Tekken 8 Review – A Labor of Love

The King of Iron Fist Tournament, taken to new heights.

Tekken 8 Review
Overall
5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Tekken 8 is a powerhouse in the Fighting Game world and I’m thoroughly impressed with the entire experience.

Pros

  • Gripping Narrative
  • Fantastic Characters
  • Extensive Single Player Content
  • Improved Netcode
  • Stunning Visuals

Cons

  • Steep Learning Curve

A sequel to the beloved Tekken franchise was a long time coming, and finally, nearly a decade later, we have it in the form of Tekken 8. This installment in the series closes the chapter on the Mishima family feud that has been going on for generations at this point. Complete with a cast of characters, new and iconic alike, along with the shift in gameplay direction, let’s get straight into the Tekken 8 Review to dissect all of this and more. 

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Studios, Arika
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 26, 2024
  • Release Platform: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
  • Game Length: 5 Hours
  • Time Played: 25+ Hours
  • Editors Note: We tested Tekken 8 thoroughly on PC, including all of the single-player content and some online matches, totalling to just over 25 hours of playtime so far.

Story And Setting

tekken 8 review
The Story [Image by eXputer]

Picking up six months after the events of Tekken 7, the story of Tekken 8 follows our titular protagonist, Jin Kazama. In an effort to save the world from the now all-powerful, Kazuyu Mishima, Jin and his companions must band together in an all-out war. ‘The Dark Awakens‘ takes us through the events of The King of Iron Fist Tournament 8.

Tekken’s narrative is refined and engaging, with resolved plot threads and new characters that fit well into the story.

Tekken’s narrative is refined and engaging, with resolved plot threads and new characters that fit well into the story. The cutscenes and voice acting are skillful and elevate the experience. The story showcases Tekken’s whacky narrative with newcomers like Victor and Reina Mishima getting their spotlights.

The King of Iron Fist Tournament 8

tekken 8 review
The Setting [Image by eXputer]

Newcomers to Tekken 8 can watch brief cutscenes to learn about the franchise’s history. After finishing the main campaign, players can jump into Character Episodes, where each character has a handful of fights and a unique story to go along with it.

Tekken 8 has one of the best story modes in the series. The serious and comedic relief characters have well-written stories, providing more insight into their lives during the events of the main story. Their episodes are full of Easter eggs and entertaining cutscenes. Join me in the next section of my Tekken 8 review as I go over the multiple gameplay facets.

Gameplay

tekken 8 review
The Gameplay [Image by eXputer]

Fighting games are usually known for their multiplayer-centric experience, but Tekken 8 features a plethora of single-player content as well. To start things off, there is already the Dark Awakens story mode and the character episodes that allow you to go through the story mode for each character. Then there is the Arcade Quest mode, which allows you to become the Tekken World Tour Champion. 

The Arcade Quest Mode [Image by eXputer]

In Arcade Quest mode, you can create your character and practice the game’s mechanics. This mode is especially good for newcomers to the franchise who want to polish their skills. It allows you to slowly digest the mechanics of the game while learning the ropes around your character. 

Once completed, you unlock the Super Ghost Battle Mode, where you can fight against an intelligent AI that mimics your moves and helps you improve your gameplay.

You can then fight against your ghost in an attempt to figure out the holes in your game plan or alternative approaches to certain matchups. It’s a mode with endless applicability and will surely help players of every caliber to improve.

Practice Makes Perfect

tekken 8 review
Versus Mode [Image by eXputer]

Practice Mode is always a staple in any fighting game, and Tekken 8 is no different. By the latest season, the practice mode in Tekken 7 had improved heavily from the base game. Tekken 8 improves upon the already solid practice mode with the inclusion of a few QOL changes. For example, now you don’t have to open a menu to toggle through your move list, which is a very welcome change.

Beyond that, the title now also includes the frame data that was once only available as a DLC. Furthermore, it offers dynamically adjusted recommendations for moves and combos, based on the player’s performance. You can now easily take over during replays as well, allowing for a seamless experience. 

Tekken 8 improves upon the already solid practice mode with the inclusion of a few QOL changes.

