The character roster for Tekken 8 has been finalized, and it features well-known characters like Jin Kazama, King, and Marshall Law. Paul Phoenix, a tough street fighter from America who has been a staple in the series since its inception in 1994, also joins the cast with a markedly different appearance compared to his previous iterations.
The updated appearance of Paul Phoenix in Tekken 8 reflects the passage of time in the game’s overall narrative, a motif that is also evident in other returning characters such as Kazuya and Jin, who are gradually progressing towards their much-awaited final showdown.
Bandai Namco’s latest fighting game, Tekken 8, is set six months after the conclusion of Tekken 7. The protagonist, Jin Kazama, is determined to put an end to the chaos and devastation caused by his father, Kazuya Mishima, and his family. It’s unclear how the various characters fit into the game’s narrative, but fans are excited for the return of Jun Kazama, Jin’s presumed-dead mother from Tekken 3.
The upcoming game, Tekken 8, will continue its narrative focus on the Mishima family. The latest trailer for the game, however, changed the focus to Paul Phoenix’s combat style, providing players with a preview of his tactics in the upcoming title.
What stands out the most is Phoenix’s appearance, which was briefly shown in the game’s second trailer but more prominently displayed in the latest footage.
Phoenix’s updated appearance features a departure from his trademark hi-top fade hairstyle and a shift towards a more laid-back hairdo while still maintaining his characteristic blonde locks. However, his primary costume in Tekken 7 featured a leather jacket and pants, in contrast to his iconic red gi, emphasizing his passion for motorcycles. In Tekken 8, Bandai Namco takes this concept further, as evident in Phoenix’s updated appearance.
Paul Phoenix’s inclusion in the Tekken game series is a longstanding tradition, as is his towering, vertical hairstyle. However, Tekken 8 introduces a new version of Phoenix with a drastically different look, featuring a hairstyle that resembles those famous among K-pop boy bands. Nevertheless, the fundamental aspect of Phoenix’s fighting style remains the same – he combines karate and judo to deliver solid and precise hits, as demonstrated by his signature move, the Death Fist, which, although it takes a while to set up, can deal significant damage to opponents once it connects.
Out of all the characters confirmed to appear in Tekken 8, Paul Phoenix’s redesign is the most striking. In contrast, King and Marshall Law’s designs remain consistent with their established appearances in the series, with minor tweaks to their looks to add more flair.
However, the redesigns of Lars Alexandersson and the robotic Jack feature more significant changes, with Lars donning a new white suit. Nevertheless, these updates still maintain the established themes and previous versions of the characters.
Tekken 8 was first revealed at the PlayStation State of Play event in September 2022, and since then, the character roster has slowly expanded to include a mix of familiar and new faces. Some returning characters include Kazuya and Jin Mishima, Jun Kazama, Marshall Law, and Nina Williams.
One of the major improvements that enhance the gaming experience in Tekken 8 are the various graphical and technical enhancements, including the Heat Gauge which is considered as one of the most significant additions. Using the Heat Gauge, players can activate a Heat Burst, opening up more aggressive options in combat.
During March, a closed alpha testing event will be conducted at different offline locations worldwide, starting with a test at Evo Japan 2023 that’s only available to Tekken 7 players. Although the official launch date for the game is still unknown, it has been confirmed that Tekken 8 will be available on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC.