Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 77
  2. Negative: 2 out of 77
  1. May 31, 2022
    A wonderfully difficult beat-'em-up that puts the player at the forefront of their very own martial arts epic.
  2. Feb 7, 2022
    Sifu took me 15 hours to beat and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. With such replay value and an appealing price point, it’s easy to recommend to everyone, especially if you’re into modern roguelikes or From Software games. And that’s without mentioning how it pushes past some of its inspirations with its cinematographic flair and haptic combat. Sifu is as much a tightly told vendetta story as it is a masterful brawler. It’s an easy game of the year contender, and it’s only bloody February…
  3. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is surprisingly difficult, at a level that will deter most players. However, getting past that wall will reward you with an amazingly crafted game that stays true to the developer’s vision, one that celebrates kung fu and its core meaning.
  4. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is the epitome of a well-made martial arts video game that infuses cultural storytelling, brutal combat and a dash of roguelike. With its beautiful art direction, excellent soundtrack, and immaculate attention to detail, it is sure to rivet the attention of anyone interested.
  5. Feb 6, 2022
    The fantastic gameplay, the beautiful graphics, and the amazing soundtrack just to name a few things make this an enjoyable experience. If you are not a fan of difficult games, I’d recommend renting this one first if possible because it is an extremely difficult game at the outset and will require a grind to be successful. But if that doesn’t bother you in the slightest, then come on in; the dojo is all set up.
  6. Apr 7, 2022
    Sifu's combat is impeccable and one of the best gaming experiences I've had since Batman: Arkham City – fluid and visually beautiful to watch, accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack in a work that has nothing to do with any great martial arts film. Another factor that is worth noting in the new Sloclap game is how it doesn't get tiring despite the short story and non-stop beating. There's not a lot of dialogue or construction for a simple narrative, but it works perfectly well: in revenge, all that counts is to take down everything and everyone. And make no mistake: no game over will be in vain, as each run is a learning experience within Sifu, and with the minimal shortcuts and facilitators available, the coveted revenge will be achieved before the age of 70.
  7. Feb 21, 2022
    Sifu is intimidating but rewards patience and perseverance. An engaging tale of revenge is presented with slick confidence, but it’s the fluid fighting mechanics that really shine. It has the perfect amount of depth without being needlessly complex, putting a sense of weight behind every blow. Sloclap has delivered something special, and it’s up to you to experience it.
  8. Feb 7, 2022
    A challenging brawler that punishes recklessness and demands perfection, Sifu’s genre-leading combat and roguelike mechanics blend together to create an early Game of the Year contender.
  9. Feb 6, 2022
    Just like with Souls, you feel good when you manage to take out a boss or complete an area without taking damage as planned. The word is rewarding. The game is Sifu.
  10. Feb 6, 2022
    SIFU is one of the best titles that came out so far this year. A game that requires full patience and commitment, and rewards attention and dedication with some of the best-executed action sequences and most satisfying combat I've played in years.
  11. Feb 6, 2022
    A brilliant take on the roguelike genre, Sifu is a game that is hard to beat, but even harder to put down. Timing, patience, and skill will see you to fulfilling your goal and exacting that sweet revenge.
  12. Feb 6, 2022
    With Sifu, developer Sloclap is asking a lot from players. From the punishingly difficult combat that takes hours to learn and tens of hours to master, to the need to repeat and near-perfect levels to lower your starting age, this fighter can be an absolute slog. However, for those who can grit their teeth through the losses and frustration, you’ll come out smiling on the other side having played one of the best games of the year.
  13. Feb 6, 2022
    A rewarding experience from its start, Sifu delivers challenge after challenge, all of which are too exciting to turn down.
  14. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a great beat'em up, with challenging bosses, and an intelligent progress system. It's satisfactory to beat because you feel how you've improved on the way.
  15. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a one-of-a-kind rogue-like that marries an engaging setup with sublime combat mechanics. It scratches that integral itch that fuels subsequent runs, and it tries its best to avoid the feeling that time has been wasted. Progression exists in many different forms, but Sloclap's standout title pulls off one of the more impressive versions of it. Sifu shows players they are actually getting better at the game.
