'Tekken 7' release date, news: Kuma and Panda announced as playable characters

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Bandai Namco has announced that Kuma and Panda will be joining the roster of “Tekken 7” as an official playable character. The announcement was made during the “Tekken 7” King of Iron Fist Tournament 2016 Global Final, and the character will be released early 2017

According to Silicon Era, the two characters, Kuma and Panda will make their return as playable characters. The former serves as Heihachi Mishima’s pet, and he proves his unfailing loyalty to his master by protecting the Mishima Zaibatsu even believing that his master is dead. After being defeated by Jin Kazama, he was finally reunited with Heihachi and ever since then he became an essential member of the Tekken Force.

Panda, however, is Ling Xiaoyu’s pet and bodyguard. After Jin Kazama disappeared, Xiaoyu went out and tried finding him despite the dangers it meant for her. Panda, due to his worries about Xiaoyu, ran after her after she never returned from her journey. This is to ensure that she will return back to her senses.

Also, according to Gematsu, there will be a new Online Tournament Mode will give people the chance to participate and create their own tournaments online. There will be a lot of features to be implemented on this mode, such as single and double elimination options, a secured tournament entrance with passwords as well as spectators. Players will be awarded in-game rewards such as fight money and other items.

“Tekken 7” is currently being developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.’s Tokyo, Japan studio. The project is being led by the director of the franchise, Katsuhiro Harada. The game is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and it sets a new standard in terms of graphics quality for the entire series.

Its first appearance in the home systems will feature numerous modes and enhancements not seen in its arcade counterpart. It will be released in early 2017 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.