Tekken 8 – Review
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

Tekken 8 – Review

Site Score
Good: Cinematic story, Heat system, A lot of offline single-player content
Bad: Arcade Quest feels a bit too childish at times
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The first Tekken game saw the light 30 years ago, which means Tekken is probably one of the longest-surviving fighting franchises to this day. Its direct competitors, such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter are also still going strong. With them releasing a new game not that long ago, it was only a matter of time before Tekken also came out with its next installment. Tekken 7 was released six years ago, so Bandai Namco Studios took their time developing Tekken 8, making sure that it would please the longtime fans. And now that it’s finally here, we were ready to dish out some digital punches, and loved every minute of it.


The story of Tekken 8’s main campaign picks up where the previous game left off. Jin Kazama is on a quest to stop Kazuya Mishima in his tracks, and he’ll use his devil powers to do so. Jin is still suffering from his past transgressions, but if he can defeat Kazuya, he can make the world a better place again. Sadly, Kazuya seems to have gained too much power and has turned into a hellish being himself. Jin fails his attempt to take down Kazuya, and Kazuya now threatens the world with his monstrous powers and the help of G Corporation. Kazuya announces a new King of Iron Fist Tournament, where he states that he will punish the losers severely. In the meantime, Jin recovers from his wounds from his last battle and struggles with his inner demons. He’ll have to fight his way to the top and trust his devil powers in the process. His allies have his back and go to great lengths to help him achieve his goal, as the fate of the world depends on it. All in all, the flow of the narrative is great, and the overall cinematic qualities of the story are superb. More than often, we felt like we were watching a cool animated movie, rather than playing a fighting game.

On top of the impressive story mode, you’ll also get to play through the additional character chapters, which often revolve around more silly situations the different characters go through. This lighthearted content is a nice change of pace from the otherwise heavier main story.

The Arcade Quest mode also comes with a small story. In this mode, you’ll play as an unknown fighting game fan who’s making a name for themselves in the arcade circuit. It’s a simple narrative that revolves around having fun when you commit yourself to playing the game(s) that you love. You’ll meet new characters along the way, and you’ll have to work your way to the top. Overall, the story here was enjoyable, albeit a bit too childish at times.


Graphically Tekken 8 looks amazing. The varied cast looks great, and with the many different outfit possibilities, you can clearly see the work the developers put into crafting each character model and outfit. You’ll see many familiar faces, albeit slightly aged or buffed, as well as a few new contenders stepping into the ring. The fighting animations are extremely fluid, and many signature moves make their return. The subtle differences, thanks to the Heat System, also give proper visual feedback when it comes to the UI, as well as the fighting animations.

The arenas never looked better than they do now, and many have different backdrops or get a different appearance when the fights progress. You may find yourself sinking through the floor to uncover another part in one arena, to perhaps see lava seep through the floor in another one. Again, it’s clear that a lot of work went into designing the different stages.

What felt a bit different were the overworld visuals for the Arcade Quest mode. Here, you’ll play with chibi-like avatars that roam around different arcades to duke it out with other arcade-dwellers. The arcades still were designed nicely, but the avatars felt a bit too kid-friendly.


Outside of the return of many iconic SFX, the overall sound design is superbly handled. Not only will you be treated to a very adrenaline-infused and bombastic soundtrack, but the voice work is also of top-notch quality. Every character in the game speaks in their native tongue, so you’ll hear voiced lines in Japanese, Chinese, French, English, Italian, and so on. This truly helped with the immersion, even though at times we were wondering how the other characters could comprehend what they were saying during their conversations.


Unsurprisingly, Tekken 8 is still a fighting game first and foremost, and while there are a few other things to do in the game, you’ll occupy yourself with fighting short battles against other players or AI opponents. If you decide to play mostly offline, you can pick the story mode, the additional character story chapters, as well as the Arcade Quest mode. Offline versus is also a possibility, and Tekken Ball also makes a glorious return. Online modes of course include more competitive modes for those who truly want to show their worth.

As stated above, the story mode is quite cinematic and will certainly please longtime fans of the lore, and the additional character chapters add some extra flavor to the mix. The Arcade Quest mode offers a bit of interesting side content that allows you to learn the ropes with the character(s) of your choosing. The intervals with additional tutorials will truly help elevate your skill level, and it’s simply a great way of improving your skill without being destroyed online against better players.

The fights themselves feel like an authentic Tekken experience, even with the new Heat system in place. We do have to be honest, though, the Heat system will be something you either love or downright hate. In essence, the Heat system works with a small gauge that is visible under your health bar, and when you enter the so-called Heat Burst, you’ll deal additional damage and have access to some new powerful moves. Players with Heat Burst can also chip away the health of their opponents, even when they are blocking. When using your Heat Smash move, you’ll end Heat Burst, but you’ll dish out some serious damage when doing so. In addition to this, there’s also Rage (which is not entirely new), which activates when your hit points are under a certain threshold. When this happens, you’ll also have access to Rage Art, which is an extremely powerful move that can turn the tide of the battle with a single press of a button, if your opponent doesn’t block this attack.

Even though we aren’t competitive players ourselves, we still found the flow of the battles quite enjoyable, even when we got our butts kicked when facing experienced opponents. The game is still fairly welcoming to new players, and Tekken 8 might actually allow newcomers to have a bigger fighting chance thanks to the inclusion of the Heat System. Moves are responsive, but it still proves to be a bit trickier to counter moves or break free from an opponent’s strong combo.

Tekken Ball is a fun inclusion, as it provides a fun change of pace, and it’s simply entertaining to play this mode with a friend. Instead of punching your opponent in submission, you’ll have to punch a giant beach ball to damage the opposing player. Depending on where you hit the ball, you’ll either simply bounce it over to the opponent or power it up in an attempt to deal damage. It’s simple fun, but it still stays true to the overall Tekken experience.


Even though it was a six-year wait, Tekken 8 impresses across the board. We can assume that the Heat System will not fly well with purists, but we didn’t mind that the developers decided to shake things up in a 30-year-old franchise. We loved the inclusion of a lot of offline single-player content for gamers who’d rather experience a great story and grow their skills without the stress of constantly losing battles against other players. There is still more than enough to do for competitive players, however, which will also please fighting fans who’d rather duke it out with other fighting fans. All in all, with heavy hitters like Mortal Kombat 1, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, and Tekken 8, it seems that fighting games are on the rise again. We simply hope we don’t have to wait another six years until a new Tekken title is released.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Tekken 8 - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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