  16. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a fantastic indie game that makes you feel like a Kung Fu master. Sloclap has created an experience that lovers of beat'em ups cannot miss.
  17. Feb 6, 2022
    Wanting to think of a comparison that is not too bold, it could be argued that Sifu is literally like a diamond: shining, very hard and obviously not within anyone's reach.
  18. Feb 6, 2022
    A great combat system with extraordinary mechanical solidity, amazing aesthetics, and a brilliant and brutal difficulty management, make Sifu a must play for any action lover.
  19. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu will likely ignite the difficulty debate once again, and it's certainly a shame that more people won't get to experience the game because of the barrier for entry. There's design and mechanical justification for having such a steep learning curve, though, and it's part of what makes Sifu so compelling. Your journey from student to master is thrilling, mainly because it's governed by your own improving skill level rather than traditional character progression. There are memorable moments that stand out throughout, such as the boss fights and an enjoyable recreation of the iconic hallway scene from Oldboy, but it's Sifu's combat that shines through most brightly. For as unique and interesting as its aging mechanic is, it wouldn't work without the combat carrying the load and ensuring that each replay is just as engaging as the last. Is one life enough to know kung fu? Maybe not. But I would happily spend mine playing Sifu to find out.
  20. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a gorgeous, original and intelligent brawler whose self-confidence is leveraged by its masterful ageing mechanic and super tight combat.
  21. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a masterfully crafted lesson on patience.
  22. 90
    Through neoteric ideas around what combat can be, many of which were conceived with Absolver, Sloclap has carried the classic beat ‘em up into the present with Sifu. It might be brutal and unforgiving, but it never feels cheap and it’s a pleasure to continually learn the complexities of kung fu while bathing in the world’s surplus of flair and ferocity. So push through and persevere, because there’s one hell of a game on offer here.
  23. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu's brutal learning curve and unique structure that requires you to beat it in just one lifetime are significant barriers to overcome, but on the other side is truly one of the best modern action games around.
  24. 90
    A potential GOTY contender already, Sifu is martial arts excellence that’ll challenge and delight in equal measure.
  25. Feb 6, 2022
    If you're looking for simple, direct action, this game is not for you. But if you are a stubborn player who loves to be tested, with Sifu you will get one of the most thrilling games in recent times. It's as hard and irresistible as martial arts.
  26. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a great beat em‘ up game that discourages mashing buttons. The combat system stands out as a mix between the Batman: Arkham series and Sekiro, with a heavy emphasis on precision. It is a demanding game that penalizes mistakes and rewards skill.
  27. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu reimagines old-school beat-em-ups with great ideas and a fantastic combat system. It is tough, but if you’re up for a challenge, make sure to check it out.
  28. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is built around the idea of mastering a skill. Whilst this is the mantra of the protagonist, you will also play by this code and refine your skills after each attempt. The combat is sophisticated, containing enough variety and depth to be challenging yet accessible. Without any difficulty options, some may struggle as it requires time and patience, however, learn the mechanics and you’ll find one of the greatest and most rewarding fighters in the genre.
  29. May 7, 2022
    Sifu is an amazing action game with rich and challenging combat that constantly forces you to think about how to better face and survive certain situations. The low variety of enemies and the short duration are a little disappointing, but they are minor stumbling blocks for an excellent title.
  30. Feb 28, 2022
    Sifu is a soulslike beautifully translated into the language of beat ‘em ups. Yes, the protagonist will die hundreds of times, but remarkably fluent combat system, a multitude of surprises, attractive visuals and terrific music will keep hardcore fans of either genre glued to the screen.
  31. Feb 10, 2022
    SIFU puts you in the shoes of a martial artist, and I mean it literally, as you will have to have patience and practice a lot to master your skills and time every single one of your moves precisely to be able to beat your enemies. It’s not an easy game and probably not too appealing for everybody, but it certainly rewards patience and practice, and once you finally get into its core, you will have a hell of a good time.
