Sifu Review – I Know Kung Fu

Sifu ponders the question: “Is one life enough to know kung fu?” Based on my own battered and bruised experience, the answer is a resounding “no.” Death is ingrained into every aspect of developer Slocap’s latest brawler, as you’ll die, die, and die again before licking your wounds and returning to the fray for another seemingly misguided attempt at emerging from a fight unscathed. Sifu is a punishingly difficult game that won’t appeal to everyone. Reaching its conclusion requires a mastery of its combat mechanics, so those looking for a challenging game that demands skill and improvement from the player will find exactly that in Sifu. It’s an excellent modern beat-’em-up with deep combat mechanics and a fascinating aging system that sets it apart from its contemporaries by altering the way you progress from one chapter to the next.

Before delving into Sifu’s unique hook, it’s worth noting that its combat provides the basis for everything else that comes after. Sifu is primarily a game where your sole focus revolves around not getting hit. You have a variety of defensive techniques at your disposal, with each one proving pivotal depending on the situation. Holding the block button for sustained defence is the simplest way to avoid taking a crack to the skull, but this only works for a matter of seconds. Both you and your enemies have a meter for “structure,” which functions a lot like Sekiro’s posture system. You can block attacks as long as your structure remains intact, but taking too many hits will eventually break it and leave you wide open for enemies to capitalize on your mistake.

You can parry attacks to prevent your structure from breaking by tapping the block button before a blow connects, but you need to be aware of when your assailant’s combo ends to have any success of halting their momentum. Parrying the first attack they launch your way won’t leave them open to a counter-attack if they’re going to follow that up with a couple more, so you might have to parry three attacks in a row before you can retaliate with a rapid-fire counter. Being able to recognize and learn the types of combos each enemy type uses is the only way parrying multiple strikes in succession is feasible, which makes it difficult to achieve when you’re first learning the ropes.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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