Game Design Analysis: Tekken 7


Tekken 7 (鉄拳7) is a two-player fighting game developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, and was released back in 2017. In this game, the player can choose to match against other players or AI opponents in various game modes, and try to best their adversaries with a character of their choice within one minute.

Gameplay Demo

Essential Experience (Lens# 2)

Tekken 7 offers its players a very thrilling experience.

Because of how players are competing against each other while racing against time, both players play pivotal roles in determining the flow of combat.

Players can either choose to play aggressively into their opponents by attacking relentlessly and not giving them a chance to strike back, or defensively such that they throw out big moves only when capitalizing on the opponent’s mistakes. Thus, by playing a combination of the two strategies, players are consistently kept on their toes so that they are better prepared to respond to their opponent’s actions and playstyles.

The nail-biting experience that Tekken 7 brings is especially evident when it comes down to the last few seconds where both players are critically low on health, where any one mistake would cost the player the game. The creators of Tekken 7 were very well-aware of this very experience that it wants to bring to its players. As such, in order to enhance that experience even further, they introduced the slow-mo mechanic (which does not exist in previous titles of the Tekken franchise) to really accentuate the thrill and exhilaration in that short tense moment.

Below is a video that demonstrates the slow-mo mechanic.

Elemental Tetrad (Lens #9)



Unlike some of the other popular fighting games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros, Tekken 7 sets its players in a 3D environment, where players can not only move horizontally and vertically through conventional movements such as walking, running and jumping, they can also move into the foreground or background by sidestepping. Sidestepping at the precise time will cause the opponent’s move to whiff, which leaves him vulnerable to follow-up attacks.


Every character has three broad types of attacks – Low, Mid, High. Each of them can Counter hit an opponent that is in the middle of an attack animation, which can inflict special behavioral properties on the opponent.

Each of these attacks can have different properties – Throw, Launcher, Power Crush, Screw Attack, Wall Bound.

Rage Mode becomes available when a character falls below a certain health level. Under this state, the character has damage amplification for all moves and gains access to Rage Art and Rage Drive.


The development of Tekken’s lore occurs over Tekken 1-7. The video below summarizes what happened in Tekken’s lore.

The lore of Tekken 7 is largely irrelevant to the experience that the game wants to bring to its audience. A player can essentially not know anything relating to the story of the game to enjoy the experience that it intends to bring to the player.


The game has amazing aesthetics as evident from the appealing 3D design of the unique character models and also the environment.

Character animations are also fluid and together with amazing particle effects, they make combos look impactful and visually appealing .


The game was developed using UE4, and are primarily designed for arcade joystick inputs.


Although the game design uses all 4 elements of the elemental tetrad, the story element is the element that I feel is largely lacking and definitely needs an improvement to further bring value to the Tekken 7 experience. Otherwise, the other elements of the game are very robust and bring a cohesive touch to the overall Tekken 7 experience.

Novelty (Lens #24)

This novelty aspect of this game is evident. Because as previously mentioned, today’s conventional fighting games usually restrict players to 2D movement, but Tekken 7 introduced the concept of ‘Sidestepping’, which allows players to move into the foreground and background, which gives players room for more creativity in their playstyle.

In addition to adding one more dimension of movement, different attacks have unique properties that make them well suited for different kinds of scenarios. This means that every action in Tekken 7 should be deliberate, and carelessly jumping or throwing out unsafe moves will result in a swift punishment by the opponent.

Because of these unique features, Tekken 7 is a novel addition to the fighting game genre.

Skill (Lens #34)

Everything that was mentioned so far is just barely scratching the surface of what Tekken 7 has to offer. There are still many aspects to the game that was not touched on simply because of the staggering complexity this game entails.

In order to really perform well in this game, players will have to be aware of the different tools that are available to every single character in the game, so that they are prepared for whatever comes their way. Not being familiar with the match-ups will lead to a player being hit by the same move over and over again, not knowing how to counter it.

In addition, players will also have to be familiar with something called the Frame Data, so that players can effectively capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes with moves of their own. This game is also exceptionally execution -heavy, which requires a combination of precise hand-eye coordination and button inputs.

Overall, I feel that the game demands the right level of skill from its players since it is designed to be a very technical game that requires lots of in-game knowledge to win.

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