Reviews: Gaming

Tekken 7 fun to watch or play

In Tekken 7, the fights, powered by Unreal Engine 4, are a sight to behold.
In Tekken 7, the fights, powered by Unreal Engine 4, are a sight to behold.PHOTO: BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT

The Tekken franchise, now in its 23rd year, has come a long way and amassed a huge fan base.

The game, when it was launched years ago, was unique for introducing sidestepping movements and for having dedicated buttons for each limb.

Tekken 7 retains these and other features that fans love. The fights alone, powered by Unreal Engine 4, are a sight to behold.

It is fun to play or watch, especially when the music changes to match the tension, along with a cool slow-motion sequence to capture the decisive moment when both brawlers' health bars are running low. The intensity of the action can cause the fight to switch from one stage to another.

The story campaign centres on the complex relationship between the father and son characters Heihachi and Kazuya, presented through a blend of cinematic cut scenes that seamlessly transition into playable matches.

While there are three levels of difficulty to contend with, casual players will be pleased with Story Assist, which allows combos to be executed with relatively simple button presses. Completing the story unlocks individual character episodes with intertwined encounters, with each episode comprising a single match sandwiched between a brief introduction and a closing epilogue.

As you play to get better, the game rewards you with in-game credits and treasure chests of various rarities.

  • 8/10

    RATING

    PRICE: S$74.90 (PS4, the version tested; Xbox One; PC)

    GENRE: 3D fighter

Opening them will uncover either ornaments or insignias to customise the player's card, or accessories and apparel for random characters. Some items can be bought only with in-game credits, which are easy to earn. There are no micro-transactions.

Character customisation is fun because of the ridiculously cute and outrageous accessories.

Attaching a cuddly soft toy, an oversized hammerhead shark or a huge pizza on serious-faced fighters is very likely to bring on smiles and grins.

However, not all characters have the same number of items for use, while only specific accessories can be applied to all. Also, the elaborate customisation option that was popular in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is unavailable here.

The introduction of a few new characters makes the roster fresh, as well as appealing to those looking for new idols. But it also means the removal of some old favourites such as Mokujin, Alex and Roger. Nevertheless, the decent selection of over 30 brawlers still offers a good variety of fighting play styles.

Experienced players will eventually flex their muscles online through ranked matches, including joining a Tournament mode that pits them against seven other players. While waiting, the game will place you in a lobby with your chosen character, so you can train with a dummy until a human opponent comes along.

PlayStation gamers are treated with extra goodies, compared with their PC and Xbox counterparts.

First, there is the Jukebox mode, which allows players to set up a playlist based on an extensive list of tracks from past titles.

Second, there are legacy costumes for Jin Kazama, King and Xiaoyu. Those with a soft spot for nostalgia will want them.

All versions, though, have access to Gallery Mode, which is loaded with a vast collection of cutscenes and rare artwork.

If you own the PlayStation virtual reality headset, check out a nifty but limited feature that allows you to witness the fight up close as an observer.

•Verdict: A great-looking entry in the Tekken franchise, Tekken 7 is accessible to new players and gives seasoned fans something to cheer about.

•Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Tekken 7 fun to watch or play'. Print Edition | Subscribe