Tekken 8 Hands-on Preview: Evolved Core Fighting Systems Heat Up

After eight years with Tekken 7, fans were curious about what new elements Bandai Namco would bring to the table with Tekken 8. While the 3D fighter has been a pillar of the community and reached new levels of refinement, the franchise leaves room for further evolution. The preview build of Tekken 8 has already revealed that it can deliver a bold new direction for the series, thanks to its Heat system and Special Style approachability.

Turning Up the Heat (System)

The Heat system is one of the most significant changes to Tekken’s gameplay in Tekken 8. Fighters can activate their Heat state once per round, allowing them to access new attacks, combos and enhanced movesets specific to each character on the roster. It’s like an extra meter that players can use offensively at any point in a match. However, it also requires technical skill in terms of timing and execution.

The basic mechanic starts with Heat Burst – just one button press can trigger this move, activating your Heat state and adding one stock to your gauge. Successful hits lead to combo opportunities or staggered opponents even when blocked. But each character also unlocks unique moves called Heat Engagers which adds two stocks to your gauge when executed. These moves require more complex inputs but come with impressive follow-ups.

For example, players can use Heat Dash after a successful hit from a heat engager move: spending one heat stock allows you to get closer to your opponent and start an elaborate combo string. If these characters block your heat-engager attack, you could still use heat-dash attacks to pin them against walls or continue applying pressure.

Lastly, there is also a powerful attack called Heat Smash which completely depletes your remaining meter no matter how much you have left. When activated correctly, it unleashes devastating super moves like those found in other fighting games.

Overall, Heat system addresses previous criticisms of the series being too slow and encourages an aggressive playstyle that keeps things exciting. While still retaining the core gameplay foundation that made Tekken special, this system adds new levels of depth and diversity to its brawls.

Tekken 8 Is All About Offense

The revamped mechanics of Tekken 8 fundamentally encourage a more offensive play style. Once activated, Heat state lasts for 10 seconds, so players need to use it strategically. Additionally, attacks during Heat, as well as other powerful moves in a normal state now give chip damage but leave behind recoverable health (which has not been a feature since Tekken Tag Tournament 2). Recoverable health is indicated by a gray bar in the player’s health gauge and can be gained back through successful attacks, further rewarding aggressive gameplay.

Rage Arts have also received some changes – they’ve become more explosive with cinematic cuts, bringing new levels of excitement to matches. Moreover, each character features unique Rage Art animations; fans are already buzzing about how these moments could define key moments in matches and create unforgettable experiences for both players and spectators alike.

A Special Style of Approachability

In an effort to make Tekken more approachable for newcomers while keeping veteran fans engaged at challenging levels, Bandai Namco has introduced “Special Style.” This simplified control scheme enables players who may not be familiar with complex inputs to string together cool combos while executing stronger attacks with easier button inputs. Although similar approaches exist in other fighting games like Street Fighter 6’s “Modern” mode or Guilty Gear Xrd’s “Stylish” mode, Tekken 8’s twist allows toggling between Special Style on-the-fly during fights without any animation interruptions or frame drops.

Overall, Tekken 8 promises to deliver enticing changes while still preserving its essence. With the Heat system, Special Style, and a revamped Rage Arts system, it’s evolving in bold new directions that can advance how the game maintains its uniqueness and attracts new fans of the franchise.


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