https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFDUC_UKXNU [/ embed]
Sifu looks pretty tidy: a single-player fighter completely focused on a fighting style, Pak Mei Kung Fu, in consultation with one of the school’s teachers. It was announced earlier this year with a release window in late 2021, but a new trailer shown today on Sony's State of Play broadcast has pushed it back to early 2022.
He also pushed the trailer: a boy, down some stairs, and another, off a balcony.
The main reason I’m curious about Sifu, aside from the cool trailers, is that it comes from Sloclap. The previous game from the developer, Graduate is my favorite: an unusual, very good, multiplayer-focused fighting game with a fairly high skill ceiling. It feels clear that this game will also be distinctive, whether it is successfully designed like that.
The new trailer focuses on one of Sifu’s most peculiar features: every time he “dies,” he responds immediately, but the main character grows up. When I interviewed him after Sifu was announced, executive producer Pierre Tarno explained that he doesn’t weaken as he gets older. Rather, become stronger, becoming an old kung fu master. However, "there is a limit to how much you can age." Tarno said at the Future Games Show last month. This is reiterated in one new blog entry, in which community manager Felix Garczynski says that "over time, you'll be too old and you'll have to start all over again." Presumably, this means restarting the game from the beginning.
It seems to me that there is more to learn about this, and I still want to see what the driver’s entries look like during these fights. There are tricky combos and retentions in the trailers, but how do you execute them? From Sloclap, I wouldn't expect complicated entries to be the focus. Based on my experience with Absolver, I hope that the selection of attacks and the timing, positioning and management of resistance take precedence, but I don’t really know.
Even if the fights work, I hope it’s a challenge. Tarno suggested to me that "mastery through practice", the meaning of "kung fu" itself, is the theme of the game, and that has been reaffirmed today. I have high hopes and the slight change of window is not unexpected. After talking to Sloclap, the fall date of 2021 felt a bit uncertain when it was announced.
According to Garczynski’s blog entry, adapting to Covid-19 regulations slowed things down a bit more than expected. "Working remotely has its advantages," he wrote, "but losing daily informal interactions between team members can also be difficult to manage." You can read the document full post here.