Screenshot of Absolver Counter Punch

What is Absolver?

Absolver is a fighting videogame that uses martial arts to create a new breed of action role-playing title. It was published by Devolver Digital and developed by Sloclap to be played on Windows and PlayStation 4. It is centered on warrior characters who use different fighting styles to defeat opponents and control the realm of Adal. The game uses a different fighting system compared to mainstream titles, with a more difficult learning curve. Compared to other action role-playing games, this one also has a solid plot.

Key facts about Absolver

  • Absolver has a difficult but rewarding combat style.
  • The game allows players to customize their fighters thoroughly before joining the fray.
  • Absolver shines the brightest in multiplayer, but has a compelling narrative.
  • Players can also use weapons in 1 versus 1 duels and tend to get an unfair advantage.
  • Absolver supports multi-person fights, but they quickly get overwhelming and lack coherence.

Gameplay of Absolver

Absolver invites players to explore an open world and encounter opponents as well as potential allies. The action role-playing video game is based heavily on martial arts fighting from a third person perspective. The complexity of the Absolver gameplay derives from the fact that players can use many combinations of offensive and defensive moves. Strikes, feints, parries and other aggressive stances need to be used alternatively and in conjunction to maximize the effects.

As players assume control over low level characters called Prospects they learn to hone their skills. With each successful quest they become better fighters and also explore the fictional realm of Adal. The reasoning behind all this fighting is the desire of the central characters to prove their quality. Those who are deemed worthy will eventually join the Absolver peacekeepers, which apparently is a great honor.

Improving one’s abilities and becoming better at fighting is just one of the things that motivate players. With each mission completed and side quests salt, players also receive loot. By defeating opponents, they pick up weapons, equipment and superior gear. They also hone their skills and become better at inflicting significant damage upon unsuspecting foes. Weapons are available and they enhance the Absolver gameplay, giving players an advantage over their peers.

In addition to defeating opponents, players can also practice with friends and allies. It all prepares them for the multiplayer experience which is fully enjoyed over the Internet against their peers. This is where they can spar with their real-life friends to become better at fighting enemies. Not only the traits and features of their heroes can be customized, but also the finishing moves. These are performed using the cards in the combat deck which is at the cornerstone of the Absolver gameplay.

Screenshot of Absolver Deadly Lineup

Plot of Absolver

The plot of Absolver doesn’t lack originality, as players begin their mission in the former Empire of Adal. They learn more about the open world that can be explored at leisure and try to find their place in it. Players know right from the beginning that their ultimate goal is to join the Absolver peacekeepers. In order to do so, they need to become better fighters and this can only be done by training a lot. As they learn new moves and equip better weapons, they become more effective fighting machines.

Everything is centered on the combat mechanics which influences all the major decisions. When players receive weapons for completing missions they need to decide whether to equip them or not. They trade speed for more raw power and these decisions will also influence the fighting style. When going through the single player, one is guaranteed to be impressed by the interesting design of the great outdoors. The environment is green and covered in lush vegetation, with huge waterfalls and crumbling rulings.

The Absolver plot consists of a chain of fights that get increasingly difficult. With each vanquished opponent, players unlock new skills and abilities, which make them better all around. Even though the opponents get tougher, the newfound knowledge and improved arsenal of weapons give them a fighting chance. Basically, players start from the bottom of a mountain and climb all the way to the summit. The goal is to gain entry into the famous Tower of Adal and defeat all the opponents waiting there.

Screenshot of Absolver A Second Chance

Players who were hoping to deviate from the main narrative shouldn’t set their hopes too high. That’s because even though there are some side quests, they don’t feel terribly original.

Development of Absolver

Sloclap is the indie game studio from Paris that developed Absolver. The team consists largely of people who used to work for Ubisoft and they started work on the new game in 2015. It helps a lot that they had so much experience from working on major titles such as Watchdogs and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon. Those who want to learn more about their background can play these games or try other popular Ubisoft titles. For Honor, The Crew, Steep and Assassins Creed Unity are all good choices.

Meanwhile, the indie game studio did a fine job producing a game that has some truly impressive graphics to offer. They decided to bring something new to the fighting game industry by using the concept of combat decks. Players enjoy a lot of freedom and can choose a set of books that better serve their expectations and style. Sloclap had to monitor the game balance to make sure that such issues don’t hurt the gaming experience.

Where can I download Absolver?

Sloclap is not a big game studio, quite the opposite so don’t expect to find many games on their website. However, Absolver is their flagship title and one they are very proud of and it can be downloaded from their website. It uses the Unreal Engine 4 and since 2016 when the game was announced, it underwent several changes and improvements. Once downloaded, the game can be played on Microsoft Windows powered PCs and PlayStation 4 consoles. It doesn’t have a version for Xbox One and there’s no indication that the videogame will be ported.

Screenshot of Absolver Finishing Blow

What are others saying about Absolver?

Absolver reviews were pretty good which makes perfect sense given the small team working on it. Indie game studios are given a lot of leeway and for a good reason since they don’t have significant resources. It helps a lot that the game was released on time and wasn’t plagued by balance issues right from the start. There were plenty of players impressed by the simple controls despite the fact that it uses a new system. At the same time, there were players who found the learning curve rather steep and the gameplay too complex. Learning the ropes can be easy but mastering the game is a real challenge.

The generally favorable reviews frequently mentioned the fact that the game stands out from the crowd of bland fighting titles. Developers have produced a great looking environment, which can be explored at leisure by curious players. The narrative generated mixed reactions, with some regarding it solid for a fighting videogame while others dismissing it as an afterthought. Most of those who enjoy playing the game do so because they appreciate the intriguing and original combat systems.

My Rating of Absolver

I’m not the biggest fan of fighting video games, so I wasn’t among the first to play Absolver. What caught my eye was the fact that for a fighting videogame it really has something new to offer. It took me a while to thoroughly understand how the card deck system works. Arm yourself with patience and prepare for something different because this is not your classic fighter. At least it is easy to play early on and by the time it gets complicated you already know a great deal about it.

In single player, Absolver is a fun game to play and it can prepare you for the challenges of multiplayer. Compared to other games of the same type, it fails to make the most of competitive play. Things turn from bad to worse when you compete with more opponents simultaneously because brawls quickly get out of hand. With all these things in mind I’m going to rate Absolver 7/10. Under normal circumstances the review score would be slightly lower, but keep in mind that Sloclap is an indie developer.