Very difficult to resist the urge to call this one a Tekk Review, obviously. Tekken 7 is a title I’m spectacularly unqualified to judge as a game, since it’s part seven of a saga I’ve barely played and also firmly inside a genre I rarely touch. Were this a standard review, that’d be a double knock-out blow to any credible critique.
What I can absolutely do, though, is judge whether Tekken 7 has made it across to the PC in fighting form. My mains are graphics options, framerates, and resolution aspect ratios. For this Technical Review, those features will be put through their paces on the following machine: i5-6600 / 16GB RAM / 4GB 380X (17.5.2 Crimson drivers) / Windows 10.
That’s beneath the recommended GTX 1060 GPU, but comfortable in every other area. So, what kind of display and graphics options are we looking at here?
The HUD toggle (standard or ‘Max’ arcade size) and Motion Blur were special enough to get their own menu, for some reason. Unusually for Motion Blur it’s not just an on/off switch. Instead you can go through low, medium and high (plus off).
Moving on to the main Graphics Settings screen, there are options for Fullscreen, borderless fullscreen, and windowed mode. Resolution support goes all the way up to 4K (I have a 1080p monitor, but downsampling/VSR works) and the resolution options include 16:9, 16:10 and 4:3 aspect ratios. However, outside of 16:9 black borders are applied. 21:9 doesn’t appear to be supported by Tekken 7.
The quality settings (aside from anti-aliasing) all have Low/Medium/High/Ultra as their options. Anti-aliasing is a bit vague because it offers Low or High (and Off) without saying what sort of AA is being applied. Performance on my machine at ‘High’ suggests it’s nothing too demanding.
The ‘Rendering Scale’ option runs from 50 to 200 and appears to determine the rendering resolution of the main characters. At the default Low setting (which sets it to 50) the characters look much lower resolution than at 100 with all other settings the same. ‘Dynamic Adjustment’ can be turned on if you’re at the cusp of 60fps but would like the game to automatically apply some emergency measures to keep you there when necessary.
Let’s take a look at some comparison shots at Ultra and Low settings with Rendering Scale at 100. The third shot is Low with Rendering Scale at 50. You can click any of these to make them larger. The High/Ultra levels of Post-Processing add Film Grain and Character Blur (probably Chromatic Aberration) by default. Here’s how to disable those with an ini edit.
Performance at 1080p and Ultra settings on my PC set-up listed above is very good. Tekken 7 caps at 60fps, and held it at Ultra through all the fights, stages, and different backdrops I could find to throw at it. There was sometimes a slight dip during the fighter introductions (when the camera is panning around), but that may also still have been part of the loading transition. Seems like anything the equivalent and above of a 380X should be fine with 1080/60.
In story mode, Tekken 7 often switches between pre-rendered scenes (also running at 60) into the fights themselves. When you’re doing more stand-alone things like Arcade or Treasure mode there’s a set of loading transition screens which appear to just run at 30 (not a big deal, given their nature).
Out of masochistic interest I tried running at 4K to see how punishing that would be on my GPU. ‘Quite’, was the unsurprising answer. 20fps in the fights themselves and about 12fps during character introductions. No surprises there, so I’ll be sticking to the solid 60fps realm of 1080p.
Tekken 7 did suffer one hard crash for me across a couple of hours play. It was an Unreal Engine 4 ‘D3D Device Lost’ error, but I’ve been unable to replicate it since (and I’ve safely passed that point in story mode). That hopefully indicates it’s a rare event.
Above, you can see the default controller and keyboard mappings (you get two sets of keyboard binds, but that’s the first one). Button (or key) inputs can be remapped at will, but Tekken 7 will default to showing controller inputs for prompts and move lists. There’s no mouse input whatsoever (which, in fairness, makes perfect sense for the majority of the game; some input in menus could’ve been handy though). Xinput and DirectInput controller types are both supported.
Aside from the prompts issue, the keyboard controls are about as good as you’d expect for a multi-button fighting game clearly designed around a gamepad. They’re there. They function. But I almost immediately went back to my 360 pad.
One keyboard feature of note, however, is the ability to cram two people on there for some local competitive play. It’d be a squeeze, and kind of awkward to really play, but credit to the Tekken 7 chaps for including that nonetheless. You can, of course, play local matches with one person on keys and the other on a gamepad too (or two on gamepads).
Since this is a pre-release look, I don’t have a whole lot to say about multiplayer. Ideally I’d have liked to play a couple of matches to investigate connectivity, but my attempts all ended up with screens like the one above. Not terribly shocking really, as the only other people looking for Tekken 7 PC matches right now would be the handful of others with review codes. If any horrendous issues crop up at launch on 1 June then I’ll come back and update this section.
Your multiplayer options in general are either Ranked matches, Sessions, or Tournaments. Sessions appear to be mini lobbies where you can hang out with up to five other people and play some Tekken. The tournaments allow up to eight players in single or double elimination contests. Here are the menu options for both of those.
Offline options are the main story mode (plus separate character stories), Arcade mode (basically replicating the structure of the arcade version), Treasure mode (where you fight for in-game currency and the many, many, many unlockable outfit items in the game), straightforward VS mode, and a Practice arena where you can hit a compliant AI opponent as much as you like.
The level of customisation is worth touching on further, even in this tech-focused review. It’s kind of nuts, and lets you stick frog hats on people. Or give them road signs as a weapon, complete with distinct attack inputs. Tekken 7 also seems keen on becoming an archive for all kinds of previous Tekken media, with loads of cutscenes from prior games to unlock (as with all the other stuff, you use currency earned in-game for this; it doesn’t seem particularly stingy).
Something to be aware of here is that the ‘Legacy’ outfits are a PS4 exclusive, so they’re not present on PC. At least, for now (they may well be made available at some point, possibly in exchange for actual cash).
I may be terrible at it and have very little idea what’s actually going on in the plot, but any fighting game that offers not one but two actual bears to control as characters is alright by me. Especially when you can give those bears sunglasses and a samurai banner with Dig Dug on it.
Tekken 7 performs well at its designated 60fps cap, running on ‘Ultra’ settings on hardware (380X GPU) below the recommended level. It looks to have a decent range of options for scaling down too, in case you’re wanting to play on an older machine. The ‘Minimum’ listed specs even include a GTX 660; though I imagine you’d have to lower the overall resolution and Rendering Scale to squeeze 60fps out of that.
As can often be the case for titles where it’s not really the ideal method of play, the keyboard options are a bit of an afterthought. But they do at least exist and can cater for two people in a local VS match. Multiplayer functionality remains to be seen, and its missing some of the super-deluxe PC options (21:9 etc), but overall Tekken 7 runs very well on its suggested hardware and provides plenty of options for scaling back if necessary. Definitely one to invite to the tournament rather than throw into a volcano.