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Tekken 8 Shines in Tech Preview: A Leap Forward with Unreal Engine 5

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As 2023 ends, the fighting game genre is thriving, and Bandai Namco is set to contribute with “Tekken 8,” slated for release in January 2024. 

After a hands-on experience with a near-final version of the game, it’s clear that “Tekken 8” is not just another iteration but a significant leap forward, being the first fighting game based on Unreal Engine 5.

Tekken 8: Beyond the Last Generation

Opting to skip last-gen consoles and the Switch, “Tekken 8” is a testament to the capabilities of Unreal Engine 5. This approach has allowed the game to harness the full potential of current-gen hardware, setting a new standard for the franchise.

Impressions from Various Game Modes

In testing various modes, including story mode, arcade quest mode, and Tekken Ball, “Tekken 8” seems to surpass its predecessors in features. The story mode, in particular, shows an evolution from “Tekken 7,” offering a more cohesive narrative experience with seamless transitions between cutscenes and battles.

Visuals and Performance: A Stunning Showcase

The most striking aspect of “Tekken 8” is its visuals. 

The game runs at 1440p 60fps on the PlayStation 5, balancing stunning graphics with responsive gameplay. Character details and real-time sequences in the story mode particularly showcase the power of Unreal Engine 5, with impressive detail and material work evident even in small aspects like character outfits.

Development Choices for Performance

In conversations with the game’s director, Kouhei Ikeda, and producer, Michael Murray, it was confirmed that “Tekken 8” does not utilize Unreal Engine 5’s core features like Nanite or Lumen. 

This decision prioritizes the game’s strict 60fps target, ensuring smooth performance while still delivering breathtaking visuals.

Input Lag and Responsiveness

Input response in “Tekken 8” is noteworthy.

Initial tests suggest that the game exhibits only around 3.5 frames of input lag, a marked improvement over “Tekken 7” on PS4. This enhancement in responsiveness is crucial for a fighting game, where every millisecond counts.

Loading Times and Story Mode Enhancements

Loading times on the PS5 are significantly reduced, averaging just over four seconds. 

This improvement, combined with the enhanced story mode experience featuring animated 3D scenes, elevates the narrative aspect of the game.

Audiovisual Experience

Bandai Namco’s reputation for exceptional game soundtracks continues with “Tekken 8.” The tracks heard so far align with the high standards the studio is known for, adding to the immersive experience of the game.

High Expectations for Tekken 8

As the gaming community awaits the final release of “Tekken 8,” the tech preview has set high expectations. The game not only pushes the boundaries in terms of visual fidelity and performance but also enhances the overall gameplay experience. “Tekken 8” is poised to be a landmark release for the fighting game genre in 2024.

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