It’s always nice to see a familiar face at E3, and when it comes to fighting games, the Tekken series is one we’re always happy to see. The newest entry in the series, Tekken 7, brings new characters, new modes, and new ways to prove you’re king of the iron fist. We got the chance to play a few rounds here at E3 2016 – and to learn why Tekken 7 is the most ambitious entry in the series.
The first thing to note is that yes, you saw that trailer correctly: Akuma of Street Fighter fame is one of Tekken 7’s playable characters. Crossovers between the two series have happened in the past, so it’s not uncommon, but Akuma isn’t just there for kicks. He’s an integral part of Tekken’s 7’s story, a demon sent to take down the evil and corrupt Heihachi and Kazuya.
The Tekken 7 version of Akuma controls surprisingly similarly to his Street Fighter version. Fireballs and uppercuts require the same inputs you know by heart, and even his combos are very similar. The unique Tekken touches, like movement in a 3D space and the different Special system, keep him feeling like a character who belongs on the roster with the likes of Jin and King.
Along with Akuma and the returning cast come six more new characters from all over the world. From the bubbly otaku Lucky Chloe to the Saudi Arabian badass Shaheen, the new additions bring a nice mix of styles and aesthetics to the series’ cast of unique characters.
Another new addition to Tekken 7 is the new narrative cinematic mode that blends cutscenes with gameplay to basically create very interactive story modes. We got to see this new mode in action and were impressed with how seamlessly it worked. Time slows during the switches between cutscene and game mode, giving you time to react, and there are plenty of opportunities to unleash Specials or Tekken 7’s new Rage Art moves to flourish your way into a transition.
The Rage Art moves allow you to unleash powerful special attacks when your health reaches a critical point. Those last-minute gambits can turn the tide of a match, and create an unpredictability to each round that we found really exciting.
Itching to play some Tekken? You’re in luck: Right now, for a very limited time, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for Xbox 360 is free and available through Xbox One’s backwards compatibility. Grab it from the store and start sharpening your skills for when Tekken 7 launches in early 2017.