A Preview of Tekken 8

edited January 26 in Gaming

Anticipation surrounding the upcoming release of Tekken 8 has been palpable. With the launch of the latest installment in the Tekken series scheduled for January 26, fans don’t have long to wait to dive into the next chapter of this legendary fighting game franchise. And with the use of Unreal Engine 5, the game’s graphics and mechanics have been elevated to all-new heights.

The Tekken series

Tekken is a series of 3D fighting games developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment that was initially developed as a response to the growing popularity of fighting games in the 1990s. The main installments of the series have primarily been arcade games, with subsequent home releases targeting PlayStation consoles, and several sequels and spin-off titles being ported to various other platforms, including the Xbox, Nintendo 3DS and Wii, and Game Boy Advance. The series is one of the best selling fighting game franchises of all time, alongside the likes of Mortal Kombat and the Dragon Ball video game series.

History and impact of the Tekken series

Tekken revolutionized the fighting game genre with its 3D gameplay mechanics, which offered a new level of depth and immersion. Unlike traditional 2D fighters that were popular at the time, including Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown, Tekken allowed players to move freely in a 3D space, opening up new possibilities for strategy and tactics. This revolutionary approach set Tekken apart and established it as a game changer in the industry.

The Tekken series soon became synonymous with the PlayStation brand. Tekken not only pushed the boundaries of what is possible in fighting games but was also a consistent showcase for the capabilities of PlayStation consoles. As new PlayStation consoles were launched, the Tekken franchise continued to evolve with them. With each generation, from the first PlayStation to the PlayStation 5, the Tekken series showcased the technological advancements of the hardware through enhanced graphics, more fluid animations, and faster load times, maintaining its reputation as a flagship title for Sony’s gaming platform.

The complexity and depth of the Tekken series also made it a staple in the competitive gaming arena, and the introduction of online multiplayer in later iterations of the games on PlayStation enabled the growth of a competition-based community.

Tekken 8—faster and more explosive

Tekken 8 is being developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Arika and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game is the eighth main and tenth overall installment in the Tekken series, and it has been described as Tekken rebuilt from the ground up. It’s faster and more explosive than prior Tekken games, and it’s also a lot of fun to watch in motion.

For fighting game enthusiasts, Tekken 8 is likely to be the most playable game of the series. Part of that is due to just how good the game looks. Six years have passed since Tekken 7, and video game graphics have significantly advanced in that time. More importantly, Tekken 8 is built in Unreal Engine 5. It’s the first fighting game to use the new, future-facing tech, and all of the characters have been reconstructed from scratch. As a result, the animations have a wonderful smoothness and flow to them as you transition between different strikes, movements, and attacks. The details on each character model, as well as the environments and how each fight affects them, is fantastic.

For players new to the fighting game genre, Tekken 8 serves as the perfect introductory game. It has a robust practice mode, but Arcade Quest is where the game will actively walk you through the ins-and-outs of how to get better at fighting games. Arcade Quest is an interesting mode to include, given that Tekken 8 will be the first game in the series to not launch in arcades prior to release on home consoles. Instead, the arcade experience is replicated—you create a character and then you and your in-game pals go from arcade to arcade having fights. Tekken fights, of course. You can move your little toon around, dress them how you like, and pick whichever fights you want by challenging specific foes. Or you can simply walk up to an arcade machine, sit on the stool, and fight whichever character is up next.

Tekken 8 characters

Every new Tekken game brings new characters, new looks, and new gameplay. At launch, Tekken 8 will feature a roster of 32 new and returning characters, with 4 mystery DLC characters included in the Ultimate Edition. In standard Tekken fashion, each character features a unique move set with a distinct fighting style. Several characters share similar backgrounds but have their own takes on their attack style and special abilities.

It’s up to you to decide which character to pick based on your style. Will you select a classic fighter from the series? Or, will you go on an all-new adventure with one of the new characters? You can always play around with the roster to get the best one for you.

New characters

Tekken 8 features three new characters on launch, all with unique looks, backstories, and fighting styles:

  • Azucena Ortiz: an MMA champion and coffee farmer, Azucena's fighting style employs modern techniques along with highly defensive and mobile movements. 
  • Victor Chevalier: a UN special agent who founded the Raven Unit, Victor uses a variety of gadgets, including pistols, karambit knives, and a futuristic katana. 
  • Reina: with an origin shrouded in mystery, Reina appears to combine the styles of several other fighters, including Asuka, Jin, and Katarina. The Tekken 8 story will most likely revolve around her and will reveal her backstory.

