Tekken 7 has been quite a show stopper as of lately, and its E3 presence on the Microsoft Xbox media briefing really showcased the enthusiasm the developers at Bandai Namco still hold strong for this next console version. Fighting has never been smoother; graphics have never been better. To top it all off Bandai Namco are introducing a much more fleshed out story that will be expanded upon past lore like never before.
How does a character from Street Fighter make it into a Tekken game? What relationships will definitely be on the rocks when we finally catch up to all these great fighters? GamingBolt had a chance to sit down with Mark Religioso, Bandai Namco Brand Manager for a few burning questions from the E3 show floor.
"With Tekken in general it’s always been this kind of this family feud, Jerry Springer type of conflict that’s spanned 20 years now."
What role does Akuma of the street fighter series play in the story? For that matter, what other mysteries will be explored for a long time Tekken fans?
It’s cool because he’s obviously from Street Fighter and he actually has a story in Tekken 7. As it stands now Akuma actually knew Kazumi which is Heihachi’s wife; and he actually made her promise: if anything should happen to her he would hunt down Heihachi and her son, and destroy them both. So it’s a pretty juicy story line. With Tekken in general it’s always been this kind of this family feud, Jerry Springer type of conflict that’s spanned 20 years now. So what we’re really going to see in Tekken 7 is this conclusion to this father-son relationship. Headed score it’s really about Heihachi and Kazumi.
Can you tell us about the Rage Art and Power Crush systems and how they significantly change up the core fighting?
There’s actually three new battle mechanics within Tekken 7, I like to call them tools. Rage mode actually comes back from Tekken 6; so when you’re low on energy you actually start glowing red. When you’re in Rage you can actually do more damage with regular so you can keep your Rage or you can unleash a Rage Art or a Rage drive. It’s almost like a super move. It’s a very cinematic thing. You can look at it as a come-back mechanic. So if you’re down by a lot you can do some major damage.
There’s also the Rage Drives which are character specific and you have different properties depending on the character. Some of them could be defensive and some of them could be offensive and you can actually link those into combos. So for Fang his Rage Drive is a big shoulder; it actually looks like a regular move but it can blast back an opponent way farther. There’s also Power Crushes. Power Crushes are armored moves; so you could actually absorb a mid or high hit — you take a little bit of damage but you still connect on your hit. So it’s that paper, scissors, rock kind of mechanic in the game. All these three new things really make Tekken 7 feel fresh and new.
The ability to choose which side players fight on is interesting. What motivated the decision to include it and how does it affect the outcome of fights?
It’s crazy, some people actually have a preferred side they like to fight on. Especially with Tekken because some of the controls tether to a right and left hand to visually kind of have to remember what’s happening. That was in arcades, obviously, you had to have two arcade cabinets to get that type of experience. So on console, when you’re playing a single player game you’ll be able to choose your side as well. If you prefer to do the left side you can do that, if you prefer to do the right side you can do that. So that also helps in online play as well.
"A lot of the stuff you grew up playing in Tekken is still in there. If you play Tekken 3, or if you play Tekken 4 you’ll still have a feel for the game."
What can you tell us about the new characters and how they add to the base Tekken experience?
So Tekken’s always been one of those types of franchises with an iconic cast of characters; a rich roster – we’re talking Tekken Tag 2 there’s over 50 characters in the game. But what’s the new fighting game without new characters, right? So there’s about eight or nine new characters for tech and seven, we’re looking at a roster of about 30 and more maybe. Tease, tease, tease. There’s some interesting characters giving Tekken 7 a fresh new feel with new moves and combos. And you also see new hints of older characters in some of these new characters. Some of the new characters are Kazumi, Heihachi’s wife, she’s playable; she throws up some tigers that looks amazing visually. There’s Katerina from Brazil; there’s Claudio from Italy; and my personal favorite is actually Josie Rizal — she’s from the Philippines. A lot for console fans to get excited about.
What kind of new attacks and abilities have been added to returning characters? Have they been changed up significantly from Tekken 6?
There are new things. There’s a new layer about a mechanics. You’ll also notice that there are new moves: some things might work from Tekken 6, somethings may not. So there’s no balance system in the game anymore from Tekken Tag 2. Gameplay has changed a little bit but how intricate the control scheme is of move sets; each character has a lot of moves. A lot of the stuff you grew up playing in Tekken is still in there. If you play Tekken 3, or if you play Tekken 4 you’ll still have a feel for the game.
Tekken 7: Faded Retribution is the next big update to the series. What new stages, items and characters can be expected?
I don’t know off the top of my head. We actually debuted a couple of them here at E3: like the Mishima Building stage which is a crazy looking factory. But you’ll also notice there’s a lot of different costumes in this new build that were showing today. So there’s a lot of exciting things.
What kind of graphics upgrade will the PS4/Xbox One version have over the arcade version?
So traditionally with Tekken there’s always been the core game and the update, and then the console release. The console release has always been the best version of the game that we actually put out. In terms of content you’ll get everything you get from the arcade experience with more because we are putting story in there as well. But graphically it’s going to be the best visual tech we actually put out.
What is the status of virtual reality support for the game?
So the VR support for the game, we actually announced on stage at Paris Games Week. At this point right now how we have integrated is kind of like a character model viewer. We don’t actually have any plans to have an all out kind of battle experience VR.
How will Tekken 7 improve on multiplayer? Will you be introducing any new modes or features to facilitate online play better?
Definitely. That stuff that we have planned. There aren’t any details at this time. Just keep your eyes out for more news in the coming months.