Sifu premiered today during Sony’s State of Play showcase. Developed by indie dev studio Sloclap (the creators of 2017’s Absolver), Sifu is an intense third-person action game where players take on waves of enemies in various environments — from housing complexes to death arenas — using an array of martial-arts techniques. Players can use the environment to their advantage by pinning enemies to walls for devastating attacks. Some of the adversaries in your path will attempt to strike you down with deadly weapons like pipes and knives, but the fighting mechanics allow for interesting counterattacks and opportunities for players to use unique weapons of their own.
Visually, Sifu looks like it’s inspired by fan-favorite kung-fu movies, but based on the trailer’s grim tone, the gritty realism of the combat moves, and the main character’s serious disposition, the game appears to have a more grounded, personal narrative. Sifu follows the journey of a young martial artist who vows to take revenge on the mysterious group of assassins that murdered his family. Players are tasked with hunting down each assassin one by one across the different districts of a fictional Chinese city. Neon lights fall forebodingly against dark corridors where gangs of nefarious enemies lie in wait. If players die during their travels, a mysterious pendant will ultimately bring them back to life. But according to Sifu’s press release, death defiance comes at a cost: “you will age significantly every time you come back to life: time is the price you will pay for your revenge.”
More details about what players are bound to experience in the gameplay (at least, on a more mechanical level) as well as the greater narrative will likely be revealed in the coming months. Sifu is slated to release this year for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC (via the Epic Store).