Tekken 8’s Closed Network Test Is Extremely Impressive
2023 is proving to be the year of fighters. Street Fighter 6 delivered a visceral uppercut and Mortal Kombat looks to be bloody glorious, but is there room for another contestant to enter the fray? Well, after checking out the Closed Network Test for Tekken 8, the answer is a resounding yes!
The Tekken series has an accessible foundation that is welcoming to newcomers but also includes the depth required for aficionados. Due to this, its appeal is broader than most games in the genre as players can pick up and play or knuckle down and master the mechanics. The 8th iteration of the series looks to amp up the notion even further with its brand new Heat mechanic and optional control system.
Time to Fight
Historically, there’s been a tentative approach to fights in the franchise. You need to read your opponent and work out how to avoid damage whilst also inflicting as much as possible. Although this philosophy still remains, the Heat system rewards aggression which opens up an array of strategic options and makes each battle an enthralling experience.
At the start of every round, your Heat bar is full which gives you the power to use it when and how you like. Upon activation, you become more powerful and can unleash vicious flurries on your opponent. While you can initiate this through the press of a shoulder button, you can also combo into it with particular attacks. The Heat Smash is a lethal combination that you use to take off a large chunk of your adversary’s health, however, this also uses the entirety of the gauge. This adds a risk/reward element to combat which makes each encounter more intense.
It’s not all methods of attack, you can also use Heat when in dire straits. The Power Crush allows you to absorb an attack and counter which is great when pressured. In addition to this, you can also recover health when you activate the mode. Combining this with the already established Rage Art, Tekken 8 expands on embedded systems to create the best battling the franchise has seen.
A new feature is the Special Style controls system. This allows you to quickly pull off combos and supers with the press of a button. Designed for newcomers, it’s a great way for inexperienced players to compete against veterans. A nice addition is the ability to quickly turn the feature on and off. A single button press alters the control method so you can quickly transition from one to the other.
Visually, Tekken 8 is absolutely stunning. Each character model is packed with detail and is full of personality. Elements that occur in the fight continue into future rounds. For example, Paul, who sports a new look, rips off a sleeve on his Rage Art special; when he does this, he will not have a sleeve for the rest of the fight. These little additions make the game stand out compared to its peers.
Tekken 8’s Closed Network Test was seriously impressive. The slick animation and new Heat system help to make this the most exciting game in the franchise to date. The stages have breakable aspects and the combo challenges have an intuitive design. With a stable net code and a ton of new fighters on the way, Tekken 8 is shaping up to be a truly special game.
Due to the power required, Tekken 8 will only be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X and PC. What are your thoughts on the number of fighters out? Will you be grabbing Mortal Kombat 1 or Tekken 8? Which other fighters would you like to see a new iteration of? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more great video game content.
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