Why DOA5’s See-Through Shirts Are Revolutionary

Who thought Team Ninja could top themselves? Crazy breast physics aren’t enough for the developer as we learned today their characters will possess a new “feature”…sweat. Imagine the volume of the salty substance you’ll produce fighting your way through the well-busted women and ripped hunks of Dead or Alive 5. Now ask yourself, what happens when you sweat? You and your clothing become soaked. Now what if a woman is drenched in sweat and is wearing a thin white shirt? That’s right — you can see through the shirt. Amazing! Coming from the people who used the six-axis as a breast bouncer during cutscenes, though, it’s not all that surprising.

Never before has something so perverted been so good for the industry as a whole. Although something like adding sweat seems trivial, it is part of the steps we need to take in order to create a near-realistic representation of life in games. In Uncharted, for instance, your clothes become wet when you move through water. In Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, reflections can be seen when looking into someone’s eyes. While these merely may be visual flairs, they’re eye catching and attract the player through the slightest changes. Dead or Alive 5, while presenting it in a rather sexual manner, is exactly the same, pushing visuals further through little details that you may not even notice.

Sweat may not be as large as most visual and technological breakthroughs we’ve seen in the industry, but the smallest pieces of advancements help inspire larger ones. We always think what we have is the best, but there will always be innovations, big or small, that we need to nitpick in order to further immerse players within a universe.

In life, if you run for a while, you’ll become sweaty. If you work out on a punching bag for an hour, you’ll be drenched. Games should mirror this. While games like Fight Night and UFC display sweat through a skin shader, Dead or Alive 5 looks to do it at a much higher caliber that affects both skin and clothing usage. If a game is about a constant journey or exerting excessive amounts of energy, this could play into a visually appealing feature.

Hopefully more games will incorporate something similar. Imagine a scorching level in Hitman where you’ve disguised yourself in casual clothing and can see beads of sweat from both the sun and suspense falling from your brow or being absorbed into your clothing. When the physics of a game mirror real life, you’ll be immersed in games like you never thought possible.