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Tekken 8 Reviews Applaud Blend of Nostalgia and Newbie Content

Early Tekken 8 reviews are in and there’s no denying that it’s a hit in the fighting game community, whether you’re a new player or a pro.

Tekken 8 developers revealed to Esports Illustrated at the Tekken World Tour Finals that the goal was to mesh what has continued to make Tekken special to long-time fans with a lot of new content for newer players. And it looks like Tekken 8 has generally achieved this.

The Old

Tekken 8 players have praised developers for bringing all of the classic fighters back to the starting roster. On top of that, these characters fight similarly to how they have in older games, including similar mechanics and moves.

Claudio cinematic from Tekken 8

“They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and Bandai Namco smartly hasn’t tried to change the parts of Tekken’s combat mechanics that were already great. Movement, spacing, block punishing, and whiff punishing all remain as vital as ever,” noted IGN.

But it’s not just the fighting itself that has paid homage to Tekken’s long history in the fighting game community.

“Tekken 8's nostalgic vibes feel deliberate. It's going all-in on its story—called The Dark Awakens—building up to a dramatic conclusion to the ongoing war between the very loving father-and-son duo Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima. A story that's been going on for bloody years, mind you,” PC Gamer wrote.

Basically, Tekken 8 is full of classic characters, storylines, and gameplay that is sure to keep long-time fans of the series hooked. But that doesn’t mean there’s been nothing new added to the series in Tekken 8.

Another element that has been brought back — but with much more this time around — is customization. You’ll find plenty of options for creating your avatar or saving a special fighter skin. Developers have also noted that there will be collaborations in the future, leading to even more in-game cosmetics. [LINK TO INTERVIEW\

The New

While the battles will feel similar in many ways to previous titles, Tekken 8 has introduced two new components that will feel very refreshing. That’s the Heat System and recoverable health.

Basically, developers want to inspire players to play a bit more aggressively since you need to attack to get health back. This will be a pretty big change since Tekken has long-been focused on defense, with competitors playing footsie quite heavily. The Heat System will transform even the most iconic characters, giving them a different playstyle and moveset.

Kazuya Mishima in Tekken 8

“For higher-level players, Heat is another tactical layer — a resource to be deployed at just the right moment to turn big damage into massive damage,” Polygon said. “For new players, it’s an invaluable ‘get off me’ button. Heat Burst moves are uninterruptible and have frame advantage, so even if your opponent blocks, it’s still your turn. That means that if an opponent is in your face and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s almost always a perfectly fine idea to smash that Heat button in order to catch your breath.”

Whether you’re new to the game or a veteran, Tekken 8 has a massive focus on being much more approachable. For this reason, the story mode is meant to be a fun way to learn characters’ moves and techniques. This includes little tricks to get you used to the Heat System and more aggressive playstyle.

Explained PC Gamer: “Something that definitely made Tekken 8's story mode even more enjoyable for me was its new Special Style control scheme. Think of it like a condensed, more casual and actiony way to play Tekken. Combos are pulled off at the press of a single button, with directional buttons affecting which moves get thrown out.”

Don’t fret if you’re a highly competitive player, however. Developers have also included a lot of training elements like the ability to play against ghosts of top players and rewatch past matches with mistakes and advice provided.

“There's the absolute game-changing Replays & Tips feature that can do some of that scenario set up for me,” PC Gamer continued. “It takes recent games against CPU and real people and lets me play them back. It shows both my and the opponent's command history, frame data, and offers me tips on how to deal with stuff. It mostly deals with the big things—super unsafe moves that can be easily punished, highs that can be evaded and the correct input to break out of throws.”

No matter if you are a newbie looking for support or a competitive player wanting a challenge, Tekken 8 has something for you. There’s no denying that Tekken 8 has been getting a lot of praise from the fighting game community. Just look at the scores that have come in so far.

Tekken 8 releases January 26, 2024.