  32. Feb 9, 2022
    Sifu may cost you several years of your own life, but is well worth all those hours of training.
  33. Sifu is a no-nonsense arcade brawler that can be played in short bursts or long sprints, depending on the commitment to perfect each level run.
  34. Feb 6, 2022
    While the lack of a story felt like a ton of missed potential, the gorgeous art and the beautifully complex but fun controls kept me enthralled. The difficulty was ridiculously high but the developers have already stated they’re working to patch that. For people looking for a beat ’em up style game, Sifu offers one of the most remarkably unique entries into that genre, especially if you want more from your beat ’em up than button mashing.
  35. Feb 6, 2022
    Perhaps one of the best compliments I can give to Sifu's essence is this: Playing and improving in this game actually seemed to make me better at other games. What's more kung-fu than that?
  36. Feb 7, 2022
    Technically and mechanically, Sifu is very solid as a strong roguelike beat-'em-up with a slick style and atmosphere. However, if you haven't reached a state of enlightenment and eternal peace, this can be an extremely tough game for you and the euphoria of success should keep you going for hours of rehearsal and practice. But it is well worth it, in my opinion.
  37. Apr 7, 2022
    While Sifu is a challenge that will test your skills and the durability of your controllers, fans of Soulslike game and kung fu will have a lot of fun beating down thugs in a variety of environments.
  38. Feb 28, 2022
    Sifu's deep combat and ageing mechanics aren’t for everyone, but those keen to roll with the kicks and punches will find one of the most satisfying and addictive brawlers of recent times.
  39. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is an uncompromising and merciless fighting game, but for this very reason it manages to give great satisfaction.
  40. Apr 18, 2022
    Sifu is a challenging, brutal and, at times, extremely frustrating game. It had been a while since I screamed with anger the as I did with my TV these past few days, death after death, beating after beating, cursing the world, the enemies, and my own incompetence and lack of reaction time being knocked down again and again. But it's also an extremely rewarding game to evolve your character, not only through unlocking new abilities but also through your own understanding of its mechanics, movement, going through the different combos, and even the different ways to block and avoid the various types of blows coming your way.
  41. Mar 4, 2022
    If you ever wanted to feel like the main character in a martial arts movie then look no further than Sifu. Sloclap deserves kudos for such a finely crafted combat system that hosts a diverse selection of defensive and offensive moves while being simple and straightforward in their executions.
  42. Edge Magazine
    Feb 24, 2022
    It's never easy. But somehow, when we fall, it only makes us all the more keen to dust ourselves off and get up again. Once we've taken that calming breath, at least. [Issue#369, p.108]
  43. Feb 11, 2022
    Sifu made me regequit a handful of times and yet it quickly became one of my favorites, especially thanks to its bald and punishing learning curve, that pushes you into mastering all sorts of moves and combos. French studio Sloclap delivers a typical revenge story, that is wrapped in a clever level design and excellent gameplay mechanics.
  44. Feb 8, 2022
    Maybe the visions in Sifu lie in the traumatised mind of the main character, who remains more elusive than any of his foes. The game’s tagline ponders, “Is one life enough to know kung fu?” But, in the fractured figure of its hero, a deeper realisation occurs. It may not be enough to know yourself.
  45. Feb 8, 2022
    Sifu is a memorable game. It is also a hard game that rewards patience and the willingness to perfect yourself. It is not perfect, but it is fair. One of the few negative aspects we encountered is the camera control that in some scenes it is not just a pain in the ass, but it can cost you an entire run. Another thing we would have oved to see is a more detailed character building, where the story is not just a frame for the action. But all these are just minor inconveniences when we look art Sifu as a whole. It does not feel like an indie game, but still, it is not for everyone. You need patience and you need the ability to get over the countless moments when the game frustrates you to the limit of exasperation. It is all part of becoming a kung fu master, a path reserved only for a few.
  46. Feb 7, 2022
    Fans of beat-'em-ups or kung fu movies will instantly fall in love with Sifu. If you can handle replaying levels multiple times, it's a must buy.
