Director Katushiro Harada has talked about what it’s like working with Unreal Engine 5 and whether guest fighters will be in Tekken 8.
Although it was only revealed with a brief teaser trailer at the latest State of Play, Tekken 8 is quite feasibly already the best-looking fighting game ever, sporting some impressive in-game visuals.
Unsurprisingly, this is because Tekken 8 is running on Unreal Engine 5, which has demonstrated its graphical potential in the past with incredible tech demos like The Matrix Awakens and Lumen In The Land Of Nanite.
In a new interview, Tekken series director Katsuhiro Harada talked about his and the team’s experience working with the new engine, also revealing that no assets from Tekken 7 are being carried over into the sequel – everything is being built from scratch.
That said, the team started development with Unreal Engine 4 (the same one used for Tekken 7), before porting assets to Unreal Engine 5 to see how it looked in the newer engine.
‘Obviously, we didn’t just start developing a game on [Unreal Engine 5]. [Unreal Engine 5] was announced quite some time ago, but we haven’t seen games for it yet,’ he explained.
‘So we started on [Unreal Engine 4] and gradually started porting certain elements of the game over into [Unreal Engine 5] and also confirming the results. Like, ‘Okay, oh wow, the graphic level on this particular area improved greatly.’
‘And then other areas as well – the things that are important for a fighting game: the response time… those kind of things are stuff that we’ve been porting out into the game and then figuring out what to expect in that area as well.
‘And we’ve been working closely with [Epic Games] to figure out how to optimise some of those processes for input. So we’re just starting and it’s going to continue from now on.’
Harada appears to consider graphical quality a key aspect of the Tekken series, saying people gravitated towards the first Tekken for the PlayStation 1 because of its 3D graphics.
‘During the PlayStation 1 days, just to have a game at that time be in polygons and make it look like a showpiece of technology, was something that really drove the audience for the game,’ he told IGN.
‘And we felt that after all these years, that’s something that hasn’t changed. So we really decided what we wanted to do with the graphic benchmark of the game, what the tone of manner was going to look like visually. All of that stuff was one of the first things I think we discussed at the beginning of the project.’
When quizzed about Tekken 7’s guest characters, such as Noctis from Final Fantasy 15 and Neegan from The Walking Dead, Harada spoke positively about their inclusion.
While it doesn’t sound like any of them are guaranteed to return for Tekken 8, Harada seems willing to bring in new guest fighters if fans like the idea.
‘We’re not talking about wanting the guest characters to hang around for Tekken 8, but in general – not even just for Tekken, but in general – it is something that we are really happy we did because it’s good to get that kind of motivation from working with some new material and also just the connections that you make with other people in doing so,’ he said.
‘It’s obviously something that we enjoy doing, and if the fans enjoy it, it’s something that we would consider again. That’s as far as we can go.’
Tekken 8 is in development for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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