Returning characters

The following 29 characters have been confirmed as returning to the series in Tekken 8

  • Alisa Bosconovitch 
  • Asuka Kazama 
  • Bryan Fury 
  • Claudio Sefarino 
  • Devil Jin 
  • Dragunov 
  • Feng Wei 
  • Hwoarang 
  • Jack-8 
  • Jin Kazama 
  • Jun Kazama 
  • Kazuya Mishima 
  • King 
  • Kuma 
  • Lars Alexandersson 
  • Lee Chaolan 
  • Leo 
  • Leroy Smith 
  • Lili 
  • Ling Xiaoyu 
  • Marshall Law 
  • Nina Williams 
  • Panda 
  • Paul Phoenix 
  • Raven 
  • Shaheen 
  • Steve Fox 
  • Yoshimitsu 
  • Zafina 

Graphics and design 

Tekken 8 is not only the franchise’s first game developed for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S—it is also the first fighting game to use Unreal Engine 5. The additional tools at the developer’s disposal spell the best-looking Tekken game yet, with enhanced lighting, intricate stages, detailed character models, and rich particle effects.

The first thing you’ll notice when loading Tekken 8 is how stunning it looks, both still and in motion. The character models are exceptionally detailed, as are the stages. All of the wild hit and motion effects that Tekken games are known for also benefit from the latest upgrade in visuals.

The extra clarity is needed, because this feels like one of the fastest and most aggressive Tekken games so far. The director of the series, Katsuhiro Harada, has stated that encouraging faster, more aggressive play is the goal with Tekken 8, and the game does look absolutely rapid. The graphics, look, and feel of Tekken 8 are a whole new beast compared with its predecessor. Anyone coming into this game expecting to play exactly what they have played before is going to be pleasantly surprised.

Gameplay mechanics  

Tekken 8 is bringing a lot of new gameplay mechanics to the iconic arcade fighter, including a new Heat system and upgrades to the Rage system. Several of the game’s mechanics were highlighted in the first official gameplay trailer shown above, which was released in early 2023.

  • The Heat system is the period of time when a fighter enters a short state of hyper awakening. During this period, the fighter is encouraged to be more aggressive, with new offensive options unlocked. You’ll know you’re in Heat mode because you’ll be engulfed in blue flame for 10 seconds. While on fire, you spend Heat Energy to unleash stronger attacks.
  • The Rage system is a small buff you get after taking a certain amount of damage. There are no specific requirements to activate Rage; you simply have to reach a low HP threshold. Rage has two bonuses for players. The first, and perhaps most important, is that all of your character’s moves deal extra damage, allowing you to pull insane clutch comebacks. Second, you get access to Rage Arts. Think of these as supers in games like Street Fighter 6. In Tekken 8, just like in prior Tekken games, there is no super meter; you gain access to Rage Arts only when your health is about to drop to zero.

Tekken 8 release date

Tekken 8 is slated for release on January 26 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam. Whether the game will be added to the Xbox Game Pass lineup is unclear, but several other games from the series have been added, so we wouldn’t rule it out. Make sure to check out what’s on offer with a Game Pass, and note that you can enjoy one month free of Xbox Game Pass with the purchase of a new Windows 11 PC from Acer.

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If you’re in the market for a new gaming machine that will deliver the best playing experience in Tekken 8, consider taking a look at Acer’s Nitro V 15 gaming laptop. Notably, because Tekken 8 is built with Unreal Engine 5, its demands on the graphics system are higher than those of games built using other gaming engines. The minimum requirements for running Tekken 8 at low quality settings are NVIDIA RTX™ 2000 or AMD RX-6000™ series graphics cards. The Nitro V 15 has one of NVIDIA’s latest GPUs from the GeForce RTX™ 4000 series, which supports DLSS 3.0 and makes the machine easily capable of running Tekken 8 at medium to high quality settings. Acer has also given this particular model a decent amount of high-speed RAM (upgradeable to 32 GB). The price of this machine is kept low thanks to the screen, hard drive, and battery, all of which are smaller than those in similar but more expensive machines. The laptop also has a responsive full-size keyboard and trackpad. Go to the Acer website here to find out more.

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Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.


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