It is difficult to complain for fighting game fans in 2017: the genre has been filled in recent years with excellent contenders, all able to form numerous communities and able to have their say in an area where standing out from the crowd is not a walk in the park. Just think of the recent Injustice 2. The battle, however, has so far been fought furiously in two-dimensional arenas alone, where three-dimensional motion-based fighting games have been left to fend for themselves. In these now deserted arenas only Tekken has remained to reign, with his mistakes and his style failures as the only enemy to be defeated. Not a good situation when trying to evolve a historical saga, as the absence of worthy challengers leads a warrior to shrink, to slowly die of starvation. Yet Harada and his people have not stood by to look into the distance: over the years they have listened to their community (as much as Harada's trollon tweets may suggest otherwise), observed the best fighting games on the square, and learned all the necessary lessons. Tekken 7 is the son of these experiences, and we have worn out our fingers in its arenas to better understand its mechanics and improvements. Here is the report of our tough battles.
Tekken 7 builds its narrative on a premise that is anything but to be underestimated: it wants to be the "epic conclusion of the Mishima family saga", in practice the end of the interminable blood fight between Kazuya and Heihachi. It is indeed a refreshing change of direction from the absurd turn that Tekken's story has taken in recent years; it is a return to origins, which abandons the ridiculous twists and turns and part of the mystical / fantastic elements in favor of a bit of furious hatred between father and son. Clear, there is no need to expect great subtlety from the events of this chapter, but at least no Egyptian pseudo-gods at this stage ... and it is undeniably a good step forward. It must be said, however, that many may be disappointed by the story mode of the title, because what seemed like a spectacular and long-lasting campaign capable of clarifying many obscure points of Tekkenian mythology and competing with the spectacular stories of the NetherRealm titles, it was in reality. found a "only" good experience, of not exceptional duration.
We are talking about two and a half hours of history, in practice, in which you will face battles with various modifiers in the role of various characters in the game, interspersed with the narration of an unnamed journalist who did not really feel the need (if the intent of the developers was to add dramatic charge, they failed) and where the fun comes more from the excesses and absurdity of certain situations than from the actual interest in events. Put simply: great for a Tekken, not great in a genre where many developers take single player content more and more to heart. Even the other character stories accompanying the primary storyline are little more than a sop, with single battles that unlock petty cutscenes. The only element that can be praised without qualms of the campaign is the use of a naughty artificial intelligence, which in certain boss battles will make you sweat seriously even at low difficulty; a courageous solution that many developers no longer dare to apply in favor of usability.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
Tekken 7 boasts 43 trophies, but don't be fooled by the number, it's not a particularly complicated title to platinum. The vast majority will be unlocked by playing the story mode and spending a few hours in the Battle Treasure, while the more specific ones only require you to participate in certain online modes (such as the new tournament mode) and to win individual battles against human opponents on the network. The only minimally complicated trophies are the secret one - which requires you to complete the difficult "special" chapter of the story - and the one that requires you to perform multiple 10-hit combos, not exactly automatic for those unfamiliar with.
A lot of blows, a lot of stuff
However, the latest Tekken does not only have this bombastic story mode to offer: the modes in the game are wasted, and start from a classic Arcade mode (with no final cutscenes, but no internal "bosses") to get up to the Battle Treasure, that is the challenge against the artificial intelligence typical of the series, where from battle to battle (even here some fights are against bosses or with special modifiers) you get experience to level up and chests of varying rarity containing objects for customization. And the customization is another big plus for the game, because the number of objects and costumes per character is truly mind-boggling. You can style almost anyone like a real idiot amidst funny hats, crazy accessories and all kinds of amenities, or retouch their basic clothes in detail to bring them closer to your taste. We assure you that it will be really difficult to meet a character identical to yours online - even if it were the same fighter - and, since we are talking about online, it is appropriate to specify that there is very little to complain about in this field as well.