  47. 80
    Sifu is an incredible journey. Featuring top-notch animations, music tracks, and visuals that are hard to match by even a big-budget animation studio, you will find your jaw-dropping as you make your journey through this story of revenge.
  48. Feb 6, 2022
    With Sifu, developer Sloclap has delivered one of the most striking and original roguelikes we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Like the process of actually learning a martial art, this is a game that requires practice and patience – and the rewards speak for themselves.
  49. Feb 6, 2022
    Despite a of couple hang-ups, Sifu should be commended for injecting a sense of danger and realism back into the beat ‘em up genre.
  50. Feb 6, 2022
    While the story itself will never be enough to compel you forward, there is a sense of connection in watching your character get older while figuring out the intricacies of how Sifu plays. That's ultimately what makes its punchy and punishing gameplay all the more satisfying.
  51. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu will age us as the main character ages, but it also gives us some of the best martial arts moments in video games, which make us say, like Neo in the Matrix, "I know Kung-Fu".
  52. Feb 6, 2022
    Quotation forthcoming.
  53. Feb 6, 2022
    If don't mind some challenge, and if you enjoy combat-oriented gameplay with martial arts theme, then Sifu is something you should try on. It's a nice mix of Fighting Force and Sekiro.
  54. Feb 6, 2022
    A real homage to kung-fu movies, and especially those from Hong Kong, Sifu is a stylized, hard-hitting beat'em all with gameplay that borrows from rogue-likes. If you like the challenge, don't hesitate any longer, it's a really good game, made by fans of the genre.
  55. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu aims to bring the essence of Kung-fu to the screen, and to the controls, with a combat system as demanding as it is inspired, set in an inspired space that draws on all the tropes that usually accompany this type of story. The result is an experience that achieves what it sets out to do, making each confrontation feel like a real duel between martial arts experts. A must for anyone who enjoys a good combat system.
  56. Feb 6, 2022
    As someone who adores games like Spelunky for forcing the player to digest every bit of information, Sifu strikes that exact same spot with the force of a freight train, delivering a combat system that is truly unrivalled. As a game, it's one of the most engaging I've played in some time, it's just a shame that it won't appeal to all players thanks to its surprising difficulty and that it took some developmental liberties with representing Asian voices.
  57. Feb 6, 2022
    SIFU is a vibrant and powerful tribute to the martial arts. Sloclap undoubtedly masters its subject and the genre in which the title fits. In just two games, the Parisian studios demonstrate their know-how in the field, and in fact become recognized artisans of the video game fight. This Beat'em All hits hard and with conviction, and perpetuates this noble art of kicking and kicking in a demanding and inspired quest for revenge. The title of Sloclap, due to its raised difficulty, is intended for tenacious, even relentless players, and could discourage more than one, but learning martial arts requires self-sacrifice and self-control… like SIFU.
  58. Feb 6, 2022
    The aging mechanic in Sifu presents an engaging challenge, while the visuals and combat keep you invested. The backtracking and slow progression can be frustrating though, and the story could be better.
  59. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu doesn't pull any punches. It's a consistently challenging and demanding beat-'em-up, but persistence pays off. You'll be hard pressed to find a more rewarding game on PlayStation — especially one that's so visually striking and polished. Some quibbles with combat mechanics aside, Sifu is a knockout.
  60. Feb 6, 2022
    Despite some frustrating design choices around progression and a camera which isn’t as consistent as I’d like, I had more fun with Sifu than the vast majority of action games on the market. At the end of the day, it just feels too good to play for me to deny. Even as I replayed levels dozens of times when I really wanted to see what was ahead, I couldn’t put the controller down. That’s the sign of a master right there.
  61. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a master of hand-to-hand combat, injecting its kung-fu showdowns with exhilarating fluidity, tactical depth and cinematic scale. Its structure is harder to fully embrace, though, as it demands a lot of repetitious dedication to even reach the final stages. At times that feels needlessly punishing, but the thrill of the fight should help pull you through.
  62. 80
    Sifu preaches patience as it brutalizes your very existence in every way imaginable. But if you stick with it, and continue to learn from your mistakes, you'll eventually get your revenge and find the peace you were looking for.
