Fighting game Tekken 7 is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC worldwide on June 2. If you’re thinking of dipping your toes into the Tekken pool before committing to multiplayer, here’s what on offer. I got hands-on with the game to see how it plays out for those flying solo.
Story mode has always been a staple of past Tekken games, but Tekken 7 introduces a different take on the traditional story mode commonly found in fighting games. Without spoiling too much, the game’s story mode integrates cutscenes with cinematics, and the addition of shortcut single-button prompts make executing flashy moves easier for those who are new to the series.
Mechanically, there are moments where the story mode switches up with gameplay that would be more at home in an action game, and the shifts were as surprising as they were fun. However, fighting game purists fear not-at its core, Story mode focuses on the punches and kicks more than anything else.
The story does trek into the events of past Tekken games, giving players a chance to play through iconic events in a unique manner, albeit only using specific characters. The mode switches seamlessly between cinematic, scripted scenes and throwing the controls unexpectedly to the player, resulting in a dynamic pace that kept me on my toes.
Unsurprisingly, Tekken 7’s story didn’t feel particularly well tied together, especially the character-specific episodes that become available after the main story is completed. But who plays fighting games strictly for the narrative? Regardless, as convoluted as the plotlines were, it was enjoyable to see the series’ classic characters and newcomers alike interact with one another.
Character customization options have been a mainstay since they were first introduced in Tekken 5, and Tekken 7 continues the trend. More on the specific features later, but the game features a lot of customization items that are only unlockable via Treasure Battle. In this mode, the player faces off against a series of AI opponents to earn gold and Treasure Chests. These Treasure Chests range in rarity, with the rarer chests containing rarer items.
Players must win continuously to progress, as a single loss resets the streak and players have to start over. Special Matches appear as the matches progress, which yield rarer rewards and more gold. A minor annoyance to note is that the items dropped can be for any character, not just the one being played at the time. However, many items can be worn by all characters e.g. hats, sunglasses, and the like.
Players can also raise the rank of their characters in Treasure Battle. With 37 characters to dig into, and more on the way in the form of DLC, there’s plenty of progress to be made.
As the name suggests, Arcade Battle replicates the experience of fighting against AI opponents in an arcade. It’s only five stages in length, has few story offerings, and does not grant the option to level up a character’s rank, resulting in a mode that is quite frankly very limited. While winning matches does reward some gold, the amount is negligible compared to that of what can be earned in Treasure Battle.
Players looking to earn gold and level up ranks are much better off sticking to Treasure Battle.
Tekken’s customization is back and with more options than ever. Players can change up a character’s appearance entirely, with slots for head (hats), hairstyle, full-face (masks), hair accessory, glasses, make-up, upper body, lower body, entire body, upper accessory, lower accessory, effects (hit effects), aura, skin tone, and character panel (loading screen art).
Items can be purchased with gold, or must be earned through Treasure Battle. A few of them must be purchased through the PlayStation Network Store to be unlocked. With hundreds of cosmetic items on offer, the combinations are endless.
In addition to character customizations, players can also change the appearance of their Player Information Panel, which serves as a player profile. Options include changing up the appearance of the battle screen HUD with a title, changing how the health bar looks, and/or adding a panel underneath with a slogan.
Gallery and Jukebox
Finally, Tekken 7 includes a gallery where players can spend in-game gold to unlock and watch cinematics from previous Tekken games, ranging all the way back to the original Tekken. There’s also a Jukebox exclusive to the PS4 version of the game, where players can listen to the soundtracks from previous Tekken games and reminisce about simpler times when synths were all the rage.
Zorine completed Tekken 7’s Story Mode and has enjoyed hours of endless Treasure Battles. She can’t wait to test her chops online when the game officially launches on June 2. Yahoo Esports was provided with an early copy of the game from Bandai Namco for this feature. Follow Zorine on Twitter @Zorine