How Sifu’s kung fu fight works – PlayStation.Blog
Greetings to the PlayStation community! I’m Felix, Marketing Manager at Sloclap, and I worked with the team to give you this little insight into Sifu’s combat system and an overview of our design choices.
Based on our experience working on martial arts gameplay with Absolver but this time focusing on a single player game, we wanted with Sifu to offer a unique player experience, strongly inspired by kung fu and martial arts movies. . Fighting baddies by the dozen in a nightclub, jumping over tables and throwing bottles, we want the player to feel like the main character in a kung fu movie.
In terms of design, that meant for us to strike a balance between credibility – realistic combat techniques, faithful animations – and aesthetics, with crisp action and immersive camera frames. With Sifu, we wanted to blend the aesthetics of classic kung fu movies with the raw close quarters combat that we find in modern movies like The Raid, Old Boy, or John Wick.
The combat system draws on these different inspirations. We want the gameplay to provide a challenge that is consistent with the values of kung fu training and personal development. And we want players to experience progression, feel like they are learning kung fu, improving, and gradually gaining their power fantasy.
We designed what we called the Structure system, to mimic the notion of real combat of impacting and breaking your opponent’s position, their ability to attack and defend. It takes the form of a gauge, both for you and for your enemies. If you manage to break your opponent’s structure, you can finish him off with a powerful takedown, which is an opportunity to display the devastating techniques of Pak Mei. But if your own structure gauge is full, you won’t be able to fight and defend for a short time and you will find yourself vulnerable to attacks from your enemies.
Blocking attacks will quickly fill your balance gauge, and we’ve given players a few more flexible defensive options. Dodging will allow you to create space at key times and can save your life. But more importantly, blocking punches at the right time will allow you to deflect the blow, throw your opponent off balance, and open up opportunities to counterattack or knock them down. You can also avoid hits altogether by dodging or jumping over incoming strikes. It’s especially useful against strong hits that you can’t parry or for quickly regaining balance and fighting back against your opponent.
The player will start with an offensive kit capable of dealing with any opposition, but it will take some time for you to learn the different properties of the techniques available to you. You can mix strong and fast attacks to build combos, on a single enemy or switching between opponents. And as you level up and unlock new skills, you’ll have more options available to suit your playstyle and how you like to approach difficult situations. You will be able to topple your enemies, push them back against their allies, stun them, or disarm a threatening enemy. This will be especially useful for you when you start to fight more and more opponents at the same time.
Battles against multiple enemies are at the heart of the Sifu gaming experience. Our goal was to strike the right balance between making the player feel surrounded and challenged, but not overwhelmed by the amount of aggression happening at the same time. We have chosen to use a dynamic locking system for the camera, in order to allow a quick and responsive exchange between several targets. We’ve been working on optimizing the game to ensure a stable 60fps frame rate on PlayStation 4, as well as on PS4 Pro and PS5 of course, to deliver a smooth and responsive experience. We want the combat to feel like a back-and-forth motion, with enemies forcing players to react, use a variety of crowd control techniques, and good positioning to win.
In addition to relying on their favorite Pak Mei techniques, players will need to make intelligent use of the environment to overcome any unfavorable odds they will face. We’ve introduced items that can be used in any combat situation, from furniture you can throw at enemies’ feet, throwables, makeshift weapons, or tables you can jump on . They add options for players, who are free to approach a given situation from different angles.
Finally, players will be able to rely on precise and powerful techniques thanks to the focus mechanics. Concentration is a resource that builds up as you fight, completing charges that you will gradually unlock over the course of your game. Using a Focus Charge will slow down time and allow you to pick a weak spot on your opponent to perform a devastating technique, neutralizing or seriously injuring your enemy. Players will be able to access different targeted attacks as they unlock new skills, allowing them to adapt to specific situations they struggle with.
This overview may give you an idea of what is expected of you to learn kung fu and get revenge on Sifu, but there is no substitute for good practice.
Sifu will be released on PS4 and PS5 on February 8, 2022. Find out more about Sifu’s death and aging system in our next PlayStation blog post, posted later today.
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