  63. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is a real gem with an astonishing and technical combat system that only few can master. It is undoubtedly a really hardcore game, suitable for those who love only though challenges.
  64. 75
    Sifu has an extremely high skill ceiling and very deep gameplay, paired wonderfully with stylized visuals and great art. The gameplay is extremely refined, but Sifu's narrative just feels unfinished as a whole, and could have been the difference from Sifu being a lot more than what it is.
  65. Feb 6, 2022
    Like a 20-year-old combatant, Sifu comes out of the gate strong. Its core combat feels excellent, and the moment-to-moment action looks better than most Hollywood blockbusters. Sadly, as you progress, the action begins to show its teeth and eventually becomes a tiresome grind. Sifu deserves props for its incredible sense of style and tone, but it is also a great example of why growing old isn't always fun.
  66. PLAY
    Mar 7, 2022
    Brawling with goons is fun, but the demand for perfection when facing difficult bosses leads to wearying repetition, even for those who like harder games. [Issue#12, p.90]
  67. Feb 6, 2022
    Despite an excellent combat system and intriguing world design, Sifu falls too short of its premise. Regardless of whether you’re playing it casually or going harder, the death mechanic is simply too punishing to be enjoyable. Perhaps with a fairer system, this would make for a better game.
  68. Feb 6, 2022
    For beat ’em up fans starved for new games to play, Sifu remains an obvious recommendation. Even those taken by its copious charms will want for more after they’ve seen it all, however.
  69. Feb 6, 2022
    Replaying the same level over and over again to grind out XP you need to advance isn’t a challenge, it’s poor design. Randomly making your enemies invincible to spice up the difficulty isn’t a challenge, it’s poor design. I could go on, but I think this review is becoming like one of Sifu’s levels – endlessly repeating itself.
  70. Feb 17, 2022
    The reverence for Asian martial arts films of all kinds is evident in Sifu. But in mixing ‘of all kinds’ together, it diminishes the individual identities of each. Just like martial arts films are more than a select sequence of fight scenes, culture is more than a cool aesthetic. Sifu uses homage to include everything, say nothing, and is ultimately just vexing.
  71. 60
    As a straight action game the core combat is elegant and original but the roguelite structure makes the already mountainous difficulty just too much to bear.
  72. Feb 7, 2022
    The Chinese term “kung fu” roughly translates as “a skill acquired through hard work and practice”. Sifu might just be the purest expression of the concept that games have ever seen. The journey is brutal. It is not for the faint of heart, nor the short of patience. But those prepared to rise to the challenge will find that something spectacular comes after the pain. Is it worth the hardship? Ask me when the wounds have healed.
  73. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu offers plenty of unique promise, but it's no kung-fu master yet. The difficulty spikes will be off-putting for some, but others may enjoy the challenge, but the way it stacks the odds against a player is more frustrating than fun…And yet, players looking for a new challenge might want to pick up Sifu. Even though not every design choice feels like a good one, the foundation and potential for something truly amazing are there.
  74. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu’s singular focus on the perfect run leaves the essential feeling of incremental progress too far out of reach.
  75. 50
    Sifu is a game that could have been something amazing, with its fascinating premise and superbly crafted and fluid combat mechanics and animations. However, the game’s frustrating need to make the gameplay ridiculously hard just left me tired and annoyed. Sloclap really needs to think about how they can make this game more accessible, possibly by including more shortcuts, an adjustable difficulty setting, or just lowering the impact of health lost from fighting your average foe. Hopefully they will bring in some patches that will address these issues, but as it stands, I’d wait before investing time in the world of Sifu.
  76. Feb 6, 2022
    There are so many games out there that do what Sifu does only better. Honestly, if you want a punishing grind where your efforts will actually pay off you’re probably better off just taking a Kung-Fu class in real life.
  77. Feb 6, 2022
    It all meshes together into a game that's far too difficult and without the satisfaction that comes from making progress in a difficult game. It's like bashing your head against the wall, and unlike other games with this approach, the wall isn't starting to crumble. The wall has grown a smug, laughing face as it prepares to take away one of your character's most important abilities, just in time for the final boss battle.
