Last week, I had written about the clown who tried to call the Tekken creators racists. It was when that article was released that someone reached out to me. They asked about what I thought of the demo. I told them that I didn’t have access to the demo.
Fast forward to yesterday when I discovered that a demo had been released. I figured I’d do some coverage on it so I went to download it from Steam. That’s when I went to check to see when the demo released. I found out it had been available since December of 2023.
So, my apologies for being late, but here’s my hands on with the Tekken 8 demo for PC.
There really isn’t much to write here. The video does cover a lot of what I’d like to say about Tekken 8 and how it plays. I was really surprised that maybe I’m not so bad with my HORI fighting stick. Then again, I’m not all that great with a controller. I may not be the best judge on my fighting skills, after all.
From what I had access to in the demo, everything was well polished and ready to go. There are a good number of modes to take advantage of while playing. While I may not have loved the choice of characters given to me, it was enough to get me going to see how smooth the game felt. The game does use Unreal Engine 5. I’ve had varying degrees of success with it. But, with this being a focused fighting game, I didn’t experience many issues.
When you first launch the game, it takes stock of your hardware and assigns it a performance score. You may remember a similar system from earlier versions of Windows. I assume that score would dictate what settings to turn on or off. You can go in and adjust the settings further, but when things are locked at the highest resolution and framerate, there’s not much you can do.
That even translates over to the Steam Deck. While my PC was running at max settings, the Steam Deck takes the opposite path. Even at the lowest of the low, there were still some dropped frames, but not in places that mattered. To be fair, my PC was the same way. In menus, especially the character select screen, there may be a dip as characters load in, but everything was locked 60 FPS when the fists started flying.
For game modes, everything was offline. You get access to the first chapter of the story mode, a basic arcade mode with the 4 demo characters (Jin, Kazuya, Nina, and Paul), and two new modes called “Arcade Quest” and “Super Ghost Battle”. By the looks of it, character customization is back and I did peep Tekken Bowl for some throwback action.
I do want to circle back to the two new modes, though.
Arcade Quest looks to be a separate little mini story about being the best Tekken (the game) player. You create a little chibi-adjacent character and fight in arcades. There may be some one-off battles, but there are also tournaments to participate in.
Super Ghost Battle
In Super Ghost Battle, one of your friends takes you to shady looking place with a couple of Tekken 8 cabinets and tells you this is where you can play other ghosts, including your own! SPOOKY! But, in all seriousness, this mode will allow you to build up a ghost to send out into the world. The cool thing about it is, you can train with it. In fact, in order to upload a ghost, you have to fight against it first while a “Learning” sign shows up. After a few seconds, it will begin to fight back. After a couple of matches, it was playing just like I was and made fights a tad more difficult.
I have played plenty of games that allow me to play against ghost data. This was the first where I got to see how my ghost was taking shape in real time. The game even encourages you to play against your own AI so you and it can “train together”.
The game mode description does go out of its way to say that it uses the “latest AI technology to recreate your style”. While I hate that they use the term “AI”, I get what they’re going for. This tech isn’t new in a general sense. It’s just that “AI” is getting a bad wrap these days.
After all that, I came away from this game impressed. Yet another game that plays great on my Steam Deck. Some really cool modes that I can get lost in. And one of the best ghost fighting modes I’ve ever played. I’m upset it took me this long to realize I could play it.
Tekken 8 comes out January 26th on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PS5.
Are you ready for the next battle?!
I sure am!