Sifu Steam and Xbox Release - Look at Arenas Free Update
Sifu was finally released on Steam and Xbox, ending a year-long Epic store/PlayStation exclusivity. To celebrate this momentous occasion, it received a free Arenas expansion aimed at hard-core players who mostly twiddled their thumbs after completing the game back in early 2022. If you are new to the game on Steam and Xbox, before looking at Sifu Arenas, check out our Sifu review back from the game’s initial release to acquaint yourself with why we gave it 8/10.
Sifu Arenas are… arenas. Group of fairly simple, but challenging, set pieces, crafted to test your skill and make you cry. They are accessible after completing the tutorial section, but the game dutifully suggests that you should finish the story before attempting to conquer them. You should religiously heed that warning.
Sifu Arenas mode consists of forty-five challenges divided into separate, unlockable tiers. To open up a fresh chunk, you need to earn enough score stars in previous ones. For example, in the first segment, there are fifteen stars to be had, but you only need five to open up further progression. Scoring and unlocking are cumulative, so, in theory, racking up fresh stars should be easier as you go on. A greater number of different challenges at your disposal means there will be more that fit your playstyle better. In other words, success breeds opportunity.
But I swore to never fight again!
Speaking of the variety, there are five different types of challenges – Survive, Performance, Time Attack, Capture, and Manhunt. I never managed to reach the last two modes because I’m not good enough; or rather, not patient enough to re-ignite the muscle memory that carried me to the completion of the base game. In “Survive”, you only need to endure a fixed number of waves, earning the stars depending on your final age – the less you die, the younger you’ll stay. In Performance mode, the final score determines the number of stars you earn (you still need to survive the waves, obviously). Time attack, on the other hand, values speed over everything else.
Some challenges have additional flavor. The last one in the first tier, appropriately named “I know Kung-fu”, recreates the famous Matrix Reloaded mass brawl scene. Here you’ll play the Neo wannabe, dispatching hundreds of drones, and fighting occasional Agent Smith-esque elite. Neat. Others have various mutators, such as deadlier enemies, unbreakable weapons, inability to heal, etc.
So, forty-five new challenges, nine locations, and five modes… Developers predict that you’ll need at least ten hours to wrap up content offered in Sifu Arenas. In my case and yours, if you also belong to the sacred order of Noobs, multiply that number by at least five. In any event, it’s all very generous for a freebie, and they promise more challenges in the coming months! Even if you swore never to fight again, you oughta change your mind given this opportunity.