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  1. Feb 11, 2022
    The next big thing in the beat em up. Delicious in his playability and fresh in his visuals. Needs more charisma for his characters, but his lack of great heroes and villains it's served with his fighting mechanics. Maybe the biggest step in the XXI century for the genre. [Recommended]
  2. Feb 7, 2022
    Where Sifu most earns its seriousness, for me, is in that largely unspoken marriage of combos and counters with questions of perception and synchronicity. This is a game about the punch-drunk unevenness of time, and the way that unevenness depends on the mind you bring to bear. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  3. Feb 6, 2022
    Sifu is incredibly frustrating because beneath all of its messy, clunky contrivances, there is a fantastic action game that I really, really want to play. But Sifu can’t get out of its own way, and its high-concept ambitions spoil its fundamental pleasures.
  4. Feb 6, 2022
    Is it worth the effort? Like we said: The highs here are very high, the sense of potential mastery potent. (Game looks great, too, with a fluid, slightly cartoonish style.) But progress will take a certain bloody-minded persistence—and a willingness to overlook the game’s various crimes against authenticity. (To be clear: This is a team of French developers making a video game about what they think an Asian martial arts movie looks like; it’s so divorced from anything resembling a story about real people or cultures as to land somewhere at the intersection of stereotype and cliché.) With those caveats in mind, though, Sifu remains the kind of game it’s hard to stay away from for very long—for no other reason than a desire to take vengeance on it for what it did to you the last time you played.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 457 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 457
  1. Feb 10, 2022
    One of the most challenging games I have ever played in my life. The more you practice the more you will succeed :)
  2. Feb 9, 2022
    Quality > Quantity at its finest.

    While it doesn't have much levels there is this intrinsic motivation to have perfect run and finish level
    Quality > Quantity at its finest.

    While it doesn't have much levels there is this intrinsic motivation to have perfect run and finish level as young as possible, leading me to just replaying first level (by my own will - nobody is forcing me to) for 2 days straight already and I still having blast! :)
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 9, 2022
    Fantastic - TL;DR - Super fun Kung fu game with great art, gameplay, music that is punishing and a must play for anyone who is a fan ofFantastic - TL;DR - Super fun Kung fu game with great art, gameplay, music that is punishing and a must play for anyone who is a fan of marital arts with very little cons. I give Sifu 9 Lightning Fast Strikes out of 10.

    Before I start let me say I have platinumed the game, so I have done everything in it so I know what I am talking about.

    Cons: Before we go to the pros lets talk about the cons which there are two. The camera in this game sometimes is more difficult than the boss. Only after hours of playing have I mastered the camera. But new players will definitely have an issue with it. It still gets me killed from time to time. The second Con is that the game does a really poor job of explaining its system and existing mechanics. At first the game is really hard because you don't know you can do certain things. This does not feel good when you are dying over and over. Also the age mechanic and the way skills work are not really that detailed in game. But luckily we are in the internet age and you can find this information.

    Pros: The music in this game is amazing going from one stage to the next and even the song changes within the same change is insane. It's a joy to listen to start to finish. The art direction in this game is next level. It seems like a basic game with what the trailers show you be each levels art gets better and better and you can't possibly guess what will happen next. With the 3rd stage being my favorite. Stability and polish are both great I have very few stutters are lag anywhere in the game. It does happen but I can count on 1 hand the amount of times it has happened. Gameplay is king here and everything in this game is structured around making you feel like the biggest badass possible. There are few Kung Fu games and even fewer with this level of complexity and fun. This game is very punishing but very rewarding. You go from feeling like a side character in an anime. To feeling like IP with the more time and effort you put into the game. There is no difficulty setting so if punishing games are not your speed just skip on this game entirely.

    All in all this is my current GOTY and I plan to continue playing this game for the foreseeable future.

    I give Sifu 9 Lightning Fast Strikes out of 10.
    Full Review »