Hướng dẫn - Updated on January 3, 2023

Sifu is a game that teaches discipline. If you want to be a true kung fu master, treat every opponent with respect. Otherwise, you will be quickly knocked out by opponents running up from all sides, and when you regain consciousness, it turns out that you managed to grow old during this time. Plus one year, plus two more, plus ten, two dozen – before you blink, you are already an old man of seventy and after the next faint you will not get up.

The main thing is to understand in time that Sifu cannot be played “wrong”. Drawing parallels in your head with Sleeping Dogs and Batman: Arkham, you want to stand in the center of the room and repel the attacks of stupid enemies while watching beautiful animations. However, at first, this is a losing tactic – using it, you try your luck, because the enemies are not stupid at all. It’s not just that the locations were made quite large: either they allow you to go up to the second floor, then jump out the window and get into the next room. The environment should be used whenever possible. And this is far from the only lesson to be learned.

For my father

The protagonist of Sifu is a young student of kung fu who survived the death of his father as a child – he was killed by some villains. He spent all his youth training and at the age of 20 he went to take revenge. The list of his targets consists of five names, and each of these people is in a separate location. Someone is hiding in the factory, someone is spending time in a club, and so on. At first, there is only one path to the villain, and it is not easy – you have to defeat several dozen ordinary opponents, and in addition a couple of mini-bosses.

Sifu: Review

Get busy, get busy while you can…

Weak blow, strong blow, block and parry, rebound – the set of movements here is standard. Everything is complicated by the fact that no indicators appear above the heads of enemies, so you learn about their attack in a split second. Over time, you learn to react in time – this is the first step to preparing for really difficult trials, since homeless people from the first location are no match for brawlers from the later stages.

However, even these homeless people can pretty fray the nerves of an unprepared player. In addition to simple attacks that are successfully parried when pressed at the right time, there are also strong ones – usually the opponents finish the combo with them, and their limbs begin to glow for a second. The block at such moments works, only every attack you absorb “eats” part of your endurance. The supply runs out – the character is stunned and becomes vulnerable, and this usually does not lead to anything good. This also applies to opponents – if they were beaten so hard that they were tired of getting cuffs, you can use a finishing move on them with two clicks.

One by one.

Another mechanic becomes useful here – dodge in the block. In training, she was given so little time that only after a couple of hours I remembered her existence. The idea is simple: every time your opponent hits you, move the stick in the opposite direction. Makes a hook – lift up. Aims at the body – lower. It just swings – wiggle left or right. It sounds easy, it’s not easy to execute, but it’s impossible to complete the game without it – all boss fights, for example, are built on this mechanic. And in general, when using it, some moments no longer seem impossible, although they will still make you sweat.

It is especially pleasant to finish off the enemy after successful dodges.

When you learn the skill of dodge, it seems that you are capable of anything. From ordinary hooligans you no longer jump back in horror, but deftly avoid their blows. Then you become even more confident and no longer run around the room in search of bottles that will temporarily stun the target. There are not so many types of enemies, but all require a special approach. Someone makes long combinations of punches – just have time to react. Someone loves sweeps – every time you involuntarily smirk when you raise the stick in time. Some are strong and large, some are frail and fall with two blows – it is easy to understand who is who by their appearance.

If a pipe is lying on the floor, it is a sin not to use it.

Faster, older, stronger

But at first, the kung fu master of the player is useless. He doesn’t even know how to push stools. To level up, you need to earn points at levels, and their number depends on the combo you have scored. If you often dodge, defeat everyone in a row and do not take damage, the counter grows much faster. Missed a shot – the counter went down a little. Missed another one – the combo was completely reset. The move purchased with points will only be available in this playthrough, and to make it permanent, you need to invest the same number of points five more times.

It sounds like a grind, but there are not so many valuable moves on the list. About half of them are too situational and will be useful only in a few cases, so they can be dispensed with. There is no feeling that buying them will simplify the passage – success depends on the player. But some goods in the local “shop” are very valuable: for example, a combination with which the character quickly closes the distance and kicks often saves.

Sifu: Review

We’ll see.

Probably the most interesting feature of Sifu is the “lives” system. When an enemy knocks you out, you can resurrect in the same place: the enemies will remain the same, their health will not be restored, the weapons will lie in the same places. That’s just the character is getting old. The first “death” will add one year, the second – two, and so on. Every ten years, a hero who comes back to life will change, and not only in appearance – his strength will begin to grow, and his maximum health will decrease. A sixty-year-old man is the strongest of all, but he is not able to withstand blows as much as a twenty-year-old guy. Well, at seventy he dies with the ends.

So if you died ten times on the first level, but still passed it and defeated the boss, there is nothing to rejoice at – there are still four locations ahead, and the character does not have much left to live. Therefore, at some point you start replaying levels – the more permanent improvements are open and the better you understand the mechanics, the easier it is to achieve more solid results. Plus, the game has a lot of opportunities to reduce the number of deaths – either a mini-boss will meet, or one of the ordinary mobs will refuse to die and restore health, also becoming a kind of mini-boss. Sometimes rooms with such opponents are optional – if the death counter already shows zero, there is no need to go there.

Sifu: Review

The appearance of the character in the videos also depends on what age he is.

And even before you reach the boss, you will be able to unlock the “shortcuts” – you can skip whole parts of the levels. This makes it easier to play through, but I would recommend running through the entire levels, as using slices will leave you missing one or two figurines with passive bonuses. And they are oh so important! One increases weapon damage and the amount of stamina it removes from the enemy, the other increases your stamina and allows you to absorb damage longer – there are not many opportunities to acquire them. A big plus is that in the event of a victory over the boss, the purchased “passives” will be transferred to other levels. So if you successfully clear the first location, you won’t have to return to it anymore – you can achieve the ideal on the second, then move on to the third, and so on until the final.

From love to hate and vice versa

For me, Sifu has become a game that I either hated or adored. Sometimes I regretted that I agreed to write this review, sometimes I was glad that there was such an opportunity. Each new boss (and some mini-bosses) that increased my death counter and turned the hero into an old man seemed invincible. One is extremely fast, the other is throwing knives, the third has some outrageous combinations. But over time, they managed to get through with only one or two deaths. There is an “achievement” that is given for reaching the finals by a 25-year-old character – you need to die less than five times in the entire game. And if at first it seemed like a mockery, then over time it became more and more achievable, although I am unlikely to achieve such a result.

Sifu: Review

Enemies rarely face you alone.

It also helps that Sifu is fully consistent with the aphorism “Beauty is in simplicity.” There is no riot of colors here, and the design of some locations is minimalist, but the style is one hundred percent consistent. Rare in-engine cutscenes featuring charismatic bosses, excellent cinematography during fights and finishing moves, shattering windows and tables breaking at the slightest touch… Each scene is beautiful in its own way thanks to the details that you pay attention to after the fight, because it is too focused on the scuffle .

In schools of martial arts, they teach never to give up, never stop practicing and give all the best, even if the technique is not perfected. Willingly or unwittingly, the authors of Sifu created a game in which you follow these principles from beginning to end. It is merciless to those who are not ready to play by its rules, and rewards thoughtful use of available mechanics. Therefore, even if you hate her at times, by the end this feeling develops into great love.

Pros: an interesting combat system, thanks to which every fight is exciting; an unusual system of “lives” encourages you to replay levels for the sake of more worthy results; excellent visual style and wonderful camera work both in short clips and during massacre.

Cons: Many permanent upgrades don’t seem very useful; the second level, even with a shortcut, takes a lot of nerves and time compared to the rest.

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