'Sifu' Release Date: Everything There Is To Know About the Game From Pricing to Features

Punishing kung fu adventure Sifu will soon be released on PlayStation consoles and PC, delivering an exacting challenge that is suitable only for hardcore gamers.

Developed by Sloclap (who are veterans of the martial arts genre, having previously made 2017's Absolver), the title is only a mid-budget affair and not a AAA blockbuster on the scale of, say, Horizon Forbidden West or Elden Ring.

That being said, it has still managed to hold its own against these heavy-hitters in press conferences, capturing everybody's attention with unique design choices and interesting mechanics.

The word "Sifu" broadly translates from its original Cantonese into English as "experienced master." This title is a reference to your own in-game kung fu teacher, whose murder you are trying to avenge. The narrative is segmented into five distinct chapters, each of which revolves around you tracking down a different person that has been implicated in the killing of your Sifu.

Sifu Gameplay Features Explained

The game is primarily a brawler, with you progressing through linear stages and taking on entire gangs of people at once. You have the typical light, heavy, block and counterattack moves, and can also use the environment to your advantage in a number of clever ways. For instance, you can vault over tables to get out of tight spots, push opponents down staircases, or hurl them out of windows for instant kills.

At the end of each combat gauntlet, you will then get to challenge one of your teacher's killers to a grueling duel. These boss fights are so unforgiving and harsh that they rival Sekrio: Shadow Dies Twice in terms of their incredible difficulty.

It's not just a button-mashing experience though, as you'll also have to master more complex systems. Namely, there is a roguelike element at play in Sifu. Whenever you die (and that is guaranteed to happen a lot here) your unnamed avatar is miraculously revived via a special talisman.

While this might sound like it would make the game absurdly easy, there's a cost associated with each of these resurrections. When you come back to life, your character ages by at least a year or two, making them considerably frailer and lowering their overall health bar. You do have a chance to counteract this aging process by defeating certain special enemies, but this is only a band-aid solution.

If you are beaten too many times, you will exceed your maximum lifespan and then it is properly game over. At that point, you can either begin the level again (from a relatively old age) or just cut your losses and start with a clean slate.

Sifu Screenshot
Image shows gameplay from "Sifu". The fluid martial arts combat is the title's main selling point. Sloclap

There is an upgrade system that lets you spend experience to unlock new abilities during a given run, but once you've died your last death you will lose all of them. However, you will learn a way to permanently add moves to your repertoire, so things will eventually get easier.

Finally, Sifu also has a detective mechanic that has you trying to uncover the reason behind your teacher's murder. Clues are strewn around each level, which help you fill out an investigation board and gain access to previously inaccessible areas.

Throw in multiple endings and branching choices (revolving around whether you spare your targets' lives) and you've got a compelling overall package here.

Sifu Release Date, Unlock Time and Cost

Sifu is released on PS4, PS5 and PC on Tuesday, February 8.

Those who pre-ordered the deluxe edition have already been granted the opportunity to play it, via an early access window that opened on February 6.

For everybody else, the game will come out at the stroke of midnight on February 8. This is synchronized to your own local time, so that your electronic copy will unlock at 12 a.m. whether you are in an ET, PST or GMT zone.

As was the case with Forza Horizon 5, this means that can technically cheat the system a little by setting your PlayStation's internal clock to New Zealand time (so that midnight arrives 18 hours sooner).

The deluxe edition of Sifu costs $49.99 on the PlayStation Store (discounted to $44.99 for PS Plus members). With this, you will get a bonuss digital artbook and soundtrack. Meanwhile the standard edition costs $39.99.

These pricing arrangements are the same for PC, where the game is exclusive to the Epic Games Store platform.

Sifu Screenshot
Image shows an official screenshot from "Sifu". The game has an unusual approach to death, with your character aging each time you are defeated in combat. Sloclap