Tekken 7 Review – A New King of The Iron Fist

Since the days of the original Playstation, Tekken has been a legacy series when it comes to fighting games. With its ups and downs, the series has evolved and changed over time, leading to Tekken 7 presenting itself as a game of closure for the series. Does it leave off with a bang or does it get thrown off the cliff like so many failed pupils?

Tekken 7
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Release Date: June 2, 2017 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC)
Players: 1-2
Price: $59.99 (Review Copy Received)

This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review above, or read the full review of the game below.

Tekken 7 presents itself crisp, simple and clean. The real focus in design and graphics lays on character design and the ability to unlock and customize every character’s looks in massive ways. This makes every fighter feel unique to the player, giving a sense of investment and ownership of the fighter of their choice.

The arenas you fight in are rather simple, and feel rather plain. That is not necessarily bad with a fighting game like Tekken, but it has to be noted. It also is a steep contrast to the arena in the VR mode, available on the Playstation 4 using the PlayStation VR, which looks beautiful but is ultimately a waste as it amounts to little more than a practice mode using VR.

If you are a fan of nostalgia, Tekken 7 also has a robust gallery, featuring all videos from the previous games in the series as well as loads of artwork. It really gives you a sense of where the series has come from.

Diving into gameplay, you’ll find Tekken 7 feels tight and responsive. Unlike other fighters, the Tekken series has always had a level of weight to its combat that is a nice change of pace in the fighting game world, and Tekken 7 is no exception.

Tekken 7 also offers a couple of modes for those who do not want to dive in head first in online and competitive play. Story mode sees the player going through a series of themed battles which detail the events of Tekken 7. Standard arcade features a series of fights in which the player can earn money to use on unlocks.

Treasure Battle, which is especially fun, has you participate in a gauntlet of fights in order to unlock special clothing items. These items really stand out, and can be used in online mode. The Treasure Battle mode also changes things up every couple of battles, enacting special rules that can change the way the fight advances.

Online is broken up into free play, ranked matches, and tournaments. It’s worth mentioning connections are very stable and smooth. When you get your ass beat, you know it’s your fault. Tournaments are a bit more enjoyable than ranked as they allow you to see how other players go about their matches, and can help you find characters you might enjoy playing. You also get rewards no matter how well you do.

Tekken 7’s soundtrack is more electronic focused, making fights an interesting blend of house music and punches to your opponent’s face. Audio cues are much more pronounced and distinct because of this choice in sound design, which aids in split second decision making.

One interesting aspect of the sound design is that all the characters speak in what would be their native tongue. This makes the characters more interesting, and avoids the typical cringe we see in voice acting when dealing with multiple places and cultures. Sadly, the voice acting cringe does rear its ugly head via story mode cut scenes when dealing with a particular non fighter character that is supposed to be a journalist following the events of the game. It is so monotone and bad, it can actually affect how you will enjoy story mode.

Speaking of story, Tekken 7 does put in some effort to fleshing out the world it is based in. The twists and turns of an over the top soap opera turned fighting game was definitely enjoyable to play though, and presented some simple challenges to get you invested into the game. It’s not Shakespeare and it knows it, laying layer after layer of camp that fits right in with the over the top characters.

Tekken 7 is a well crafted technical fighter that tries to do some experimentation while not sacrificing core gameplay to do so. A lot of the little add-ins seemed like fun ideas the dev team wanted to play with, and did so in a way that respects the players, be them Evo champions or noobs to the series. At the end of the day, it’s all about the fight, and the fight is good.

Tekken 7 was reviewed on Playstation 4 using a review copy received from Bandai Namco. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict: 8.5

The Good:

  • High levels of customization.
  • Tight and responsive combat.
  • Lots to unlock.
  • Crisp and clean graphics.

The Bad:

  • Voice acting really brings down the story mode.
  • Arenas are a bit bland.