Rumors have been floating around about a new Tekken for some time, but now a new trailer and a message from Tekken’s producer Katsuhiro Harada have confirmed it. Tekken 8 is on the way, and it looks amazing. While the details revealed at Sony’s State of Play were sparse, here’s everything we can glean from this exciting reveal – and what Tekken 8 looks like it has in store for its characters.
The announcement for Tekken 8 did not include any information about a release date, so we can’t really predict a launch time frame. However, we do know a few things. First, the story mode is specifically still a “work-in-progress,” and the game is referred to as firmly in production, which indicates we have some time to wait. Second, the other games revealed at the State of Play, like Rise of the Ronin, did come with release dates – in that case, a 2024 window. It would be odd if Tekken 8 released in 2023 without any kind of window provided, although it’s possible … and some rumors point toward the game releasing in July 2023 following EVO 2023. Either way, we’ll no doubt know a lot more by then.
Expect Tekken 8 to arrive on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. It won’t be supported on PS4, which makes sense with all that detailed work in Unreal Engine 5. That’s also why it won’t be coming to any mobile devices any time soon, although you could give it a shot on the Steam Deck if you don’t mind lowering performance.
Let’s talk a bit about this trailer because it came with several interesting pieces of info about just how good the newest Tekken title will look.
First, the trailer was taken from the story mode itself, and the story mode’s cinematic scenes use the same engine as the actual gameplay uses. So while it’s not an actual fight, it’s not a pre-rendered movie (which Tekken has had many of), either. We’re getting a fair look at what character models and even moves will look like, along with the sort of backgrounds we can expect when playing.
It’s also running at 60 frames per second on a PlayStation 5, so there is no tampering in the background to get the action to run smoother or more reliably than the average PS5 owner can expect when they enter a versus battle (online connections aside).
It’s easy to see why they emphasize this aspect of the trailer — it’s some truly impressive in-game work that highlights just how visually powerful Tekken 8 will be.
Gameplay and story
A trailer can only tell us so much, but we have a number of clues from this dynamic, rain-filled duel, especially when it comes to how the story is progressing.
The scene focuses on a duel between Jin Kazama, the current main protagonist of the Tekkenverse, and his father, Kazuya Mishima. Jin says, “People like us shouldn’t exist,” which is a direct reference to the Devil Gene they have both inherited, a supernatural power with a tendency to corrupt and the ability to slip into a particularly nasty devil form.
That’s been a problem for Jin in the past, but here, the trailer clearly shows that he’s attained control over the Devil Gene, to the extent of using his devil powers without the need to fully transform (his father gets some blows in, too).
Again, all this is in-game footage, so we get a look at some juggling combos, powered-up moves, and what appears to be a Rage Art tapping into the Devil Gene. We also get some good glimpses of the rain-filled environment, which looks to be highly dynamic, with a raging storm and breaking ship in the background.
We really don’t know much about the roster yet. Jin and Kazuya are, of course, guaranteed to play key roles. Devil Jin may be done for good now that Jin seems to have gained control of his powers, although that depends on where the story begins. Note that Tekken 7 had several new characters, such as Leroy Smith and Katarina, and we expected at least a couple of them to return for this version. However, it’s all guesswork at this point, although the developers have made it clear they have a lot of details to tease us with in the future.