Sifu producer Pierre Tarno has confirmed the game won't include difficulty options at launch, following details of its unique aging mechanic.
A twist on roguelike gameplay, the player character will age each time they die which will affect abilities. Speaking to MP1st, Tarno was asked if the game can be completed without ever aging: yes!
However, there won't initially be difficulty options as developer Sloclap wants players to learn and adapt over the course of the game.
"We want Sifu to challenge players and to encourage them to learn, improve and adapt," said Tarno.
"The ability to rise up from death will help new players by allowing them to fail and try again multiple times when they face difficulty. But the price of mistakes will rapidly increase, and in order to fully complete the game they will have to master the combat system."
MP1st does confirm that while no difficulty options will be included at launch, this may be implemented later.
A recent PlayStation Blog gives details on Sifu's unique mechanics. The player character holds an ancient pendant that can heal them back to life, but each time they're revived they age. With age comes increased offensive power in exchange for health.
The more the player dies, the more they age: beginning with one year, the second death will bring a two year age gap and so on.
What's more, revival is a limited resource. Eventually your character will die and reach a definitive game over, forcing a restart of the chapter.
While intriguing, these mechanics have brought the game's difficulty into question. It seems Slocap is set on establishing the difficulty curve without options.
It's a similar situation to Returnal, another PlayStation exclusive roguelike that was criticised for not including a save function which artificially increased the game's difficulty. That has since been rectified in a recent update.
Sifu is due for release across PlayStation consoles and PC two weeks earlier than expected on 8th February.