Souls-like game Sifu gets difficulty modes in May and more content throughout the year

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,577   +1,075
Staff member
In a nutshell: Games like Dark Souls and Sifu are somewhat off-putting to many players. The learning curve and difficulty are just too much for some gamers to handle. To make its kung fu game Sifu more approachable, the developer is adding difficulty modes to the settings. The modification could make the game much more attractive to the casual gamer and result in a few more sales for the studio.

Sifu developer Sloclap announced on Tuesday that it would add difficulty modes to the Souls-like game in a content update coming May 3. There will be three levels — Student, Desciple, and Master. The game is already very challenging, so presumably, Student and Disciple are degrees easier than the game's current default difficulty.

In addition to making the game more approachable to those not patient enough to try and die a gazillion times, Sloclap is also adding "Advanced Training" and the ability to change outfits. It also laid out its roadmap for the remainder of the year.

The Summer update brings advanced scoring and gameplay modifiers. The Fall patch adds even more modifiers and new outfits. It also includes a replay editor to create film-like replays of your best fights, which sounds pretty cool.

Finally, the Winter update will add an Arena mode. That patch will have new gameplay modifiers and outfits, as well. Sloclap didn't elaborate, but it sounds like Arena might be a PvP mode pitting online players against each other to show who is the true Sifu.

Sloclap points out that all its planned content updates for standard and deluxe owners are free. However, it may add some extra costumes exclusively for the deluxe version of the game. It's also working on an "upgrade bundle" so that standard players can upgrade to deluxe for the extra perks.

With new outfits coming in each update, it causes one to wonder what kind of cosmetics will be available. Someone made a Matrix mod for Sifu on PC. Could we see some Matrix-like costumes? Probably not. It would likely require expensive licensing, so don't hold your breath. But it wouldn't hurt for console player to cross their fingers since they don't have access to cool mods like that one.

For me, lowering difficulty levels seem to water down Sifu somewhat. After all, like the Souls series, Sifu was designed to be super challenging, with the reward being the immense sense of accomplishment when completing the game — heck, for defeating a level boss for that matter.

It also makes a core gameplay element less exciting. As you progress, each time you die, you are revived but become a bit older. With that age comes wisdom in the form of more powerful moves and combos, while also making you more frail. Adding an easy mode limits that game mechanic greatly. Fortunately, Sifu has a lot of replay value, so bumping up the difficulty and playing through again wouldn't be so bad.

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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,599   +2,563
Huh?! That's quite the gap.
30min speed runs without getting hit were on YT the same week the game came out.
Is it really that hard? I mean it could be. Elden Ring had some pretty quick speed runs. I just didn't think Sifu was that similar, because it looks far more basic.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,577   +1,075
Staff member
Huh?! That's quite the gap.
30min speed runs without getting hit were on YT the same week the game came out.
Is it really that hard? I mean it could be. Elden Ring had some pretty quick speed runs. I just didn't think Saifu was that similar, because it looks far more basic.
It's pretty challenging. But speedrunners are frickin' insane. And yeah Elden Ring has seen some fast runs and various creative playthroughs where players figured out how to cheese through the boss fights.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,599   +2,563
It's pretty challenging. But speedrunners are frickin' insane. And yeah Elden Ring has seen some fast runs and various creative playthroughs where players figured out how to cheese through the boss fights.
Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is for calling it basic.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,577   +1,075
Staff member
Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is for calling it basic.
Hmm. Yeah, I wouldn't say it's basic. There is a lot you have to figure out to get through it. It's almost puzzle-like in that way. Kinda like Hong Kong Massacre. That game was brutal until you figured out how to maneuver through it.

Sifu is like that. You have to figure out how to make it through a level and to the boss and then how to beat the boss by figuring out his tells. Remember Punch-Out? Kinda like that the bosses have different animations that give you a split second to recall what they are about to do, so you can counter it. The second boss ticked me off so bad I was about to throw my controller until I finally figured out his patterns. But that took lots of dying in the process.

Lower-level enemies are not too hard but you need to pay attention to level layouts to best utilize improvised weapons and stuff because the higher-level grunts are harder to kill. Plus the game kinda forces you to fight in certain ways depending on the situation. This is no button-masher, and you do a lot of learning through failure.

It's what I like to call "frustratingly fun." lol
 

sorten

Posts: 142   +214
I'm really enjoying the game so far. I don't want it to be any easier, but advanced training against different weapon types would be nice. Having to play for 20 - 30 minutes to reach a boss that then kills you repeatedly because you don't have any experience against staff-wielding fighters is a pain.

I'm curious about the speed runs. It doesn't seem like you could walk the whole map in 30 minutes if it were free of enemies, and many short cuts require defeating mini-bosses to obtain keys. I guess I'll check out the videos after I finish the game :)
 

dangh

Posts: 680   +1,061
I don't think reducing the difficulty in games where difficulty is a selling point makes any sense. It's not like everyone should be able to play any game without any effort. Still, it is devs decissions so I just hope other wont easilly follow that route.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,577   +1,075
Staff member
I don't think reducing the difficulty in games where difficulty is a selling point makes any sense. It's not like everyone should be able to play any game without any effort. Still, it is devs decissions so I just hope other wont easilly follow that route.
I think as long as the original difficulty isn't altered, it's cool that they want to cater to the noob market. Might even be a good idea for them to label which difficulty is the original standard. I assumed in the article that Master is the current difficulty level, but that could be wrong. It's possible that Disciple is what we have been playing and Master is even harder. I like the way Volition did it with Saints Row games. The Medium difficulty level is labeled, "Play the game the way it was meant to be played."