Sifu DLC Gamescom Preview: Old Dog, New Tricks

“Old man, how do you hear these things?” “Young man how not to do?”

I totally missed the boat on Sifu when it launched earlier this year. I was too busy playing Elden Ring and comparing it to HBO teen movies. However, after trying out the upcoming downloadable content at Gamescom, I want to correct this. They add challenging and silly choices to the game, which means all your seasoned runners will have a reason to come back – whether it’s for laughs or to prove that you can beat even the most insurmountable odds is up to you.

New gameplay modifiers and scoring systems have been released as part of current updates to help make the core experience a little easier to swallow. Since this was my first time with the game, I opted for a more fun run rather than a sprint-free run. Yeah, I’m a dirty model, whatever. The addition of lead time and low gravity made Sifu feel like a psychedelic matrix montage. Slowing down time to block incoming hits, I’d send KO enemies flying through the air and leaving chaos on the tables fluttering as I slithered. I didn’t feel like a trainee slowly learning the ancient ways of kung fu. Instead, I felt like a warrior with almost superhuman ability, like Xiao Mei in House of Flying Daggers.

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You can level up to Neo once he reaches The One’s powers if you want. Indomitable, all skills unlocked, all shrine rewards, and infinite structure. Make sure to waste bullet time as well to get the real Matrix feel. Of course, for seasoned players, I looked at the options that make the game more difficult. You can make enemies stronger, give yourself one hit point, remove your guard ability so you have to either dodge or dodge, and remove the necklace, the source of resurrection. I have no idea why you’d want to do this, but folks haven’t made a hit for the entire Soulsborne series, so it’s good to see Sloclap able to appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers alike as Sifu continues to evolve.

With this update comes a new scoring system that provides a more satisfactory judgment about the way you play. Before, the highest score was determined by the few blows you received and the number of enemies you defeated. Now, style plays a role as well, which means all your old leaderboards are in the trash and you have to go back again if you want to secure bragging rights.

The update comes in the fall is a new replay editor. The developers told me that before, “the player was the choreographer, now they can be the directors too.” You will be able to change camera angles, add effects, and generally make your fight sequences look like those in your favorite martial arts movies. Just remember, Old Boy is Korean, not Chinese. There will also be a Winter Update that adds ten new arenas with specific challenges such as surviving a set amount of time or beating specific objectives.

The free DLC does not add more story content or address the cultural issues that some critics pointed out at Sifu’s release. However, the gameplay additions on offer will be a blast for returning and new players, and with the replay editor you can really get into the overclocking and perfect action sequences. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does add to what Sloclap has built in an entertaining way.

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