When the first for trailer Sloclap’s Sifu popped up on my radar earlier this year, I was immediately transfixed. The combat looked very visceral and up-close and personal, but the overall vibe of the trailer felt more like a mood piece than a showcase of the moment-to-moment gameplay.

With the new Sifu teaser trailer, revealed at Sony’s State of Play, we get a far more cohesive look at the combat, and we also get a peek into what might be possible as far as environmental interactions and weapon options (baseball bats? Yes, please). If the action in that first trailer lent Sifu the feeling of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, I would say the combat in this new trailer feels more like Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 with a dash of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives in terms of style and panache.

Right off the bat (no pun intended), we see the playable protagonist kicking butt big-time in a neon-drenched club setting. The fighting has a nice look to it, an almost Arkham-style balletic dance of fists and feet. And the hits and kicks that result from said fists and feet, as well as the body slams and Judo hip tosses, look weighty and precise. They also look like they hurt.

At the same time, there are cartoon-like visual effects that accompany the player’s dodges, parries, and impacts. This lends Sifu a less-than-realistic, more fantasy-like tone. It might look like you are kicking the living crap out of dudes (or vice versa), but Sifu seems to be very light on blood and gore, at least in the trailers I have seen so far. Honestly, I find that to be welcoming and in line with older Kung-Fu films from decades past (for the most part).


Also front and center in the new trailer is the age mechanic, which seems to be Sifu‘s version of a life system. With every failure in combat, the character ages before returning to battle, visibly reflecting each step of perpetual maturity. It’s hard to tell if there is a concrete set of rules for this mechanic or if the aging is arbitrary. For example, if you die by a lucky jab from a grunt you only age X amount of years but if you die because a towering goon spears you through a wooden barrier, you age Y amount of years.

It’s also unclear if there are increasing penalties or limitations the older and more rickety you get, or if on the the flipside, you gain more wisdom and mastery over your skills. Either way, this is a really unique and interesting gameplay choice on Sloclap’s part, and one I’ve not encountered much before (outside of Chronos: Before the Ashes).

I suppose we’ll just have to wait for more info.

And wait we shall, since the trailer also reveals that Sifu has been pushed back from 2021 to early 2022. Needless to say, despite this delay, I am still very hyped for Sifu based on what I’ve seen so far. There is still much to be learned as far as what the story will be exactly and how missions (if there are any) will be doled out. But for now, we can all find comfort in the new trailer, which you can check out below.

Sifu is now eyeballing an early-2022 launch on PS4, PS5, and PC via the Epic Games Store.

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