Sifu (Review)

Feb 6, 2022

The month of February is turning out to be a great month for gaming. This month already saw the release of Dying Light 2 and we still have Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, and the new Destiny 2 expansion. However, there is a game that is coming out in between all those other heavy hitters. It’s one that you should not miss, Sifu. Sifu is an action game releasing on February 6th on early access and February 8th for everyone else on the PS4/PS5 and PC, and you need to play it.

Story & Style

Sifu tells the story of a Kung Fu student that’s on a path of revenge after his family is killed. The story of Sifu unfolds through some minor cut scenes and dialogue that you have with boss encounters. I enjoyed the story but it’s not what I am going to remember most about Sifu. The meat and bones of the game are found in its presentation, music, and gameplay.

The art style in Sifu is very reminiscent of a watercolor painting. Every single stage that you visit is beautiful. There were times when I wanted to stop the game and just use the photo mode to create a new background for my computer. Sifu’s art style is one I have seen before, but I have never seen it done this perfectly. Sifu also presents some great set pieces. There was a particular moment where you are inside a waterfall and that moment is engraved in my brain. The action that took place in that area, along with the sound and looks of the stage reminded me of the John Wick movies. Fortunately, that is a huge compliment.

Combat Skills

In Sifu, you are not only going to spend your time being mesmerized by beautiful vistas but also by its authentic Kung Fu gameplay. Sifu’s gameplay requires you to really master your skills. If you don’t master the parry system and the combos you are going to have a really hard time on your path to revenge. It’s important that you take the time in the first level to really hone your skills. Sifu’s difficulty is no joke. I can’t tell you how many times I replayed the first level to really get down the combat mechanics. Even when I thought I had the combat down, I found myself having a tough time with later bosses.

The combat in this game is a combination of hand-to-hand combat and weapons that you can find laying around the stages. The weapons that you find all handle different, so you’ll have to master those too. My biggest gripe with the combat in Sifu is how the camera works in these combat scenarios. There were a lot of times where the camera angle killed me and that was a bit frustrating. I do feel that Sifu’s combat would benefit if there was a lock-on option. Hopefully, that’s something that the developers can add in the upcoming patches.

In Sifu when you die you will combat as an older man. Now with age comes more strength but less health. It’s also important to watch your age. You don’t want to be too old to face your enemies in the later levels. You’ll also have to watch your age as some skills can only be unlocked before you hit a certain age level. Sifu really made me self-conscious about my age and my own mortality. Good thing I am not on a path of revenge. As I mentioned, in Sifu you will unlock skills such as weapon durability or more combos. This game is quite deep and you won’t see everything in your first play-through.

Replay Value

I encourage you to replay Sifu a couple of times. The levels have a ton of secrets. Every time you encounter a secret it gets pinned to a message board that you can go back to as you please. I came across a box that I couldn’t open only to find the key to that particular box at a later level. This kind of puzzle-solving reminded me a lot of Deathloop and it’s awesome to see it here too. The secrets in this game can open shortcuts kinda like Dark Souls, that will allow you to get to boss fights a lot quicker. This allows for quicker runs which means you can get to the next stage at a younger age. Trust me you want to do that.

Sifu is a must-play game. If you game on PC or Playstation, don’t wait till the end of the year to play this. I really enjoyed my time with this game. Other than the camera having issues at times, I don’t really have complaints.

Score: 8.0