Tekken 8

Posted:  Jan 23, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
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Cloud Saves
HDR Support

Review

Tekken 8 was provided by Bandai Namco for review. Thank you!

Update 1/24/24: HDR Support is in the game. Added a little bit about it and a thank you to John Linneman for pointing it out to us.

Update 1/30/24: A Proton Hotfix was released to fix the Online Multiplayer disconnects. We have updated the review accordingly and changed the proton layer to "No Forced Compatbility."

When I was growing up, there were two fighting games that constantly stood out to me: Mortal Kombat and Tekken. I did know of competitors like Street Fighter, and while I did enjoy it, there was something special about those two that made me keep coming back. For Mortal Kombat, it was the outrageous gore and violence. For Tekken, it was the incredible attention to detail and how technical it can get. With Tekken 8, this trend not only continues but feels even tighter in all the right ways.

Like the other games in the series, Tekken 8 is a 1v1 fighter. You will fight against your opponent and use a range of different types of melee attacks to take them down. Each fighter has a wealth of unique moves and combos to utilize. It feels very fluid, like other games, but there are a couple of new additions to the combat to enhance it. Rage Arts, or Ultimate Moves, has been refined and can be used more easily when you are at lower health, and a new Special Style of fighting has been introduced to allow easier ways to land combos.

However, the biggest change is the new Heat System. When the bar is full, you can activate this system by pressing the right shoulder button or using special moves called "Heat Engagers." When you are in Heat mode, you have an advantage on hitting, which includes when an opponent blocks, and gives you the ability to utilize a more powerful move that will deal more damage to the enemy. The gauge will stay longer the more you land attacks, so this encourages more aggressive playing to put pressure on the enemy. There is also a recovery system to regain health, and this plays into the Heat and Rage Art systems wonderfully.

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The fighting is on-point and fantastic, and to make things better, the game has a couple of other modes alongside it. There are two story modes: the main story that continues the Tekken story and Character Stories, which offer a specific story for each character in the game. The story is pretty short but very action-packed! There is also Arcade mode and Tekken Ball mode, which is like Volleyball, but you hit the ball into your enemy to damage them.

We also have Arcade Quest. In this mode, you will create an avatar and go to different arcades to battle, rank up, and learn more in-depth fighting moves. It does have a small story attached to it, which is nice, but I was more focused on battling in general. It also unlocks Super Ghost Mode, which allows you to train an AI to fight similarly to you and then fight it yourself. You can also download other players' ghosts to fight, allowing you to see how you are against other players without going into the online modes.

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Speaking of which, the game does have general online fighting modes, though I couldn't test these due to the servers being down until launch. With my past experiences in Tekken, I don't think there will be any issues when fighting against others. There are regular and ranked battles and a lounge to find people and communicate. There is also a mode that allows you to customize how specific characters look and how your UI looks in fighting, both of which are extremely fun to play around with.

I spent some time making custom outfits for my fighters in Tekken 8, trying to make them look completely different from how they normally look, but my wife loved this feature. She made a ton of different outfits for multiple fighters, and they are glorious.

At the beginning of this review, I was a little worried there would be trouble running this on the Steam Deck. It is a massive Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) game that looks phenomenal with higher settings. Luckily, with enough compromises, getting this to run on the Steam Deck at 60 FPS wasn't difficult.

Tekken 8 - Steam Deck Performance

Tekken 8 is a very taxing game on the system, and it makes sense why. This gigantic AAA production is made with cutting-edge technology from UE5. With all its settings set to max, it looks incredible, but unfortunately, the Steam Deck can't handle that graphical fidelity. Luckily, we can make some sacrifices to the visuals and still have a very playable 60-FPS that goes across nearly every stage you will encounter in-game.

With this review copy, online servers have not been activated yet, so I haven't been able to test online multiplayer. However, I played through the story modes and arcade quest and tested every multiplayer stage to ensure it kept a solid 60 FPS the entire time. And all of them did, except for one stage in the story mode that isn't an option in multiplayer.

The online multiplayer is now currently working, and it runs like a charm. Valve released a hotfix to make it run, so we recommend not forcing any compatibility for right now.

Recommended Settings

My focus for my settings, above all else, is a silky smooth 60 FPS. Fighting games like Tekken 8, especially when playing competitively, require that smooth framerate, and anything less just feels off. Getting high framerates like this is very taxing, especially with UE5, so there are a lot of visual and battery life compromises.

When first entering the game, I did encounter a fatal error that forced it to close. I was able to get past this by changing the Proton layer to Proton GE 8-27, and the game booted up as it should. I did try Proton Experimental as well, but that produced the same error and crash. You can follow our guide on how to get and use Proton GE. The game is now working without needing to force compatibility, so I recommend keeping the box unchecked.

With these settings, we do have a silky smooth 60 FPS with only some minor dips in some ultimate moves. The framerate goes right back up to 60 once done, though, so you will almost never feel it. As I mentioned, there is one stage exclusive to the main story mode that dips to 55, but otherwise, there were no parts I saw that went below. It is a little bit blurry in some character selection screens and intros, but during the actual fighting, I barely noticed it.

I did test some other settings to see how much I could raise the quality, but it did compromise some of the performance. While there are some stages that could handle higher quality settings, there are others, like the Urban Square stage, that will dip. I optimize for the smoothest possible experience across everything, so if you are okay with some drops on some stages but want a better-looking game, you may be able to push medium. Regardless, 60 FPS is the priority and it can't be achieved with any limits on battery or higher quality.

Accessibility

For accessibility, Tekken 8 does have some features to help out. There is a full accessibility tab, but it only contains one option. Here, you can change colors to account for color blindness in either a full-color filter or a mask filter. There are options for red, green, and blue blindness, as well as monochromancy. In the general settings, you can vs. mode options, sound bars, controller mapping, and avatar camera settings.

To make the game a bit more accessible to newcomers, the developer also put in Special Mode, which can be used as an easier way to use combos. All you have to do is press the left shoulder button at any time during a match to activate it, and you will be able to bring out combos like a pro. Think of it like a combination of easy and assist combo features from previous games and roll it into one.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, which is wonderful, and it has full controller and cloud save support! The game does have HDR support as well! In the screen settings, you will find the "Dynamic Range Settings" option, which is where you can enable HDR. Thank you to John Linneman on X for pointing this out to us.

Conclusion

Tekken 8 is a fantastic fighting game that continues to show why this series is one of my favorites. The fighting is tight and cinematic, while the new mechanics added in are great ways to push a more aggressive and strategic play that keeps everything engaging. The new game modes, along with the customization options, keep the fun going and add a little bit of spice to keep it feeling fresh and enjoyable.

There are a lot of compromises that we need to have to play effectively on the Steam Deck, but it is ultimately very playable. It may look a little blurry at times, and it will drain a lot of battery, but at the end of the day, we can get a solid 60 FPS throughout the game. While I probably wouldn't play competitively this way, you are able to play effectively and train or just play for fun without sacrificing the quality that a fighting game needs.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Tekken 8 is an incredible fighting game that expands on the series while retaining what makes it great. And it can run wonderfully on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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5 comments on “Tekken 8”

  1. I actually use similar settings tsr set to 65 shadows medium and post processing medium everything else set to low runs great and looks great

    1. TSR both looks better and runs better. FSR was the first option I tried, but in the end, TSR ran significantly better and looked great, even when on a lower render scale to help with performance.

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