A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents should know that Tekken 7 is a fighting game that's the latest installment in the popular franchise. The goal of each match is to deplete the rival character’s health meter down to zero so that you win the round. You’ll fight by kicking, punching, throwing, using weapons (like a machine gun), or unleashing magic abilities (like tossing fireballs) -- depending on the character you’re fighting as. There's some blood in both the gameplay and in various cut-scene sequences. Parents should know the over-the-top story includes sons who want to kill their fathers and vice-versa. The game also has provocatively dressed women and scenes (like a male spying on a woman showering), and there’s some minor profanity and comic mischief (bathroom humor).
What's it about?
TEKKEN 7 is the latest in the popular fighting game franchise, offering numerous solo and multiplayer modes, enhanced high-definition graphics, new and familiar characters (some from other video games), new moves and combat mechanics to unleash during the 1-on-1 battles, and unique environments. While there’s an increased focus on online multiplayer battles -- including a worldwide TEKKEN World Finals competition in November of this year -- there's an emotionally-charged (and darker) story that aims to conclude the 20-year-long Mishima feud, with the victors looking to secure control over a global empire by enlisting fighters to step into the King of Iron Fist tournament. This Story mode features cinematic CGI effects, which are interspersed with the gameplay, to help push the tale ahead (actually, the Story mode has two parts to it, for added replayability). Tekken 7 features more than 30 playable characters to start, including fan favorites and all new martial arts fighters -- including Akuma, as a Street Fighter crossover.
Is it any good?
While not without its technical flaws with online play, this enhanced brawler won’t disappoint longtime fans of the franchise or those new to fighting games. Along with the Story mode, which lets you play as many of the fighters to learn (and master) their various moves and abilities, the Offline mode is divided into Arcade (complete stages and a boss), Treasure Battle (customize your fighter with money earned by winning matches), Local Versus (fighting someone beside you), Practice (instead of a tutorial), and Customization mode (have fun changing up your character, tweaking the menu screens and hearing all the game’s music). Treasure Battle is one of the better solo modes, as you can also unlock new abilities and other goodies as you progress through opponents. Online Mode houses ranked matches, tournaments, and lobby rooms to find other online Tekken 7 players to challenge. Finding someone to play against, or waiting for the consoles to sync, sometimes takes a while (or you need to leave and try again), so hopefully this will be fixed soon. Most online battles were smooth, but there were a couple of minor lags, which unfortunately is quite noticeable in a fighting game.
Whether you’re fighting against computer-controlled opponents or human ones (offline or online), those familiar with Tekken will have no trouble learning the basic combat moves (low, mids and highs), as well as defensive maneuvers, like blocks and counters, triggering a special move, seeing how to use the environment, and toying with chains and combos. New to this year’s game is Rage Arts (a temporarily super attack) and similar Power Crushers move. There’s a lot to like about this game -- despite some matchmaking and multiplayer performance issues that might be ironed out in the near future. Tekken 7 is a robust, challenging and gorgeous fighting game that pushes the series forward and is worth the price of admission for fans of the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. How does the violence in the game compare to other fighting games? What makes this better or worse? Do you think the lack of blood and gore makes the fighting seem any less violent?
Talk about female representation in the game. Is it necessary for games to depict women in such a seductive manner? Does it seem to reduce the focus on the female fighters as only being attractive instead of physically capable of fighting and possibly defeating a male opponent?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: June 1, 2017
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts, Superheroes, Brothers and sisters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Crude Humor, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.