In the kung fu game Sifu, you embark on a journey of revenge for the death of your father at the hands of Yang, “The Leader,” and his four underlings. While using your limbs and weapons to battle off hordes of enemies, being purely offensive is not the key to success. Your best bet is to parry as many strikes as possible.
Parrying sounds simple enough, but the timing can be difficult to master. Below, you will find a primer on parrying and how to parry, the benefits to parrying, and more.
How to parry in Sifu
To parry, you must hit L1 right as an attack is about to land. If you don’t time it right, it will instead turn into a guard – or you could take damage. While guarding is fine, there is one distinct difference between the two that will affect you.
When you guard, your Structure meter builds. Once it reaches maximum capacity (turns red), your Structure will be broken. When broke, depending on the attack that broke it, you will either be pushed back (possibly into objects) or taken to the ground, leaving you open for powerful follow-up attacks.
However, when you parry, your Structure does not build and, if you have the upgrade, will impact the enemy’s Structure more than a normal parry; remember that most upgrades have three levels! The quicker you break an enemy’s Structure, the quicker you can land a takedown.
The benefit to parrying in Sifu
Aside from not having your Structure meter build and not taking damage, the main benefit to parrying is that a successful parry will open up the enemy for an attack. There are some attacks and combos you can land immediately after a parry to land some quick damage (check your commands list). If you have a weapon, you’ll deal even more damage after a parry.
However, the main benefit is that if an enemy has taken enough damage or is a low-level grunt, a successful parry can trigger a takedown opportunity (Triangle + Circle). When you’re against a horde of enemies – like the hangar in The Squats or the first trial in The Club’s “The Burning” – this is a great way to quickly whittle down your number of opponents.
You’ll know an enemy is open for an attack and that you landed a successful parry as they’ll stagger backwards a few steps with their hands up. If a takedown is available, you’ll see the prompt immediately after a successful parry as well. Remember, parrying is your key to success!
What is Structure in Sifu?
Structure can be thought of as your physical integrity. You will maintain your composure and balance as long as your Structure isn’t broken. Again, once it builds, your Structure is broken.
If your Structure meter is high and you don’t want to risk a parry turning into a guard, try dodging with R2 and the direction with the left stick. Your Structure meter slowly depletes, so creating some distance and avoiding attacks will help you regain some Structure.
When you successfully evade an attack (avoid), you will regain some Structure. If you gain the Structure Regain upgrade, the amount will increase per avoid. There are times where you won’t be able to dodge as easily, which is why mastering parrying will be key to your success.
Weapons also affect Structure more in addition to more damage. If you gain the Weapon Proficiency upgrade, Structure impact to an enemy from a weapon strike increases. When paired with other weapon-based upgrades – and the amount of weapons littered throughout levels – parrying and then striking with a weapon will do the most damage.
Parrying and Structure tips in boss battles
Each boss battle is divided into two stages. The first stage is usually dealing enough damage to trigger a takedown and cutscene. Again, parry as much as possible and land enough strikes to trigger the takedown and the first cutscene. The second stage is more difficult and is where Structure comes into play.
In the second stage, such as the pictured battle with Fajar, you should aim to fill their Structure bar rather than drain their health. There are two reasons for this. The first is that in a battle of attrition with their high health, attack, and defense, you will most likely die several times. The second reason is that the Structure meter is much easier to fill especially if you have a weapon, the aforementioned upgrades, and can time your parries.
As with the first stage, you want to parry the boss to open them up for attacks. Parrying will also affect their structure, as will continued strikes – even more with a weapon. For example, in the pictured battle, Fajar’s Structure is about half-filled whereas his health had only been drained about a quarter of the way due to a few parries and landing strikes with the bamboo staff.
With the Structure meter building quicker than the health drain from your attacks, don’t be surprised to see the takedown prompt before Fajar – or any boss – reaches half health, though Yang will be troublesome as the final boss.
Now you know how and when to parry and the benefits involved. Sometimes, as they say, the best offense is a good defense!