The main modes that you will be spending most of your time in are the Versus and Online modes, where you can fight other players. With the Tekken Fight Lounge, you can fight against other players in a hub area. You can also download the ghosts of any players you come across to train against them. This mode also sees the return of the Tekken Ball minigame, which you can play with other players. Other than that, there is obviously the Ranked Mode.

All New Netcode

Player vs Player [Image by eXputer]

Something that has changed drastically though is the netcode in Tekken 8. With the shift to rollback net code, the online experience has improved a lot. Even with high ping matches, lag is pretty much non-existent for the majority of the cases. That isn’t to say that there isn’t any lag at all. In some instances, the lag was pretty noticeable due to a high number of rollback frames.

This mostly happened during matches with players from a different continent. The net code in Capcom’s Street Fighter 6 has proved that, if implemented correctly, you barely even feel the difference between offline and online modes. Tekken 8’s netcode is not quite at that level yet, but it is getting close. I suspect that after the launch, it will be steadily improved. All in all, the online modes are a very smooth experience for the most part. 

Coming to the actual gameplay, this time around there is an even bigger focus on aggression. The slight nerf to the iconic Tekken movement pushes players in a new and aggressive direction, incentivizing them to be on the offensive more often, with mechanics like Heat included.

Coming to the actual gameplay, this time around there is an even bigger focus on aggression.

Characters in the game can activate a Heat Gauge which gives them unique buffs like increased damage or access to new moves. While in heat, characters deal chip damage and can recover some of it by attacking. Though some players are against the idea, it’s an interesting mechanic that needs more time to be explored. The combat remains mostly the same, though legacy players will have an advantage over newcomers.

Another functionality worth mentioning is the Special Style, which allows players to map various moves and combos to single buttons. It is a good measure to ease newer players into the game so that they aren’t overwhelmed by the technical aspect of the game.

But this is not a replacement for the normal control scheme at all. It won’t be able to help you out much against real opponents, so it is best that you don’t rely too heavily on it.

Visuals And Performance

tekken 8 review
The Visuals [Image by eXputer]

The complete visual overhaul in Tekken 8 is something you notice at first glance. Being developed in Unreal Engine 5, Tekken 8 has set new standards for next-gen games in general, and fighting games especially. The game looks phenomenal when it comes to graphics, with upgrades all around in the visual department. 

From the elaborate and detailed character models to the gorgeously unique stages, Tekken 8 is teeming with visual flair. Every character has a distinct identity and the game offers a ton of customization options for the players to express themselves. I got sucked into the beauty of the stages when I looked at them for the first time, especially combined with the sensational and energetic soundtrack that the game features. 

Being developed in Unreal Engine 5, Tekken 8 has set new standards for next-gen games in general, and fighting games especially.

The game boasts a lot of customizable options for graphics in order for you to get the best possible performance. There is even an automatic benchmark when you boot up the game for the first time. It gives you a score based on your hardware specs and automatically adjusts the settings to give you a stable 60 FPS experience. 

Admittedly, Tekken 8 is a lot more demanding than its predecessor, but that is expected from a next-gen title. I did not encounter any performance issues throughout my playthrough of the game. 

Verdict

Verdict [Image by eXputer]

Tekken 8 is a powerhouse in the Fighting Game world and I’m thoroughly impressed with the entire experience. The game serves as a testament to the franchise’s evolution, delivering a well-rounded experience with a captivating story, polished gameplay mechanics, and stunning visuals. Whether you’re a seasoned Tekken veteran or a newcomer to the series, Tekken 8 offers a complete fighting game experience.

This has been my review of Tekken 8. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles:

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re a fan of the Tekken franchise and want to see more of the world, with all-new visuals and improved combat.
Dont Get This Game
If you dislike fighting games or technically complex games.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, if you enjoyed every previous title in the franchise, and want another mainline entry, you’ll absolutely need to get this game.
Alternative Games
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Roaim is a Guides Writer at eXputer. He is an avid fan of RPG titles and fighting games. Roaim's love for games, which has been running strong for 15+ years, led him to write about them through detailed, top-notch guides. His gaming expertise is further solidified by his game time of 3,000+ hours on Monster Hunter: World. Apart from that, you can also find him dominating players on Tekken! You can follow Roaim's gaming activities on his Steam profile.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides On eXputer

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