Sifu is a Challenging Love Letter to Kung Fu Movies Review

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Sloclap’s martial arts filled game, Sifu, is ready to spin-kick into your console. Featuring impressive gameplay and oodles of challenge, there’s a lot to love. Imagine the most intense martial arts fight. Something straight out of the movies, where the protagonist is a flurry of motion among a group of enemies who are skilled in their own ways. As the pace of the battle increases, someone grabs a large bottle, hurling it directly at the hero, threatening to finally overwhelm him. Rather than make contact, however, the hero snatches out of the air and immediately turns it against his enemies. This is Sifu. Rather than watching this unfold, however, you’re the one in control. It’s hard to describe the pure thrill of mastering your techniques to the point where you can make such a scenario happen, but the entirety of the game is geared towards making you feel like the ultimate badass. Sifu has been one of my most anticipated games for a while now. My hype only increased after getting some hands-on time with a demo late last year. As such, when the full game dropped in my lap, I immediately dove in…and immediately got my ass handed to me. SifuDeveloped By: SloclapPlatforms: PlayStation 4|5, PCReviewed On: PlayStation 5Release Date: February 8, 2022That’s partly the point, however! In fact, getting your ass handed to you by the game’s various enemies is a major factor in how you progress, upgrade, and move through the overall story. The focus of the gameplay puts a literal emphasis on learning through failure, which also plays into the overall story being told. It’s a mechanic that could have gotten old/repetitive, but manages to find balance and retain the fun. Let’s break it down a bit more…Let me preface this review a little bit. By and large, my overall thoughts on Sifu haven’t changed much from my hands-on preview the other month. The main difference is getting a more complete look at the story, as well as having more polished gameplay (which was already great from that demo build). As such, there are a few things I’m not really going to cover again, so if it seems like I skipped over something, I’ll simply direct you HERE. Classic Revenge ThrillerIn just about every way, Sifu is presented as a giant homage/love letter to classic Kung Fu films. This includes the basics of the plot: revenge. Seriously, nothing screams “kung fu movie” more than a story about a martial artist out for revenge against the people who killed their father and/or master. This is pretty much the entire setup for Sifu. These events happen within the first few minutes so I don’t really consider them a spoiler. The game’s prologue, which serves as a quick and dirty tutorial, actually puts you in the role of disgruntled former student who’s turned evil (another iconic trope) and infiltrates the old Sifu’s dojo, the Wuguan. Feeling slighted/left out of the loop, you’re there to forcibly take some ancient knowledge that’s been held back from you.

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