The ‘weapons-grade abs’ of the animated fighters in ‘Tekken 8’ My first thought was: what the hell is Brian Cox doing here? I had booted up the latest entry in the long-running fighting game series Tekken and, overwhelmed by its convoluted storyline, I consulted YouTube to refresh my memory on the story so far. There I found an official video where the game’s developer, Bandai Namco, had paid Succession star Cox (rather handsomely, I presume) to stroll around a computer-generated volcano and hold a straight face while recapping a bonkers narrative about devil genes and shadowy biotech corporations as animated fighters with weapons-grade abs preen and throw punches behind him. Cox is a canny choice, partly for the similarities between his famous character, the formidable pater familias Logan Roy, and the three generations of fathers and sons locked in high-stakes conflict across 30 years of Tekken lore. (The parallel is not exact, however — there’s no scene in Succession where Kendall Roy drops his father’s body into an active volcano.) The actor has a twinkle in his eye when he delivers the game’s tagline — the moment where Bandai Namco truly nailed the writing assignment: “ Tekken 8 . Where fist meets fate.” Nobody comes to Tekken for the story. They come to fight. Diving into this new game’s tense, balletic interpretation of bare-knuckle combat, it struck me how similar 2024’s Tekken 8 feels to Tekken 2 , released almost 30 years ago. Among the foundational gaming genres, it is perhaps the fighting game that has changed the least. The set-up is still two fighters viewed from a side-on perspective, draining each other’s health bars with elaborate kick and punch combos. Aside from today’s bleeding-edge graphics, which lavish detail on every bead of sweat, every hair on a fighter’s […]

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By Donato