Tekken 7

Fun fighting marred by an underwhelming package.

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How does Tekken 7 scale across PS4, Xbox One and PC?

Tekken 7 launched yesterday, though it's worth stressing its original debut was in 2015, on Namco's PC-based System ES3 arcade board in Japan. It demonstrated very quickly the successes of moving away from the Tekken series' proprietary engine, this time daring to make the shift to the increasingly popular Unreal Engine 4. In the years between, tweaks to visuals and gameplay have stacked up, and what we have now with the PS4, PC and Xbox One is the most up-to-date iteration of the game yet - albeit with sizeable graphical differences between them.

Namco's move to Unreal Engine is hardly unprecedented. In this generation, it's seen a huge rise in interest from Japanese developers, particularly in fighting games. Tekken 7 joins the likes of Street Fighter 5, another title that uses its advanced shader toolset, post-effects pipeline, and physics on character hair and clothes. Impressively, even recent Unreal Engine 3 fighters turn in entirely different results using related technology - from the cel-shaded style of Guilty Gear Xrd, to Injustice 2 with its push for realistic facial animations. But whether it's Unreal Engine 3 or 4, clearly that flexibility attracts attention from developers. Just as crucially though, all four fighters have one major thing in common: a successful lock at 60 frames per second.

The move to UE4 opens the door to cutting edge visuals in Tekken 7, and the very latest physically-based rendering techniques. Series staples like Kazuya and Heihachi get a clear mark-up in shader complexity for skin and clothes. Intro sequences and the new Rage Art moves also use Unreal 4's bokeh depth of field and bloom - adding spectacle to cutscenes, though dialled back for gameplay. Most obviously though, hit impacts between characters now produce an excess of effects we just didn't have before. We've come a long way from the low resolution alpha - small puffs of fire - used in Tekken Tag 2 or Tekken 6. Now a hit produces an maelstrom of different effects - particles, shaders and flat textures. And simply put, a lot more of them.

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Tekken 7 review

Tekken 7 review

Rage against the Mashimas.

Let's get straight into it: Tekken 7 does a lot right. The core fighting system is as rewarding to master as ever and new mechanics benefit the game in useful ways. But it's what Tekken 7 doesn't do that drags the overall package down.

Tekken 7

Publisher: Bandai Namco

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Digital FoundryHands-on with Tekken 7 - and its PlayStation VR mode

How Namco's fighter plays in virtual reality, and how Unreal Engine 4 elevates the series.

It's been a long time coming. The arcade version of Tekken 7 first went on test in Japan three years ago, enjoyed a general arcade release in 2015 and was updated with new content a year later. Fast-forward to 2017 and the long-awaited home version is just weeks away from release. An initial hands-on test of the PS4 version suggests that not only has the wait been worth it, but there's an interesting bonus mode too - for the first time ever, a major franchise fighting game is testing the water with a virtual reality mode.

A call to arms for the UK fighting game community

"Put aside the petty bickering and embrace a new outlook."

Deputy Editor's note: A year ago I reported on Hypespotting 5, one of the UK's biggest fighting game tournaments, after it suffered a raft of technical issues and disappointed some fans. After we ran the article I was contacted by a number of people embedded within the UK fighting game community who defended the scene and called for a deeper look. I thought now, with Hypespotting 6 taking place, it was a great time to do just that and investigate the state of the UK fighting game community.

Tekken / Galaga crossover is real

UPDATE: Out now in Europe.

UPDATE 30/04/2015 7.50pm Galaga Tekken 20th Anniversary Edition is out now worldwide as a free download on iOS and Android devices, Bandai Namco Entertainment of Europe has announced.

So, Tekken 7's new character Lucky Chloe has turned a few heads since her reveal last week. Which would be understandable under normal circumstances, given that she's a breakdancing blonde woman who apparently models her fashion sense on one part animal that can lick its own hindquarters and one part Japanese Cyborg pop star Hatsune Miku - but this is Tekken we're talking about. There are characters way more outlandish than this young lady already kicking up a storm in the King of Iron Fist Tournament, as this video amply demonstrates.

Tekken 7 announced with teaser trailer

Tekken 7 announced with teaser trailer

The Mishimas are at each other's throats. Again.

Bandai Namco announced Tekken 7 at the Evolution Championship Series fighting game tournament last night with a teaser trailer, below.

Tekken 7, built with Epic's Unreal Engine 4, features the Mishimas - fighting game's most dysfunctional family - who are at each other's throats once again.

The teaser features Kazumi, Heihachi's lover and Kazuya's mother. Kazumi believes she must stop Heihachi as Kazuya accuses Heihachi of killing her.

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