Tekken 8 for PlayStation 5 is the latest entry in the Tekken series, a legendary 3D fighting game series that has sold more than 55 million copies worldwide. The visuals have been completely overhauled from Tekken 7 with all-new, high-resolution playable character models. Small details like the way water droplets run down the characters’ skin and the subtle movements of their hair and muscles are also highlights of the game.
We spoke with Kohei Ikeda, Director of Tekken 8, about how the game taps into the power of PS5 while pushing the limits of the console’s capabilities and technology.
The high-res character models and the overall details are major game highlights. How did you take advantage of the power of PS5 to achieve those visuals?
With Tekken 8, our goal was to replicate the intricacies of the human body, such as the stretching and contraction of muscles and sweat trickling down the skin. For example, the bone structure required to move a playable character in Tekken 8 is more than double that of the previous game. The PS5’s processing performance made these implementations possible and was successful in replicating more natural muscle movements.
Furthermore, not only the sweat but flushed skin, dirt, and the blood vessels on strained muscles are rendered in real-time and transition seamlessly depending on what is happening in-game. These effects enable a more authentic and immersive gaming experience. The advanced visuals are achieved through smooth 60 fps that fully utilize PS5’s GPU processing power.
How did you leverage the game’s unique PS5 features, such as haptic feedback?
One of our key pillars during the development of Tekken 8 was the phrase: All-Out Force x Destruction. Haptic feedback plays an important role as a means of providing an exciting experience that brings the idea of all-out combat and destruction to life.
For example, during battles, players can fully experience the sensation of heightened concentration when activating the new Heat System, the power of Rage Arts, and the feeling of the stage being destroyed through the rumbles and haptics of the controller.
In addition, Story Mode delivers dynamic fights and experiences that allow the player to directly feel the clashes of immense power, as well as the subtle vibrations of characters riding their motorcycles. These elements all work together to heighten the immersion of the story itself.
How did you utilize 3D audio?
Tekken 8 utilizes 3D audio formats like Ambisonics and object-based audio to create an immersive soundscape. We leveraged these methods for everything, including sound effects during battles, stage ambiance, various gimmicks, and even reverb. This provides players with a more realistic and lifelike sound experience.
In addition, all the cutscenes in Story Mode are produced in 7.1.4ch, which dynamically ties the sound and footage together. By enabling 3D audio, players can feel like they’re inside the story.
In addition to the traditional Arcade Style that requires command inputs, Tekken 8 introduces a new innovative control method called Special Style, which makes the game feel more like an action game designed for casual players. During Tekken 8’s development, what elements did you intentionally choose to change or not to change?
The thrill and excitement players feel through controlling their characters and performing tactical moves are constant throughout the series. On top of that, to achieve our concept of aggressive battles, we introduced a variety of new elements to Tekken 8. One of the elements that we focused on is the Special Style. This control method was designed so all players can experience the thrill of playing Tekken.
Special Style assigns each button with a recommended move and combo for each character, selected from more than 100 available move sets. This allows players to enjoy battles with easier controls that feel more like an action game. For beginners, it lowers the barrier for entry and allows them to easily enjoy the unique fun of the Tekken series.
This feature also allows intermediate and advanced players to try their hand at characters they’re unfamiliar with, as they can seamlessly switch between the traditional Arcade Style and Special Style with a single button press during battles.
What are some of your favorite PS5 games that have been released so far? From a developer’s perspective, how do you feel that the game takes advantage of the capabilities of PS5?
I’d say Final Fantasy XVI. The stunning visual quality, attention to detail, fantastical story, and seamless transitions between the intense Eikon battles culminate into an epic experience that draws in both players and viewers.
The game’s action sequences were also excellent, with beautiful VFX combined with the character animations. You can feel the game directly through the controller, and the magnificent background music was also spectacular.