Tekken 7 is mere months away. The latest sequel for the massively popular fighting series was revealed with a trailer at EVO 2014, the world’s largest fighting game tournament and now Tekken 7 is set to release in arcades in Japan in March of this year, with a release for home consoles expected at some point soon after.
Of course, the Tekken series would not be complete without a cast of vibrant characters. Namco Bandai has built a roster of unique combatants, and Tekken has the honor of being the only game series where you can see a grizzly bear face off against a wooden training dummy brought to life. That’s before we even mention the boxing kangaroos and velociraptors.
So who has been chosen as the next fighter to enter the Iron Fist Tournament? Katsushiro Harada, the director of Tekken 7, has revealed that the latest playable character is Shaheen. Shaheen, the series’ first character from Saudi Arabia, was announced by Harada via a post on Twitter, complete with a full-body character design. He joins other new fighters Claudio Serafino, Katarina Alves and Lucky Chloe.
NEW CHARACTER for TEKKEN 7. "Shaheen" from Saudi Arabia. 鉄拳7新キャラ(のひとり）「シャヒーン（サウジアラビア）」公開。 We've more new characters. http://t.co/cPggBVY6hy— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) January 1, 2015
The reveal of the Shaheen has so far had a positive reaction from fans of the series. In fact, Tekken’s creators have been looking to include a Middle Eastern character for some time. The series is extremely popular in the region, and the development team apparently took time to learn about the Middle East after player feedback asked for a character from the region. After all, players from the Middle East only had the Egyptian Zafina, who was a new character for Tekken 6.
It makes a change from the controversy surrounding Tekken 7’s other new character. Although some have raised concerns that the keffiyeh-wearing Shaheen fits a number of stereotypes, the complaints have been a drop in the ocean in comparison to those surrounding fellow newcomer Lucky Chloe. The animal ear-wearing fighter faced a wave of criticism from American and Western fans, with Harada stating that the character may well end up omitted from the North American release of the game.
So far, 2015 has been a great year for fighting game reveals. We’ve also faced the news that Kung Lao is being brought back for Mortal Kombat X. Let’s hope the characters translate well into interesting and fun characters to play. At the moment, there are no more details about Shaheen. For now, be sure to check out this concept art of the character. We’ll have more details as they come.
Tekken 7 is set for release in Japanese arcades in March 2015. There are no confirmed details of a home console release.