Sloclap, the studio behind Absolver, has detailed what you should expect in terms of difficulty from their next game, Sifu. Turns out, you'll have to master a Pak Mei kung fu style to succeed as you won't be able to lower the combat difficulty — at least on day one.
As earlier revealed, when you die in Sifu, you can use an ancient pendant to rise up in the same place, but a little older and more experienced. Such a system might grant you a sense of invulnerability at first, but it can be tricky. Each time you die in the game, the cost of revival becomes higher and you age faster, reaching the point of non-return, eventually.
As producer Pierre Tarno explained to MP1st, there will be no difficulty options in Sifu at launch, because the team deliberately makes death a part of your journey. Therefore, if you don't learn quickly enough, you won't reach the game's ending on your first save file, as aging too much will result in a game over and force you to restart the chapter you're playing.
"We want Sifu to challenge players and to encourage them to learn, improve and adapt," Tarno said. "The ability to rise up from death will help new players by allowing them to fail and try again multiple times when they face difficulty. But the price of mistakes will rapidly increase, and in order to fully complete the game they will have to master the combat system."
Tarno hinted that if the game is too punishing for players, difficulty options might be added after launch as an update. However, the team tries its best to deliver a well-balanced way to mastery for everyone in Sifu.
The devs want the players to experience the way of training and self-improvement in kung fu, questioning whether a single life would be enough to become the true master. If you're a really skillful player, however, it will be possible to beat Sifu in a single life without dying or aging once. We suspect there won't be many such players in Sifu, but who knows — maybe there's a kung fu master sleeping inside all of you, waiting to be unleashed.
Sifu will come a bit earlier than originally expected, as the team is already approaching Gold Master on the project. The game will hit PC (via Epic Games Store), PS4, and PS5 on February 8, 2022.
It's a tad disorientating.