LifeisXbox’s Tekken 8 preview | I am a huge fighting game fan. I’ve been into fighting games since the Sega Megadrive days, with the likes of Primal Rage and Eternal Champions. When I first got hold of a Playstation 1 back in the mid-’90s, Tekken was the first game I got with it. I’ve been hooked on the series ever since then. The attention to detail of the characters was something I hadn’t seen before. There were particle effects for the hits, vibrant colours, special moves, grapples, low and high kicks, and even a story with a full-motion video. It was something of a first for me, and since then, I have owned and played every single entry in the Tekken franchise. When I had the opportunity to take part in this week’s closed network test, I jumped at the chance, and all I can say, is I am glad I did. Tekken 8 is fantasticc.
ℹ️ Previewed on Xbox Series X | Preview code provided by PR/publisher, this preview is the personal opinion of the writer and is based on an unfinished game.
I will get straight to the point here since this was a closed network test. The stability of online play was great. I had zero issues with my time playing Tekken 8 within the timeframe allowed. Outside of these times was usual server maintenance that quickly lets you know that it is down, and when the servers are due back online. Finding a match was easy and usually took only a few seconds. During this waiting time though, you are given a test AI to fight against while you wait. Upon finding an opponent, you are asked if you wish to fight the found player. This is a nice feature since you can look at the player’s skill level, rank, and combat power. Those of you who are protective of your score can then shy away if you feel like it until a more suitable player is found.
During the fighting sections with online players, my time was surprisingly good. No stutters, no frame drops and everything worked as it should. I am happy to report, that this was a great experience each time I played.
The music in Tekken 8 is fantastic. It is energetic, upbeat, and filled with electro-pop crossed with rock and metal creating a heart-pounding fusion that fills you with energy and excitement when playing. The in-game arena music is no different with each of the 5 stages to choose from matching its overall style. Sound effetcs are great too, with punches, kicks, grapples, and special moves all consisting of gritty sound cues that play differently every time.
Ranked Play Only
During my time with the Tekken 8 closed network test, it was strictly limited to online play only. There was no story to experience, and no real options to tweak, so I can’t speak on those at this time. However, ranked play is where most Tekken fans will go when getting their hands on it either late 2023 or early 2024. The roster available in the closed network test was the standard 10 characters found throughout the Tekken series. Most of the newer, and extra characters will be available at launch. My go-to character is Hwoarang for his quick fighting style and mix-up of kicks and punches. I am happy to report, I haven’t lost a single match yet during my time with Tekken 8. Cross-play was surprisingly available as I did not expect to see that during a test, but it played fine and it was good going up against PC and PlayStation fans alike.
Tekken has never felt so intuitive. What I can talk about is how well it plays especially in regards to carrying out the new heat combos. When your player has enough heat filled, you can tap RB repeatedly to pull off some rather impressive, damage-dealing combos. This is especially important for players who found it difficult to use the face buttons combined with the directional keys to make use of combos in the past. These are still there and present and still useful for the skilled player, but the level playing field that this now brings will help make it more challenging for existing players. Not only this but combined with low health, the new rage mode will allow you to pull the right trigger to pull off a special dealing some devastating damage. This is to give you a fighting chance when dealing with an aggressive opponent.
Tekken 8 looks amazing. This is now the second entry into the series running Unreal Engine. Tekken 7 was made using Unreal Engine 4, but Tekken 8 now uses Unreal Engine 5, the first major fighting game to do so. The character models look detailed and this is especially apparent when watching the fight scene in the rain. Rain runs down the characters and really brings out the detail. Couple this with the voice acting and the new animations and everything looks great.
Tekken 8 is shaping up to be a worthy entry into the Tekken franchise. With still months to go before release, it is great to see a simple network test reveal so much about the upcoming fighting game. Visually the game is striking in every way with stunning visuals, a stable server that caused no issues or visible lag when playing, and a new control method that will undoubtedly bring new players to the franchise. Had this been an early release look of a game that was coming out in the next few weeks, I would be impressed, so I am pleased to say that with still months of development time ahead of them, Tekken 8 will be a strong release that players will enjoy all over the world.
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.