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What the Sifu Game Can Learn From Absolver

Author : cherryfolt
Publish Date : 2021-03-08 08:44:27
What the Sifu Game Can Learn From Absolver

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.

Sifu isn't Sloclap's first foray into martial arts games, though. A few years ago, it came out with Absolver, an action RPG unique in that its martial arts elements were presented largely through a deck building system. It got some attention for its strikingly involved combat. It was up to the player to come up with a strong set of moves for their character to use in combat with NPCs and other players alike. Critics agreed that, while Absolver wasn't perfect, it had a lot of bright ideas that showed potential on Sloclap's part. There's no doubt that Sloclap will be thinking a lot about Absolver while working on Sifu, and there's plenty for it to learn.

One of the biggest criticisms that Absolver received was that there wasn't enough for players to do in the open world of Adal. While combat was great, there wasn't much to do in between finding new opponents or grinding to improve moves. It's unclear for now if Sifu is an open world game, but it'd make sense if it was. It's set in a large unidentified city, so it would make sense if Sifu's protagonist could explore the city to complete side objectives when he's not fighting criminals across the city on his quest for revenge. If Sifu does let the player explore the city at their own rate, there ought to be lots of shops, clubs, and other landmarks where players can meet interesting characters and gain skills, resources, and so on to keep players engages between missions.

Another thing Sifu can take from its predecessor is the need for accessibility. Absolver players generally loved its refreshing combat system, but many critics agreed that Absolver was hurt by the lack of a tutorial. That meant there was a steep learning curve to the game that might intimidate or frustrate some players. Sifu is all about a young man trying to master a kung fu, so it only seems natural that the game opens with a significant tutorial. Players would benefit from getting taught the basics of Pak-Mei Kung Fu at the same time as the protagonist.

One more criticism that Absolver frequently received was its lack of emphasis on the story. Critics frequently said that the game felt heavily geared toward its combat, and didn't dedicate enough time to narrative. Sifu is already well positioned to do well in that regard, though. Its trailer implies a heavy focus on story; the protagonist has some deeply personal mission to complete, and not even death will stop him from achieving his goals.

It seems probable that Sony is pretty interested in Sifu if it had Sloclap present the game alongside some much more famous games on their way to the PS4 and PS5. The hope, then, is that Sloclap has learned a lot from its work on Absolver and is working hard to play to its strengths while also moving beyond that game's weaker points. Sifu has an opportunity to be a very unique action game in the PlayStation's repertoire if Sloclap can deliver on its concept. It'd be great to see a very new studio like Sloclap make a name for itself with a possible hit like Sifu.

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