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  • angadsingh06

SIFU - Review

OUR SCORE - 9/10

Sifu is a 3D beat-em-up made by Sloclap, the indie studio that brought us the impressive brawler that was Absolver. And it surprised us in a lot of ways, entering our list of GOTY contenders pretty quickly. Why? Read on to find out!

Sifu revolves around a kung-fu fighter on a journey of revenge. The game has one simple objective: pick a stage, and beat everyone in sight. Sounds simple? Well it is, but there's a lot more happening there.

You see, the game is actually a rogue-lite, and it has a unique element on top of that, so even when you die, you don't really. Every time your health drops to zero, you get an option to revive instantly, but your character will age by a few years. There's a death counter, that affects the number of years added to your age. Killing enemies will allow you to regain health and take the counter down, so it's a great balance of attacks and counter-attacks that you need to keep up in order to do well in the game. But here's the catch: Once you age up, there's no way to go back. So you have to make sure to do well so you can make it to later stages without a bigger penalty.

The Aging mechanic adds a lot of layers to the gameplay and combat, since some abilities and skills are not available after you cross a certain age. Combine that with the different combos you can create with punches, kicks, parries and dodges, and you have a robust combat system that is the highlight of Sifu. Even beginner NPCs have the potential to take you down, so encounters are always intense, no matter where you are in the game.

Being a rogue-lite, you'll find yourself replaying the levels frequently. But since you get to keep some of the discoveries and unlockables, you can always stumble on to something new; like a shortcut, a secret, a mini-boss and more. So while there is a decent bit of repetition, the different runs don't end up feeling exactly the same. With each run, you're bound to get a little bit better, so you can expect to have more "lives" and less fatigue the deeper you get into the stage.

Each stage has a different theme that is visually reflected, but all the scenarios play with strong colours, even having moments where the palette changes according to what is happening in the fights. The scenarios are not only visually appealing, but they are also useful in combat: objects like bottles, chairs, brooms, and lamps can become weapons, and you can jump across benches, sofas, windows, and the like to change positions quickly and easily disorient enemies.

Sifu is a unique, difficult and addictive experience that won't leave the minds of players who want to face it over, and over, and over again.


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