July 22, 2024

As 2023 involves a detailed, I feel it is truthful to say that the combating recreation style is in an excellent spot. Capcom and NetherRealm each launched stellar new entries of their respective franchises this 12 months, with Avenue Fighter 6 particularly righting the wrongs of the earlier numbered entry. In January of 2024, Bandi-Namco will unleash Tekken 8 – and I’ve performed a near-final model of the sport at an occasion, so I needed to share my preliminary ideas. This the primary new combating recreation to ship on Unreal Engine 5 whereas additionally skipping last-gen consoles and the Swap – so how does it fare so far?

Throughout my time with Tekken 8, I had an opportunity to play a number of totally different modes together with the story mode, the arcade quest mode and Tekken Ball – greater than what’s accessible within the publicly accessible demo. As feature-packed as Avenue Fighter 6 and MK1 are, there is a sense that Tekken 8 would possibly nonetheless have essentially the most to supply.

Primarily based on the primary chapter of the story mode, this part appears like a pure evolution of what was achieved in Tekken 7 by way of a method arguably pioneered in Mortal Kombat 9. That’s to say that cutscenes and occasion sequences are used to chain collectively battles to inform a bigger story.

In the event you’re interested by seeing Tekken 8 in motion, the complete video is embedded above.

In contrast to Tekken 7 although, the brand new recreation does not appear to depend on nonetheless picture sequences, which beforehand featured a journalist explaining his investigation into the Mishima household. The demo model options Chapter 1 as properly, however taking part in past this revealed that pacing and storytelling that appears like a major enchancment over the seventh mainline entry.

The very first battle that includes Jin and Kazuya is a pleasant showpiece for the brand new visuals. There are some pre-rendered scenes nonetheless, however lots of the sequences are totally real-time, making for some slick transitions between cutscene and gameplay. The model I am taking part in right here was captured on PlayStation 5, with preliminary pixel counting within the story mode revealing a decision of 2560×1440. We’ll rely in additional element throughout extra scenes within the remaining recreation but it surely’s seeking to be a 1440p 60fps title which is sensible given the visuals and prioritising responsiveness.

all of the modes we examined although, I am largely happy with the visuals. Character element, whereas extraordinarily excessive, could be very properly executed – the sport blows previous the pre-rendered CGI in earlier Tekken video games, in reality. I solely want the movement blur from Tekken 6 was an choice, because it appeared nice, however maybe different combating recreation followers weren’t as into it as I used to be.

performance frame-rate analysis in tekken 8 showing a moment at 51fps

Efficiency seems strong at 60fps for essentially the most half, with simply non-interactive moments with loads of alpha results inflicting momentary drops – right here, to 51fps. This efficiency focus additionally explains why Nanite and Lumen, two cores options from Unreal Engine 5, weren’t included. | Picture credit score: Digital Foundry

Whereas on the occasion, I had an opportunity to talk with members of the event workforce – particularly the sport’s director, Kouhei Ikeda, and one in all its producers, Michael Murray. They confirmed, as I surmised, that Tekken 8 doesn’t use core Unreal Engine 5 options like Nanite or Lumen, primarily owing to its strict 60fps goal. Given the challenges builders have confronted in constructing first-generation UE5 video games, it is sensible and, truthfully, the sport seems superb all the identical.

I went again to taking part in round with Tekken 7 afterwards and it was much less detailed than my recollections led me to imagine – between the geometric density of the characters to the pores and skin shading and clothes, Tekken 8 is a major leap ahead.

two fists colliding in Tekken 8

Pausing the second that two fists collide in Tekken 8’s story mode reveals the exceptional element and materials work evident even on this small portion of the 2 fighters’ outfits. | Picture credit score: Namco Bandai

Pausing one of many Tekken 8 character reveal intros makes plain the extent of granular element offered simply of their respective gloves – the feel of the leather-based, the stitching, the shiny spherical decorations…it is all great things. Going by the video body by body actually helps you respect the animation, like hit impacts and particles which are essential to make sure that every hit feels nice with out sacrificing responsiveness.

In comparison with the demo accessible, I had an opportunity to check another characters and arenas out. They’re all wanting nice, with quite a lot of high-quality element chiseled into the assorted surfaces – both utilizing geometry or sensible texture work. Clearly, there will probably be extra to say when the sport is full, however my first impressions on the visible facet are very constructive.

Past this, the Arcade Quest mode actually piqued my curiosity. It mainly drops you right into a fictional world through which Tekken 8, the arcade machine, has simply launched. It looks like it tells a narrative as you journey throughout the land visiting different arcades, making it successfully a second story mode.

Tekken Ball is maybe extra of a gimmick consistent with Tekken Bowl and the like, however hey, it could possibly be pleasurable as a facet mode.

I additionally seen that, throughout each mode, the sport’s enter response was strong. Nicely, once I first sat down, the demo station had movement smoothing enabled so it felt unsuitable initially – however as soon as we switched to recreation mode, it was high-quality.

Due to the demo launch, I used to be in a position to check enter lag extra completely and the sport appears to exhibit solely round 3.5 frames of lag – it feels exceptionally responsive and noticeably higher than Tekken 7 on PS4. Earlier Unreal Engine combating video games did appear to battle to get enter lag to low sufficient ranges, so I am glad there’s proof of clear progress right here.

tekken 8 story mode screenshot showing an interstitial cutscene

These interstitial scenes, which function animated 3D scenes reasonably than the stills we noticed in Tekken 7, present a continued deal with upgrading the story mode expertise. | Picture credit score: Namco Bandai

Moreover, on PS5 a minimum of, loading instances are moderately swift, clocking in at simply over 4 seconds – actually quicker than the final handful of Tekken video games on console.

All that is to say that it feels responsive, fast and impactful – I am actually pleased with what the workforce has delivered right here. It is a prettier recreation than Tekken 7 and feels higher to play.

I am additionally excited concerning the recreation’s soundtrack – Namco by no means misses in the case of music and the tracks I’ve heard so far verify this.

It will be fascinating to see how the ultimate launch shapes up, so deliver on 2024.