You’ve probably already heard of Tekken Revolution, the latest entry into the series with one notable difference: it’s free to play. From that perspective, you don’t need this review. It’s absolutely free to download so it’d be rude not to.
The free download will net you a number of modes, including single player arcade as well as both online and offline multiplayer options. It also comes with eight characters as standard: King, Paul, Lili, Marshall Law, Asuka, Steve, Alisa and Lars.
The way that Namco will be making money on the game, as you’d expect, is through the sale of DLC. In the future, it’s a fairly safe bet to expect that this will give us extra characters to fight as, since there’s only eight to begin with and over the years the Tekken series’ roster has continued to grow and grow. For now though, you’ll be paying for coins and passes which allow you to participate in the modes detailed above. Let me break this down for you. When you first turn the game on, you’ll have enough coins to access one of the game modes. I went for the single player arcade mode. Once that’s completed, you earn a pass to play another mode, but only if you beat it. Assuming you don’t, then you have two options. You can wait for one hour before another coin generates for you, or you can purchase some from the Playstation Store and crack on again straight away.
It’s a clever mechanic, as players with that “just one more go” attitude won’t be willing to wait an hour before they can play again. On the flip side, it’s easy to see that this particular cost could add up very quickly, so it’s hard to recommend this title over one of the fully packaged versions already available.
In terms of the gameplay, this is standard Tekken fare. The combat system has always been particularly impressive for it’s feel. Each hit feels powerful, and there’s always something extremely satisfying about launching a roundhouse kick to the face. Tekken Revolution is no different in this respect, and that’s undoubtably a good thing.
Of course, throughout the single player campaign you’ll fight a number of challengers across a series of ridiculous environments. Quite why two half naked fighters would be brawling in the snow is beyond me, but that’s always been a staple of the genre.
Where fighting games have always excelled though, is in their multiplayer modes and as you’d expect, Tekken Revolution is no exception. With friends there’s literally hours of fun to be had here, and that extends to the game’s multiplayer options. What helps to set Tekken Revolution apart though, are it’s character customisation options. I’m not just talking alternate costumes here either, as all of the characters are customisable in a number of ways for the first time in the series. All characters can upgrade their attack, defence or special abilities which means that when you’re competing against other players it’s always going to be a different experience.
Overall, Tekken Revolution is an interesting addition to the series. The staples are all here, and it’s a great fighter in it’s own right, but the Free to Play mechanic is a tough one. We know that this is starting to become a more popular part of the industry, and other fighting games will be taking a similar approach in the future (including the forthcoming Killer Instinct title), but by the time you’ve invested in new characters and kept paying to play, you may as well have invested in one of the existing Tekken titles (such as the Wii U version, with it’s exclusive modes). By all means, download this one on the basis that it’s free (you probably already have) but don’t expect to be ploughing too many hours into it unless you want to invest.