Tekken 8 Finds Fine Balance to Entice Newcomers and Advanced Players

Tekken has always been a mechanically complex fighting game that, more often than not, isn’t welcoming enough to newcomers due to its depth. Tekken 7’s Easy Combos and Assists were a great step into bridging the gap for first-timers, but Tekken 8‘s Special Style control scheme looks to take that even further.

Tekken Project Director Katsuhiro Harada and Producer Michael Murray spoke to select media in Southeast Asia during a hands-on preview session and explained how Tekken 8 aims to entice newcomers but also appeal to more advanced players that are looking for a new and complex system that they can take advantage of.

*Interview answers by Harada and Murray have been slightly edited for clarity.

Related – Read our Tekken 8 Hands-on Preview

The Special Style control scheme in Tekken 8 allows players to not only pull off a combo string, but it can also activate a Power Crush move and the Heat Gauge at just a touch of a button. This Special Style can be accessed across any mode, even online multiplayer, and should be a great tool that newcomers can use to play competitively in no time.

Harada and Murray said that finding a balance was tough, but feel that they’ve found a good answer in Tekken 8.

“The Special Style is more linked into the actual gameplay systems this time, and more evolved, so it’s a much better iteration. When you start out first, you need to learn the techniques and how they perform, but this kind of takes away that first step and allows you to jump into matches and see how do I actually use this move against someone,” says Murray. “Even then, that just lowers that first step, you’re still going to get to a point where, in order to win, you need to add more techniques or new strategies, so you still have to learn the game.”

“So it just lowers that barrier of entry but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to beat the strongest player in the world with it.”

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With an emphasis on onboarding new players faster in Tekken 8, players that have a lot of experience in the series won’t be left behind. The introduction of the Heat System, which enables advanced techniques like the Heat Smash and Heat Dash, along with the multiple possibilities that come along with it, will also be a game changer.

“The Heat System, not just the system, but how it changes the individual characters’ capabilities, is something that’s really geared towards that player group,” Murray exclaims.

Murray proceeds to expound on the Rage system, saying that while it is great because it affects all characters, it affects them in the same way, unlike the Heat System which emphasizes character styles and personalities.

“For example, King, his dash and the throws and the different things that are affected during the Heat State, it adds a new layer on top for people who are familiar with the game to explore and to actually find out what makes that character more fun, more strong, and more unique.”

“Those are the two different ways that we’ve distinguished on how to entice those different player groups in the game.”

tekken 8 heat smash king xiaoyu

This aspect of the game lends well to further pointing out the individual playstyles and personalities of each character, and players will be pleased to find out that the advantages that it provides will surely give them an edge in battle.

Tekken 8 is currently in development for the PS5, Xbox Series, and PC.

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