Tekken 8

Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC fighting

Imagine the thrill of it, 1976, walking into an arcade and seeing Sega’s Heavyweight Champ, widely considered the world’s first two-player fighting game.

It was the beginning of a new genre in video games, that has grown over the years, to the point that you can now play for money, if you’re tough enough, in the world of eSports.

This fighting franchise from Japan also appeared in arcades first, before being ported to Sony’s original console the PlayStation in 1994.

boom reviews Tekken 8
Are you sure you wouldn't prefer to go dancing instead?

This iteration then is the first to grace the ‘next’ generation of consoles, featuring a fair share of characters, old and new to fight it out.

There is a story mode for you to enjoy, which is, admittedly, a fairly fun experience. It sort of involves the franchises bread and butter, the king of Iron Fist tournament, which you partake in as the main protagonist Jin, as well as a few other characters along the way, with the goal of beating all your opponents and going for the Iron Fist win.

It’s a hugely cinematic affair, with impressive cut scenes that develop the story, as well as give your fingers a well earned rest between fights, all wrapped up in a sumptuous orchestral score.

boom reviews - Tekken 8
you did say you wanted the full blow dry treatment right?

It’s also nice to see that you don’t play solely as Jin throughout the campaign, which would have been on the dull side. The game also switches it up fairly deep into it, changing the whole dynamic of the game somewhat, with you taking on multiple foes at once, which was most welcome.

The thing is, you’re either into the fighting genre, or you’re not. It’s not a genre we automatically gravitate too, especially when you consider the last title we really dived into was Soulcalibur back on the Dreamcast.

We can see the appeal though, especially playing with a friend. Of course as soon as you go online, which you can do with either a ranked match or a quicky, you’re likely to run in to a fair amount of oiks with an unhealthy competitive streak in them.

We did have issues with our version however, on the Xbox Series X – or at least the official controller; the glassed-eyed buttons don’t feel anywhere near as responsive as they need to be for a game such as this. They are hard on the fingers for repetitive play, leading to fatigue fairly early on. Perhaps this is less of an issue on the PS5, and PC where you can pair the game with your own controller, but it was certainly not a game that you could comfortably have a long gaming session with.

The Arcade Quest is a cute addition, as you create an avatar to play in an arcade for coins and to level up. Sadly the only game you can play is Tekken, which feels like the developers missing a trick here with a few arcade classics thrown in for good measure.

And of course each player has their own special moves that can pulled out when the time arises, as well as the “heat” system and “tornado” hits, which just add to the spectacle of it all.

Overall Tekken 8 appears to be an accomplished entry in the franchise, and certainly looks lush being the first major fighting game to utilise the Unreal Engine 5.

Having completed the story mode however, there is no other real draw, other than the occasional grudge fight with mates, and sadly it doesn’t do enough to pull lapsed fighters like us, back into the tournament for a bust up.

But if fighting games are in your blood – which you should probably see a doctor about, quite honestly - Tekken 8 will hit you up with what you need.

we give this three out of five