Coming in a month full of great releases like Dying Light 2, Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring, which are titles that need no introduction and are accompanied by a lot of hype, Sifu is like a small among giants. However, even though its arrival is so close to the great titles of the year, Sloclap’s game managed to reach the public and become a release awaited by many players.
Perhaps the fact that Sloclap developed Absolver explains this wait for Sifu, but the big difference is really due to the well-done marketing around the game. Besides, of course, the fact that the game is a PlayStation exclusive on consoles, which made Sony offer it some prominence.
Among giants, Sifu arrives as a promise. The proposal of a challenging combat pleases part of the public, which certainly expects a journey full of difficulty and good confrontations. However, with interesting ideas poorly executed, Sifu does not reach a position worthy of the prominence it received before its release.
Death is not the end, which doesn’t make it any less disappointing.
The aging mechanic is one of the points that most arouse the public’s curiosity regarding the title. In the game, such mechanics are also interesting right from the start, presenting themselves as an interesting proposal to make each death an opportunity to learn/evolve a little more.
As you die your character ages a few years, which is a pretty absurd idea, and maybe that’s why it turns out to be so interesting. In these kills, before getting up again, older, you have the opportunity to use your XP gained in combat to unlock new abilities, which in theory should make combat more varied and should allow each kill to mean a chance to encounter an evolution for the next clashes.
The big problem is that by presenting a skill tree that is extremely far from being considered interesting, the game also demonstrates that its aging mechanic is very poorly used. Once you’re over 70, death will be your last and you’ll have to choose a restart point, which can be at any of the game’s stages. If you started the third stage, for example, at the age of 35, you can go back there at the same age and continue your journey. If you prefer, you can go back to the beginning of your 20s, which means you can die more often.
Then another problem arises, as at each restart your skills are all reset. It is possible to get them permanently, but for that you need to buy them permanently for 5 times so that they are guaranteed, which proves to be a very thankless task as it will take a long time to complete the tree. In this way, the definitive death, or the restart, proves to be extremely boring insofar as without the acquired skills, the combat, which in its basic and initial form is nothing interesting, proves to be completely tiring.
It’s tiring, it’s boring
We’re talking about a game that has a total focus on combat, a title that doesn’t have literally any other element that could make it interesting. The situation is tragic when we realize that precisely in his combat Sifu is disappointing. The challenge promised is really there, after all this is definitely not an easy game, but when we realize that the feeling of wanting to challenge yourself is practically the only thing that keeps you in the game, we also realize that something is very wrong.
In a combat-focused game, much more care was needed to deliver gameplay that feels really responsive and accurate. In other words, it lacked refinement. Making matters worse is the lack of more elaborate punches and moves that actually keep each match interesting. The basic combos are not very interesting, as are the simple attacks, which can result in several moments when you ignore them and just press the buttons randomly because there is no real sense of fun or any kind of incentive to try to perform more differentiated moves.
Returning to the skill tree, the moves and moves released with it are also uninteresting, with some completely expendable. It is quite evident that here there could be a great use of mechanics, with the skill tree “giving gas” so the combat doesn’t become tiring, but again the developers show us that the general idea was very poorly executed.
Repeating scenarios is a bore
Sifu is a game that will make you repeat the scenarios more than once, which is extremely tedious. I understand what was tried here, and even my favorite game of the generation is even a title where there is extreme repetition of objectives with a time loop (Deathloop), but the big problem is that, like everything else in Sifu, the repetition here is poorly executed.
It is possible to find keys, access cards or other clues that will cause you to have new entrances and exits in each map, with these items staying with you even after “ultimate death”. That way, when exploring the same scenario again, you can get to the end faster if you have the right clues. The big problem is that this way you’ll leave behind several opponents that will give you XP, and without that XP you won’t be able to unlock many skills. Taking into account that you still haven’t managed to secure many permanently, this way you’ll have to face big bosses without moves that helped during combat.
The repetition of scenarios then proves to be extremely tiring since the “base combat” presents problems such as those already mentioned. In addition, it was also promised that each environment would offer options for the player to use them to their advantage, but this basically boils down to gathering some objects from the floor, such as bottles and sticks, or jumping over tables and other furniture, with this also adding little real difference in gameplay.
Sifu is torture. With tedious repetition and extremely disappointing combat, the game has a proposal that could work, but is lost when executing it in a totally incompetent way. Its difficulty can perhaps be considered its most positive point, since it is because of it that there is a certain desire to continue challenging itself in the title, but if we stop to think that much of this difficulty may also not be natural, but imposed. by unresponsive and poorly refined combat, even that shine can fade.
Finishing Sifu requires patience. Not to say that I don’t have praise, the plot has its interesting moments and at least the game’s art can also draw attention on certain occasions.
- art is interesting
- Direct plot and with its interesting moments
- Difficulty can be considered a positive point
- General idea very poorly executed
- Extremely disappointing combat
- tedious repetition
- Bad skill tree