Rumors have been floating around about a new Tekken for some time, but we’ve gotten firm confirmation that Tekken 8 is on the way, and it looks amazing. While the initial details revealed at Sony’s State of Play were sparse, we’ve got plenty of new looks and impressions of the latest 3D fighter. Here’s everything we can glean from this exciting reveal -– and what Tekken 8 looks like it has in store for its characters.
The announcement for Tekken 8 did not include any information about a release date, so we can’t really predict a launch time frame. However, we do know a few things. First, the story mode is specifically still a “work-in-progress,” and the game is referred to as firmly in production, which indicates we have some time to wait. Considering no further updates on the release date have come, even after betas, we expect it to be a 2024 game.
Expect Tekken 8 to arrive on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. It won’t be supported on last-gen systems, which makes sense with all that detailed work in Unreal Engine 5. That’s also why it won’t be coming to any mobile devices any time soon, although you could give it a shot on the Steam Deck if you don’t mind lowering performance.
Let’s talk a bit about this trailer because it came with several interesting pieces of info about just how good the newest Tekken title will look.
First, the trailer was taken from the story mode itself, and the story mode’s cinematic scenes use the same engine as the actual gameplay uses. So while it’s not an actual fight, it’s not a pre-rendered movie (which Tekken has had many of), either. We’re getting a fair look at what character models and even moves will look like, along with the sort of backgrounds we can expect when playing.
It’s also running at 60 frames per second on a PlayStation 5, so there is no tampering in the background to get the action to run smoother or more reliably than the average PS5 owner can expect when they enter a versus battle (online connections aside).
It’s easy to see why they emphasize this aspect of the trailer — it’s some truly impressive in-game work that highlights just how visually powerful Tekken 8 will be.
A trailer can only tell us so much, but we have a number of clues from this dynamic, rain-filled duel, especially when it comes to how the story is progressing.
The game will take place six months after Tekken 7, with the scene focusing on a duel between Jin Kazama, the current main protagonist of the Tekkenverse, and his father, Kazuya Mishima. Jin says, “People like us shouldn’t exist,” which is a direct reference to the Devil Gene they have both inherited, a supernatural power with a tendency to corrupt and the ability to slip into a particularly nasty devil form.
That’s been a problem for Jin in the past, but here, the trailer clearly shows that he’s attained control over the Devil Gene, to the extent of using his devil powers without the need to fully transform (his father gets some blows in, too).
If you’re familiar with the 3D-style fighting of Tekken, 8 will immediately look familiar. You and your opponent face off in a 3D space, able to reposition forward and backward to avoid attacks and set up your own. Combos and juggles are huge, so learning what strings you can chain together is key to coming out on top.
The new mechanic this time is the Heat system. Each player has a Heat gauge that fills up as you stay aggressive and attack your opponent. Activating your Heat gives you 10 seconds to take advantage of the power it gives, and can only be triggered once per round. You can use this new meter to do a few things, such as a Heatt Burst which is a more powerful attack that can open up your opponent to a combo, or Heat Engager where you hit your opponent clear across the screen and immediately follow up with to attack. There’s also the Heat Smash, which uses all your Heat meter for one powerful strike, and Heat Dash which simply rushes your character right up to your opponent.
Initially, there were 16 confirmed characters (two with alternate forms) consisting of only returning characters, but two more were shown off at EVO 2023, including the first brand-new character Azucena. Here’s the full lineup we know of so far:
- Jin Kazama
- Kazuya Mishima
- Marshall Law
- Paul Phoenix
- Nina Williams
- Lars Alexandersson
- Jun Kazama
- Ling Xiaoyu
- Claudio Serafino
- Bryan Fury
- Asuka Kazama
- Leroy Smith
Tekken 8 is still warming up before its big debut, so no preorders are up right now. Once they go live and we know all the different versions that will be available, we will update you on what you need to know.
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