Sloclap Studio’s ‘Sifu’ Looks to Rejuvenate the Genre Through Death and Mastery

Sloclap, the French studio that brought us the 2017 multiplayer beat ’em up title Absolver, looks to bring new life to the genre with Sifu. The studio’s newest title is set to release February 2022 and focuses intensely on the idea of mastering kung fu through death.

The hand-to-hand combat of Sifu showcased in its gameplay trailer captures the authenticity the team at Sloclap approached this project with. The studio wanted the game to feel immersive and genuine, consulting Pak Mei kung fu master Benjamin Culos throughout the game’s development.

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Credit: Sloclap

Sifu doesn’t shy away from the many inspirations it builds on from games like Dark Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and even Returnal, but the flair and unique progression system it introduces seeks to rejuvenate the genre.

In Sifu, the player steps into the shoes of a kung fu student who’s on a mission to avenge his recently slain family. Set in a contemporary Chinese city, the game infuses realistic environments with preternatural elements, like being resurrected upon death. What sets this title apart from its contemporaries is the aging system tied to death and progression.

Martial arts game 'Sifu' gets new trailer, but delayed until early 2022
Credit: Sloclap

After every death, the player ages, and while punches become stronger, your vitality wanes, highlighting the game’s core mantra of “mastery through practice.” The developers seem to want to explore mortality and its relationship with progress. “But is one life enough?” That is the question forwarded by the team shaping the rich narrative and combat system of Sifu.

Sifu is developed and published by French studio Sloclap, and will arrive on Windows, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in February 2022.