After having played Injustice 2, and seeing how good a fighting game could be in regards to story direction I was taken aback by the sub-par experience that TEKKEN 7 held. TEKKEN 7's story mode is lazy. Pure laziness. It's a mixture of slightly animated art panels complimented by emotionless voice acting, and further told through equally emotionless CG cutscenes. There's even a rehashing of old cinematic sequences from past TEKKEN games thrown in as filler material. Some of which look better than the current CG scenes. The story that's being told is unnecessarily drawn out with fights that feel less than heightened as well. It's as if they were thrown in as filler material themselves. One fight in particular, the climactic battle between Akuma and Heihachi, has Akuma playing like a weakling while Heihachi manages to completely avoid direct hits, and sponge up a majority of the damage thrown at him. One would expect Akuma to dominate his arse, especially in context with his forced role in the story, but Akuma takes a distant second seat to Heihachi in regards to battle prowess early on. Particularly in the player controlled portion of the fight.
During the Akuma fight I gave up for a couple of significant reasons. There was definitely something off with the battle at hand. Whether it be input delay, or latency Akuma (whom the player controls) was too easily punished. Akuma felt sluggish in my control, and his attacks were 1up'd by the boss-like Heihachi. Again, this battle was played out as having Akuma, and Heihachi at least as equals, but for whatever reason the AI controlled Heihachi was able to wipe the floor with him due to his boss battle move set. This included a sort of shield to negate damage, and an odd parry that left contacted hits/sweeps doing absolutely nothing. The fight felt too one-sided, and not in the favor of the gamer/Akuma. I ended up repeating the fight four times with no success. It felt like I was fighting a cheesy SNK boss, if I were to be totally honest. It was that bad. At that fourth try, and failure I gave up out of sheer frustration.
Now let's talk about the story itself ...
The story seemed to drag on with different viewpoints of the Mishima lineage not advancing much at all 8 chapters into the plot. It was a slow burn with little to no emotion. The fact that the characters were so unenthusiastic about everything going on left me less than enthusiastic about the story, myself. It's like the developer took everything that was great about TEKKEN over the years, and let it all fall to the wayside for the simple point that was the mystery behind the Mishima clan. Characters felt less than important, and even the main role-players like Kazuya and Heihachi acted as if they really didn't care about it all themselves. They simply had unfinished business, and were intent on finishing that business. As far as perspective goes we were introduced to what amounts to a wartime journalist who was doing some snooping, and got drawn into the fray as a victim of circumstance. This too took from the battle of the Mishima clan, and the story therein. It diluted the conflict adding in an unnecessary scenario, that while creative, left a lot to be desired. In a way the whole plot felt like it kind of tied in with real world conflict. Like the story was being sold as subliminal propaganda. The whole who's who in regards to "trustworthy" global leaders was echoed throughout. You had the Mishima Zaibatsu, and G Corp clashing while behind-the-scenes characters of interests played watered down side roles. Of course Jin Kazama, and Akuma get thrown into the mix as well alongside the mysterious devil lady who sent Akuma to murder the two main cover characters. Oops, spoilers. Sorry.
Up to the point I got to in story mode I couldn't help feeling shortchanged. Either Harada has lost his touch as a competent storyteller, or he was rushed along so much to meet deadlines that he was forced to limit his vision. I don't know which reason it is, but it was obvious corners were cut in production. I don't get why the reviewers who reviewed this game gave it so much praise. Between 'Injustice 2', and 'TEKKEN 7' the differences are night and day in regards to overall quality.
In closing I'll say this ... I am not happy with what I've witnessed in TEKKEN 7's story mode, and have found some issues in the other offline modes as well. If you are looking for a solid current-gen fighters that is truly rewarding I'd say skip TEKKEN 7 for now, and pick up Injustice 2. It definitely appears to be the better of the two choices, at the moment.