Sifu was among the best games of 2022, and over a year on from its launch on PlayStation consoles and PC (and a few months after its Switch release), SloClap’s kung fu brawler is finally making its way over to Xbox consoles as well. On March 28, it will finally arrive for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, and with its release now not long away, here, we’ll be going over all they key details that you should know about the game.
If you’re a fan of kung fu action films, Sifu is basically the dream game for you. Players step into the shoes of a young kung fu student (who can be either male or female, depending on what you choose) who is on a quest for revenge. Revenge for what, exactly? Your targets are the assassins who led a raid on your martial arts school and killed your master, or sifu.
As you may have guessed, precise, agile, and deadly melee strikes are your bread and butter in Sifu, though like any beat em up worth its salt, the game will also let you use your environment and objects in your surroundings to your advantage. However, unlike most games in the genre, Sifu is not a game that’s going to let you button mash your way through fights. This is a challenging game, and as such, choosing your moments to strike is key, as is mastering the art of reading your enemies’ movements in order to block, dodge, and most importantly, parry their attacks.
The central mechanic in Sifu is ageing. Here, death isn’t game over. When you die, you do get resurrected, but each time, your character ages up. And how exactly does that effect the gameplay? The older you get, the harder your attacks hit- but at the same time, your health pool gets lower and lower with age. The risk-reward element at play here is central to Sifu’s core gameplay loop, so that’s something you’ll want to pay close attention to as you play the game.
Practice makes perfect where Sifu’s combat is concerned, and you’re going to need a lot of it. While you could always try and learn on the job, if you’re struggling with the game’s challenging nature, between missions, you can also head to the wuguan, which is sort of like a hub location. Here, players can hop into the training arena to hone their blocking and parrying skills, among other things.
In the wuguan, you’ll also find the detective board, which serves quite an important purpose in context of the game’s overarching structure. Sifu is, for the most part, a liner game, though players always have the option to replay levels- which is actually recommended. You’ll find plenty of pieces of evidence and collectibles that go up on the aforementioned detective board, each of which unlocks everything from new narrative tidbits to new areas in levels, including those that you’ve already cleared.
Sifu doesn’t put an awful lot of emphasis on choice and consequence mechanics, but it definitely flirts with the idea. Depending on certain choices you make at key junctures in the game (which we obviously won’t spoil here), you will get one of two possible endings. One of those is definitely the canon one, but getting both of them is yet another thing that adds replay value to the game.
ALL PREVIOUS UPDATES INCLUDED
Since its initial launch in February, Sifu has received a couple of big of updates that have added a variety of new features, modes, and mechanics to the game. When the kung fu brawler launches for Xbox consoles later this month, it will, as you’d expect, include all of the previously released updates right off the bat.
DETAILS ON PREVIOUS UPDATES
What exactly has Sifu added with its updates over the last year? That’s a pretty long list, but there are a few big additions that are worth highlighting. With its Spring update, the game added an Advanced Training Mode, which lets you face off against any enemy type or boss that you’ve defeated in the story. The Summer update, meanwhile, added a scoring system and the option to enable a variety of gameplay modifiers. Then there was the Winter update, which added a new Replay Editor and several more cheats and gameplay modifiers. Additionally, each of the three updates has also added new outfits that players can equip in the wuguan. The fourth and final update will launch alongside the Xbox versions. More on that in a bit.
Of course, there is something else that Sifu added with its Spring update that we haven’t yet touched on. Speaking of which…
Sifu is a challenging game, to say the very least, and as excellently finetuned as its level of difficulty is, there’s no denying that there’s a vast contingent of players who just don’t go for that sort of thing. Thankfully, the game also features multiple difficulty modes, which were added with its Spring update. Two difficulty modes were added on top of the default setting- there’s the Student Difficulty, which is the easy mode and makes the game much less punishing in several ways. At the same time, those who want the game to be even more of a challenge can opt for the Master Difficulty, which gives you less health, makes enemies more dangerous, and gives bosses new and harder attack patterns.
Sifu’s Xbox launch will go hand in hand with is fourth and final update going live, the headlining addition of which will be the Arenas expansion, which is easily the biggest expansion SloClap has released for the game so far. It will feature nine new locations, 45 new challenges, up to 10 hours of additional gameplay content, and five new modes to dive into. In addition to that, the mode will also add new outfits, cheats, moves, and gameplay modifiers. Specifically where the latter is concerned, with the Arenas update, the total number of modifiers available in Sifu will be doubled from where it stands right now.
The bulk of the Arenas update will revolve around five new modes for players to play through, each offering a unique experience. For starters, there’s the Survival mode, which will see players going up against increasingly tougher waves of enemies. Then there’s the Performance mode, which is all about honing and perfecting your skills through unique challenges. Capture Mode, meanwhile, is a king of the hill type experience that will task players with taking and keeping control of a marked area against oncoming foes. There’s also Time Attack, which, as its name suggests, will have you racing against the clock as you battle through enemies to get to the end of a path before time runs out. Finally, there’s Manhunt, where you’ll have to take down a specific target who will be protected by a larger group of enemies that you’ll first have to get through.
What exactly can you expect from Sifu’s technical aspects on Xbox consoles? On Xbox Series X, the game will run at a native 4K and 60 FPS, just as it does on the PS5, though there’s no word yet on what specifically to expect from the Xbox Series S version. The Xbox One version’s resolution and frame rate, meanwhile, will probably be on par with the PS4 version, which runs at 1080p and 60 FPS. Meanwhile, on Xbox Series X/S, the game will also feature support for variable refresh rate.