Game Reviews

Tekken 8 review

Fabulous fighting

₹ 4,199

In terms of gameplay improvements, fighting games don't jump leaps and bounds ahead of their past. And that may not seem like a small improvement, but Tekken 8 improves in every way over the previous game while remaining true to its origin, and of course, to its unhinged father-son battles.


Wings, an extra eye, laser beams and lots of hair pomade - everything is primed for Mishima's newest boss to take the flavourful bashing to the arena and beyond. Like all things Tekken, everything leads to a tournament and the eventual plans of world domination by a megalomaniac. This time it's Kazuya, and even though Jin and Kazuya both have three eyes each, the father-son duo don’t see eye to eye…

Tekken 8 also adds more depth to Jin and Kazuya's battle. It's more than just exchanging fists for power. Jin's internal struggles with himself are at the centre of this three-to-four-hour campaign. It's not long but thorough and surprising enough to want us to make it to the end before jumping into multiplayer.

Game modes

Before you jump into Ranked Multiplayer, Arcade mode is a fun way to introduce everyone to Tekken 8's new mechanics and ease you into any character you would want to learn. It's a single-player mode where your avatar hops from one game cafe to another challenging various NPCs. You can choose to play this with one of the 32 playable characters or switch in between. The mode gives you handy info on the screen with the best moves to execute during a match and these change as you level up and challenge more difficult NPCs. It's also a nice way to learn a new character without feeling overwhelmed by the spreadsheet worth of moves to execute or getting a good whopping in multiplayer from more experienced players.

For newcomers who just wish to blow some steam, the Special Style or ‘easy controls’ in layman's terms can be activated by pressing L1 anytime during the game and the character will perform cool-looking combos with single button presses. It’s not perfect because Tekken has a massive list of very complex moves for all its characters so it’s better to play without it if you want to learn the game. You’ll get a prompt on the screen with what keys to press even while playing online. It lets you know if your opponent is using Special Style which is good.

The Asian servers are running great with almost no lag or input latency. You can even fight with folks from the Middle East without an issue. Albeit, most of the bustling servers are in the EU and US at the time of writing. So expect to encounter the same people on the Asian server whenever you hop on for some multiplayer fun.

Super Ghost Mode is another fun addition which uses AI to learn your friend’s playstyle and saves it for you to fight with them when they’re not online. Albeit, we wish there was a way to host an offline tournament with friends. It feels like a severe miss for something that has been one of the best couch games. Even the Tekken team battles are missing in Tekken 8 as well.

During the actual fistfight, Tekken 8 fixed the impact aura that was a problem with Tekken 7. It no longer covers a chunk of the character's limbs and you can easily fight without any visual distractions. Punches and kicks land with a satisfying sound and the movement is crisper than before. Admittedly, Tekken 8 fighting is just plain good but sidestepping is a bit wonky. Even if you time it properly, somehow almost all punches and kicks land regardless of side stepping. We think it's deliberate to keep spammers from breaking the system but Steve is a lot more difficult to play with now.

Rage Art and Heat System

Rage Art and Rage State activate when you reach low health. Here you can activate Rage Art (Using R2 on PS5) and execute a finisher which deals an incredible amount of damage or use the Rage State to dish out more damage because it gives you higher attack power. 

There’s also a new Heat System which is available from the start of each round. Some moves within the character’s move set are called Heat Engagers which initiate a Heat Burst and then trigger a sprint to close the distance and execute a Heat Smash. Heat Smash is like a smaller Rage Art with a fair bit of damage. You can also manually trigger it (using R1 on PS5) at any time to get yourself out of a sticky situation. Once the Heat State is active, the 10-second timer under the health bar will start depleting but it stays locked if you keep attacking.

When you press R1 in Heat State to execute a Heat Smash it also lets you absorb a few oncoming hits during the wind-up animation, so timing and calculated movement are usually favourable. That said, you also unlock more moves and have chip damage when you activate Heat State. So dishing out punishment is encouraged even if the player is blocking your attack. It makes Tekken 8 a bit more fast-paced and aggressive.

Some major attacks from a character that are blocked or have aerial combos offer a chance for redemption to turn the fight in your favour. In these instances, the health bar depletes with a grey gauge which is a Recoverable Gauge that lets you recover the missing health bar by attacking and landing hits. 

The Heat System in Tekken is designed to force players to play more aggressively and the whole point is to do so. That said, new players who prefer characters like King might suffer against Azucena and Feng if you’re not aware of the technical chops of the game’s fighting mechanics.

Graphics and sound

Tekken 8 characters have always been ‘gym goals’ and with the new Unreal Engine 5, character models are almost life-like. Lars’ oddly-shaped hair, King’s veins and muscles, Feng’s clothing and Kazuya’s eyes, every little detail on all characters is pixel-perfect and flows with realism.

Even the cut-scene movie spectacles shift nicely to its 3D fist fights in the story mode. During Rage Art and Heat Smash, the game looks cool and flashy with beautiful movement and stylish camera angles. Visually, it’s a stunning game.

You also get access to all of the soundtracks from previous Tekken games and we wish all games had this feature. We were a bit sceptical about the raspy voice of the announcer but it somehow works when you’re playing the game.


Tekken 8 is the most fun fighting game you’ll play right now. Even the training mode is thorough and as good if not better than Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6. We wish there was an offline tournament mode for couch gaming with friends. As such, the online netcode is fantastic and stable. 

The story, character roster and the new heat system are very much a continuation of the legacy of the Tekken franchise but the improvements and polish have been thoroughly put in place to make the game feel better, livelier and more toe-tapping than before.

Stuff Says

Our favourite fighting game just got better
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Great graphics

  1. Fantastic fighting

  1. Crisp movement

  1. Fun offline modes

  1. Energetic music

  1. Hilarious and detailed customisation

  1. No offline tournament mode