In fact, it is possible to face ranked matches with a graded system similar to that of the Treasure Battle or Player Matches without commitments or tension, enriched by the addition of a Tournament Mode that randomizes the challenges among the participants and manages them in a similar way to what happens in real competitive fighting tournaments. We then found it rather clever to insert a test area in which it is possible to try the various moves while waiting for a new opponent (particularly useful in the review phase, when the players were still few). Staying on the subject, the limited number of users before the release does not allow us to give a perfect evaluation of the netcode, but however, we were able to face many online matches during our test, and we never had half a lag problem with opponents from a good part of Europe. This is a great sign, even if there is always some latency in the commands in online games, which makes the experience less pleasant and responsive than clashes with friends locally.
The temper of the years
However, the focus of a fighting game remains the gameplay, and this is where Tekken can really stand out above most of the competition. We are still talking about a product that has been present in Japanese arcades for a long time now, which has been carefully refined in this console edition and filled with new characters. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most balanced fighting games we have ever seen, and for once we feel entitled to say it, as we have been observing it for a long time and that the new warriors contained in this version have done nothing to make us change. idea. The vast majority of historical characters have been honed after years of testing, analysis and consideration, and it's really hard to find someone who doesn't have an incredibly elaborate move-set that can respond to all sorts of threats. All this, if not enough, happened without style drops or simplifications, because each choice of the Tekken roster boasts unique characteristics that make it a real pleasure to exploit its attacks and skills (in particular new entries such as Claudio and Lucky Chloe have very interesting special mechanics) .
Even juggling, the "bounce" combo system that the series is so well known for (and has often been criticized for) has taken a step back this time: complex combos can still disintegrate a large chunk of your points bar. life, but undergoing one does not mean having almost automatically lost the game as in Tag Tournament 2, and the presence of the Rage Arts allows you to recover from extremely uncomfortable situations, keeping your adrenaline high. The Rage Arts, for their part, are the "super" of Tekken, which can only be activated when you reach the final part of your life point bar, and really devastating when you manage to place them. Many will perhaps turn up their noses at the presence of a mechanic capable of overturning matches like this one, but it is well thought out in turn.: scales with combinations, so it is not abusable, and changes the pace of the match by putting the players on the defensive when activated, in a game where the ability to defend oneself properly and manage spaces well is essential.
Evolution of the style
It doesn't end there: when activated, Rage also gives access to Rage Drive, additional moves that consume it such as Rage Arts, usually linked to particularly powerful combinations (they vary significantly from character to character). In addition, there are moves called Power Crush, basically attacks with "armor" that can not be interrupted with medium and high hits, particularly useful from a tactical point of view in certain situations. Add that the bounces on the ground that lengthened certain combos have been replaced by the mechanics of the "Tailspin", which allows you to stretch them but only with specific hits, and you will soon realize how much Tekken 7 has changed from the past. And believe us, they are pretty much all changes for the better, carefully crafted into an intuitive and easy to learn, but frighteningly hard to master system.
Considering all these aspects, only the technical sector remains to be evaluated, which although not up to the arcade version of the game makes a good impression on PlayStation 4 (where we tested it). On the base console the title runs at 900p, but keeps the 60 frames per second stable without any jolt and is more than pleasant to see, also by virtue of really beautiful internships and excellent animations. A note in particular should be made towards the soundtrack, of very high quality and capable of dramatically increasing the excitement during certain matches. In short, it is a complete package that is difficult to criticize, so much so that even the long uploads seen in previous test versions have been eliminated.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store Price 59.90 € Resources4Gaming.com
Tekken is back, and the sensations that this last chapter offers us are far from those given by the imperfect (albeit always excellent) Tag Tournament 2 and Tekken 6. Tekken 7 is closer to the sublime fifth chapter, it shares its concreteness, but it adds many interesting innovations by mixing the cards on the table to create one of the most refined and well-studied systems in circulation. It is a complex, very complete and balanced fighting game, which shows its side with respect to the competition only in the story mode that is anything but exceptional, and in a solid but not amazing technical sector. Long live the king.
- Extremely refined and deep combat system
- Very rich and well balanced roster
- A myriad of character customizations
- Crazy and hilarious Story Mode, with a level of difficulty not to be underestimated
- The narrative, despite the spectacularity of the scenes, remains an affront to human intelligence
- The story mode is short and sparsely enriched by the character stories
- Akuma and Eliza have unique systems that force them to completely change their mindset