Sloclap's upcoming project, Sifu, has garnered the attention of a lot of gamers. Announced recently during the Sony's State of Play, the game looks to be a ton of fun and could very well turn out to be a delight for kung fu-loving fans.
Sifu has drawn many comparisons to Jackie Chan's movies, and the developer has given affirmation that a lot of the design behind the game's fighting systems originate from the movies. There's certainly more to Sifu, and there's a lot of not-so-obvious similarities to a PS2 underrated gem, Jet Li: Rise to Honor.
Foster City Studio's Jet Li: Rise to Honor is quite the cult-classic that many gamers seemed to have missed back in the day. Released exclusively for the PS2 in 2004, Jet Li: Rise to Honor is a great video game adaptation of Kung-fu-themed crime thriller movies starring the famous martial arts actor Jet Li.
The game has a quite unique cinematic presentation, with well-choreographed cutscenes and animations. The gameplay revolved around beating foes with the flashiest moves possible and engaging in gunfights every now and then. It featured a breakneck pace with no loading screens and a beautiful sense of momentum which urges the player to keep pushing forward.
While Jet Li: Rise to Honor had impressive visuals for a PS2 game, much of the gameplay mechanics were mediocre at best. However, Jet Li's merit lies in marrying all these elements together to create quite a decent impression of being in a movie and that too, within the constraints of the PlayStation 2. It may not have received the best critical or commercial reception, but it still is a solid game with a ton of potential to build upon.
Sifu might not have the cinematic presentation of Jet Li: Rise to Honor, but it certainly imitates the game in terms of its combat. Sloclap has stated that a lot of moves seen in Sifu are actually derived from real Kung Fu and what fans might see in a Jackie Chan movie. Coupling that with the developer's admiration for the art form, there's quite a bit of potential to capitalize on in this regard.
The focus on hand-to-hand combat in scenarios that require the player to focus on multiple enemies at once along with environmental takedowns is also similar to Jet Li and by extension, God Hand and Sleeping Dogs. That's not to suggest that Sifu lacks any original ideas, far from it. The game features a unique take on player mortality, as every death ages the protagonist and makes him more skilled. While it remains to be seen how it translates over to changes in gameplay, it seems to be quite a unique gimmick for a game. Hopefully, fans of Jet Li: Rise to Honor find something to love with Sifu and it opens the door to many more Kung-Fu styled games in the future.
Sony's latest State of Play seemed like it was geared almost entirely toward known PS4 and PS5 games, with updates related to everything from AAA title Final Fantasy 7 Remake to indie games like Solar Ash. It was pretty short on new announcements, but develop Sloclap did sneak one in amongst the other more famous games. Sifu is what Sloclap had to offer, and it looks like a significant boon to the PlayStation. After all, martial arts games are fairly hard to come by nowadays, so it's good to have this unique title under the PS4 and PS5's belt.
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