HomeTheXboxHub FeaturesOpinionsWhy You Should Be Excited for Tekken 8

Why You Should Be Excited for Tekken 8

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Tekken 8 – you should be excited

It’s been a long time since I’ve played a proper arcade fighting game, and even longer since I’ve played Tekken. I was, however, fortunate enough to get my hands on a closed beta invite for Tekken 8 a little while ago, and went into it not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The last entry in the series I played properly was the legendary Tekken 3 many, many years ago. One thing I did wonder though, when did the fighters get so stacked?

The Tekken 8 Closed Beta started as any good hands-on preview should, with a tutorial. As you would expect, there are loads of movesets which you can bust out during battles. However, you’re taken through the basic attacks, the different heights you can pitch them at along with some other bread and butter moves such as throwing and guarding.

A new heat system

However, new this time around is the rather exciting (and brutally punishing) heat system. This allows each character to store up their aggression and unleash it in the form of pretty devastating, and sometimes decisive, attacks. They are pleasingly tailored to each individual. 

If you are reduced to a low health state in Tekken 8, you’ll also enter a “rage state” which pushes the dial even further. You can bust out special moves which once they connect, automatically unleash a powerful combo on your opponent that has the potential to turn your battle fortunes around. It’s quite tense when both players enter this state, as they tentatively dance around each other desperately trying to get their move in first.

There’s a deep and tactical battle system here which I found easy enough to pick up, but difficult to master. This is exactly how arcade fighters should play. The varied attack styles also make it easy enough to deal with those players who think spamming the same move over and over will see them to a victory. 

To help the filthy casual players such as myself, Tekken 8 offers two different control methods. These are the arcade and special styles. The first is the classic method if you like; one you will be used to from previous instalments of the series. The second, combines the “easy combo” and “assist” mechanics from Tekken 7 making it easier to pull off more impressive moves that are mapped to certain buttons.

Battered – as usual

After the tutorial I was thrown into a few quick matches against the CPU to assess my skill level, before I ventured out into the big wide world. However, more often than not they ended up with me getting my backside handed to me. The matchmaking was hit and miss at times, with players seemingly declining matches with me fairly often. Hopefully this doesn’t impact the speed of finding a battle once the final version of the game releases next year.

I spent most of my time in ranked matches, where I attempted to earn prowess and secure promotion up the ranks. I was really impressed with the generous amount of characters on offer, from new folks I had never played to Tekken legends such as Nina, Paul, King and Jin.

In terms of storyline this time around (I remember a time when it was just about the fighting), it’s a continuation of the Mishima and Kazama bloodlines saga. It’s safe to say there are some daddy issues at play, and the fallout is war and destruction across the globe.

Away from the scrapping, player lobbies similar in Street Fighter 6 were available to explore. However, I couldn’t really do much here in the beta, but there are plans for a costume shop, the classic Tekken ball mode as well as the arcade quest adventure. This allows players to create their own avatar, and battle through a story mode against rivals whilst unlocking customisation options. 

Tekken 8 is going to be good – in the customisation stakes

It looks like Tekken 8 is going big on customisation too, including everything from looks and gear to background music and player cards. It’s an appealing prospect too, because even in the closed beta it looked absolutely brilliant. The highly detailed character models are big, bold and colourful as are the dynamic battle environments and action shot camera angles. 

I must say I really enjoyed my time with the Tekken 8 Closed Beta. Perhaps it’s just because I haven’t got stuck into a good fighting game for a long time, but it’s visually impressive, visceral and accessible. If the final product has smooth online functionality too, Bandai Namco are on to a winner here for sure.

It’s been a long while since I’ve played an entry in the Tekken series, but Tekken 8 is shaping up to be very exciting indeed. It looks to be following in the footsteps of the excellent Street Fighter 6, which can only be a good thing in my book. Bring on the carnage from 26th January 2024 as the game releases on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC.


You can get pre-ordering Tekken 8 from the Xbox Store if you like. There’s the £69.99 standard edition, but that is complemented by the £94.99 Deluxe Edition and £104.99 (yes, £105 for a game!) Ultimate Edition. You do get a shed load of stuff included in that latter option. 

Darren Edwards
Darren Edwards
I have been playing games since a very early age, thanks to my Dad's encouragement. I've been an Xbox gamer since the very beginning, the Master Chief is to thank for that. I'm also a big Nintendo geek, and my other half is a PlayStation nut. I'll play pretty much anything in any genre (although FIFA and COD maybe pushing it).
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