Sifu features a rather unique death mechanic where players might actually enjoy dying but for only a limited number of times.
The upcoming kung-fu brawler from developer-publisher Sloclap has an aging system which ties directly into the narrative. Sifu will grant players access to a magical pendant which can revive them after death. However, every time players die, they return a bit older.
That is the reason why all trailers released so far have featured protagonists varying in age. They will initially start out young in Sifu and age during progression. The aging process will furthermore be noticeable. The protagonist will receive design changes such as their hair turning gray and their beards growing longer.
However, no one can keep living on forever and as such even a magical pendant cannot grant immortality. Sifu will have a limit to the number of times players can die. When they become too old, they must start all over again.
Sloclap has confirmed that players will not become weaker with age. They will “have more experience, skills, and knowledge to apply to the fight” just like a true kung-fu student. Sifu will hence understandably open up new moves and abilities with age and practice.
Unfortunately though, players will have to wait a bit longer before trying out their punches. Sifu was originally slated for a release around the 2021 holiday season. However, with development being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns, Sloclap requires more time in order to release a polished game.
“We’re very sorry about this delay – as gamers ourselves, we know how frustrating this can be, and as an independent studio, working multiple years on a single project, delaying a game can also create financial risks, so it’s certainly not a decision that we took lightly,” said community manager Felix Garczynski.
“But at the end of the day, our top priority is to make the best possible game, a hugely entertaining and polished experience, and we’d rather ask our fans to wait a little longer than planned than release something we’re not totally proud of.”
Sifu will now look for a release somewhere in early 2022 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and on PC through the Epic Games Store.