Sifu‘s release by developer Sloclap earlier this year was met with critical and commercial success. Sifu‘s respectful depictions and influences from East Asian culture were praised, as too were its gameplay mechanics. One of Sifu‘s unique mechanics is the penalty upon death, where instead of simply restarting the level, the player character ages a certain amount instead. This aging increases how much damage they can dish out, but also decreases how much they can take, effectively making the players more and more of a glass cannon when they die.
Each death in Sifu serves as a way for the player to learn and improve their combat prowess. This system of dying and improving brings a challenging but effective gameplay loop, giving fans a rewarding experience for learning from each failure. While Sifu initially launched with no difficulty options, one of the game’s first major content updates will add these in.
As detailed in Sifu’s 2022 content roadmap, its upcoming Spring Content update will include three difficulty options, an advanced training mode, and a new white outfit. These three difficulty options are known as “Student,” “Disciple,” and “Master” modes. “Disciple” is the game’s current difficulty, with the “Student” and “Master” modes being the easy and hard modes respectively. These differences were detailed in a new video from developer Sloclap.
The video starts with showcasing Sifu‘s “Student” Difficulty, which notes that the experience is more forgiving but still challenging regardless. One of these changes notes how the aging mechanic is more forgiving, where the player is given more health and will age slower. This means instead of aging two years upon death, they will age only one. Enemies will also be changed such as the AI behavior being now less aggressive. The enemies will consequently be weaker as well, now having less health.
On the other hand, players who are already well-versed with Sifu‘s combat can try out the new “Master” difficulty, which aims to give fans an even more challenging experience. This difficulty will give the normal enemies more aggressive AI, affecting how players will approach combat. This is given further weight as the player character is more vulnerable during this mode as well. Not only that, bosses in Sifu will be given a slight overhaul, as they will now have new attack patterns fans will need to learn. All of these will become available for players to try on May 3rd.
Sifu is available now on PC, PS4, and PS5.