chosen to fight with. We are in 2017 and I believe we should be adding more characters not taking them away!
The game has been broken down into three modes essentially. The Mishima story, offline Arcade/VS and Online. Online is a shambles. I tried on multiple occasions to connect to others across the world and was greeting with messaged that the opponent was no longer there to fight. This became increasingly frustrating and eventually I stopped trying altogether. It’s difficult to build an online ecosystem if your players are unable to get anyone to fight!
Having said all of that, offline Tekken play is my preference anyway. The story mode has two sections to it, the Mishima story and then a story for every other character in the game. The Mishima story mode runs very similarly to Injustice or Mortal Kombat, in that you essentially are watching a film where you occasionally get involved to take over for fights. This in my eyes is a great way to run a story mode on a classic style fighting game. We get a lot of focus on the past and future of the Mishima clan and It was a pleasure to play through. I can’t say that the ending felt completely satisfying but this story is one of the longest running and most intriguing in all of the games industry and it was nice to finally see it reach it’s conclusion.
The Arcade mode is fun as ever, however I would have loved to have seen each characters individual stories tied to this mode as opposed to the story section. The nostalgic feeling of running through every character in Arcade to unlock their cutscene was always amazing and in Tekken 7 you can get these cutscenes by just having one fight, on a difficulty of your choosing. It isn’t rewarding and takes away a lot of longevity the game would have otherwise had.
Unfortunately with VS Mode, there was no team battle. Another staple of the Tekken series, Team Battle was always so much fun to play against friends. That is missing this time around and we are left with the regular VS Mode for when you want to battles your mates.
Tekken 7 is a strong, fun title that knows what it needs to do and does the basics well. However it doesn’t excel in any area and let’s itself down on a couple of key points, especially online. Looking at the game from an offline perspective you will get hours and hours of fun and enjoyment, but my online experience was very negative and that may put off some gamers from the game completely. It is by no means a bad game though, it mixes nostalgic feelings with a sense of freshness and I think Bandai Namco have done a good job overall of giving Tekken fans what they wanted.