I somehow missed this announcement trailer for Sifu when it was showcased back in Sony’s February 2021 State of Play. Sifu (which apparently translates to Master) is the next original title from Sloclap, the studio behind the indie action darling Absolver. And although it initially slipped past my radar, Sifu is now sitting right smack near the top of the heap of upcoming games that have my interest.

In Sifu, you play a young male martial-arts student out for revenge against the five masters that killed his family. The trailer immediately gives off Oldboy vibes, and the combat throughout looks visceral yet grounded in reality. Admittedly, it’s a cartoonish reality, one that reminds me a little bit of The Clone Wars in its animation style.

The hook here is that with every death, your character ages a bit. This could be a limited attempt at a success-style mechanic that perhaps even makes the game harder with each failure — I would imagine that an elderly martial arts master, although still lethal, might not be as spry as his younger self.

This mechanic isn’t new, mind you, as we’ve seen it already in Chronos: Before the Ashes. Still, it’s an intriguing mechanic, and I for one am interested to see what Sifu manages to do with it.

Currently, Sifu has a vague 2021 release window, and it looks like it will be coming to PS4, PS5, and PC (by way of the Epic Games Store). I can’t wait to get my hands on Sifu to bust some friggin’ heads.

You can check out the trailer below, and feel free to let me know in the comments if Sifu has you itching for a fight.

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