Sifu is a stylish action adventure beat ’em up developed and published by French studio Sloclap, who also bought us the wonderful fighting game Absolver. Sifu follows the path of a young Kung Fu student on a trail of revenge, searching for his family’s killers.
A single life is never enough to know Kung Fu
When I’d heard about this game I was overjoyed. I grew up watching old martial arts movies and this game has that same feel. The art style looks stunning, the environments are well detailed and the character movements are authentic to the Kung Fu style. Sifu is inspired by Pak-Mei Kung Fu and includes over 150 unique attacks. One of the features Sifu boasts is adaptation. Learning from your errors and mistakes in game gives you the ability to unlock and evolve unique skills as well as master lethal Kung Fu techniques. From the Sifu Game Official Website the developers have stated, “The odds are stacked against you, you will have to use everything at your disposal to prevail.”
Sifu boasts makeshift weapons, throwable objects and using everything at your disposal, including the environment, to vanquish your enemies, from broomsticks to furniture. The death and aging system in Sifu is quite unique and complex. To develop training and self-improvement, death has been made part of the progression and journey of the player. Using a pendant, the player can cheat death but it comes at a cost – each time the player gets back up, he ages a little. When encountering challenging or difficult battles, the pendant allows Sifu to learn and adapt. Death is the chance for the player to spend XP on skills and unlock new techniques to use in battle.
That invincible feeling comes at a cost though. The more you die, the faster you will age. As with other fighting games your life bar is limited in Sifu and you will pay a price for each mistake. Once you hit a certain age, your pendant can’t save you anymore and the last death will be final. A useful tool that will outlast the player’s demise is the Detective Board. It keeps track of the information gathered on your families murderers and their hideouts.
The combat in Sifu seems to be primarily about defense. From parrying and counter attacks to throws and evades, Sifu focuses on balance and the environment. Every move whether a strike, parry or pushback decrease the opponent’s balance and likewise every move the opponent makes decreases your balance. I can’t wait to wrap my hands around my controller and take on Sifu.
Written by: @Blustreak81