The announcement of Sifu was the surprise of the week for me. It’s a brawler kung fu game coming later this year from Sloclap, the studio behind the excellent online fighting game Absolver. In some ways, Sifu looks similar to that game, but the trailer leaves a lot of questions: is it a single player only? How does combat work? What is the aging system? Sifu . Executive Producer Pierre Tarnow did not reply everyone My questions are, but I did share several key details this morning, including the identity of a real Kung Fu master helping out with the game.
First of all, Tarno confirmed to PC Gamer that Sifu will be an all-only single player. He said the Sloclap team would be doing more online projects in the future, but for this project, they wanted to “put all the development effort into gameplay” without having to worry about the technical complexities of online game development. The result is a martial arts-inspired “linear adventure” as Old Boy’s straight arcade arcade suggests.
“The fantasy we want is the kind of Jackie Chan fantasy where it’s one versus many,” Tarnow said, while Absolver 1-v-1 was a lot. “
Also in the style of Jackie Chan, who due to an essential property of the universe is always near a ladder, you will be able to use your environment to your advantage, climb ledges, throw objects, push furniture, pick up makeshift weapons, and so on.
These battles revolve around the story of a kung fu student seeking revenge against the five killers who murdered his family, which tells us something about the Sifu Temple: We will beat up goons on the way to the lair of all the killers, and they are. You will act as chiefs. (Tarno emphasized that we only defeat the bad guys because they are in the way. The killers are our real targets.)
One of the weird things we see in Sifu’s trailer is that it’s possible to come back to life if she dies along the way, but there’s a catch: the character gets bigger every time. This led me to speculate that there might be some sort of rogolike structure to Sifu, but Tarnow says that’s not entirely true. He wasn’t ready to go into details yet, but noted that in the trailer, the character stands where he was dropped. He also said that the character doesn’t weaken with age – he’s become an old master, after all.
Tarno has answered another big question I had, which is whether or not Sifu will include anything like the Absolver group customization system. The short answer is no. Without going into details, Tarnow said the character’s movements will evolve throughout the game, but there won’t be an Absolver-like combo editor or different martial arts styles to choose from. There will only be one specific fighting style, in fact: Pak Mi Kung Fu. This is an essential part of Sifu.
Real Pak Mi Kung Fu
The word “sifu” refers to a master, and there is a real master of kung fu involved in the game. Sifu’s creative director, Jordan Liani, studies under Sifu Benjamin Culos, Lao Siu Leung Pak Mei Professor. Culos worked with the studio on both combat and authenticity issues (things like where to put incense in the trailer’s meditation scene, as an example).
Tarno considers both the “movement” and “values” of Pak Mi Kung Fu to be an inspiration for Sifu. In terms of values, he didn’t want to reveal much about the story, but hinted that it wasn’t necessarily a straightforward revenge story. He noted that the word “kung fu” did not really refer to combat but rather to “mastery through practice,” as in the case of a gong fu tea ceremony. “Is one life enough for kung fu?” Asked. The aging system is part of the answer to this question.
At the same time, Sifu He is About hitting guys, and it’s easy to see how the phrase “mastery through practice” can refer to our progress through the game. Tarnow emphasized that the issue applies to the difficulty of combat. “If the game wasn’t hard enough,” he said, “you wouldn’t have that feeling of becoming a master.”
What difficulty options may or may not be available is uncertain – Tarno doesn’t have any definitive answers on this at the moment – but Sifu certainly won’t inject the player with Batman-like strength and stamina. Dark Souls has been among Absolver’s inspirations, and while perhaps in a more subtle way, it reappears here in the sense that “mistakes have a cost”. Tarnow wondered if the trailer should show the player taking more hits to get that across.
Sifu doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it’s due out this fall on the Epic Games Store.