We’ve been fighting our way through the world of Adal in SloClap’s debut title. Find out what we thought about it in our Absolver review.
|Release Date||August 29, 2017|
Absolver is a game based on melee combat. Players are able to create their own combos by mixing up their attacks and creating their own chains. Absolver does a great job in making those combat moments memorable but, unfortunately, there aren’t many other highlights to speak of.
Absolver starts off with you creating your own character at least that’s what it says it is. The character creation suite only allows you to choose from a few hair styles, your starting fighting style (there are only 3), and gender. This leaves little to actually customize, there aren’t a bunch of types of hair so you’re bound to look like everyone else. Not only that, but every Absolver wears a mask so there was little point to this at all. It would have been easier to just play a pre-determined character.
There’s barely any story in Absolver. After being selected from a lineup of other students, your character is given a mask and sent out into the world. Your goal is apparently to defeat some other Absolvers. Are these rogue Absolvers? I don’t really know. That’s all I was really able to get out of the story since there isn’t much in the way of a narrative. It’s cool to be able to do things as you want, but I need a reason to care about a game and I just didn’t have one with this game. It just felt like mindless fighting over and over again.
As I’ve been saying, combat is the biggest focal point of Absolver and it is indeed pretty well implemented. You can create your own combos to suit how you play the game. Your fighter has four different stances that you can switch between on the fly. Each stance can have up to three combo moves giving you a total of twelve. There are many more moves for you to learn which can be equipped as your first, second, or third attack. It’s more than just hand to hand combat too. You can also equip swords and other weapons to help you out. It starts to get more fun as you actually get some weapons to use rather than just your hands. You’re even able to join schools that will teach you new abilities. You can also learn a new fighting style. All of this stuff comes together nicely and allows you to fight the way that works best for you.
Absolver gives you experience points every time you defeat an enemy. Like most games, you can increase a stat like strength or stamina by 1 every time you go up a level. I wish more was explained with this game, though. I went through most of it not knowing how to learn new moves. I figured out that you have to block unlearned attacks to build your mastery of it before you can unlock it. If you die during combat, you lose all the experience that you were building up towards new moves. You have to win a fight to get these new moves even though you spend most of the time trying to block. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
One of the most interesting parts of Absolver is the seamless world that is shared between players and AI characters. This leads to some interesting situations. Should you help the player who is fighting a group of AI characters or leave him alone? The consequences can be immediately felt as that person you helped out could turn around and take you out just as fast. There’s also the issue that you could attack them by accident and then they’ll start to attack you. The good part about this is you can change this setting to invitation only if things become too bothersome. You can also do a Combat Trial which is just a fight in an arena against another player. It’s a great way to learn new tactics from more seasoned players and it is slated to also include 3 vs. 3 in the coming months which is a nice bonus.
The major part that annoyed me about Absolver was the bad lock-on system that the game employs. You lock on to the first character that attacks you or that you attack. This is fine when you’re facing one opponent, but facing any groups or anything like that is just tedious. The AI end up circling around you and taking shot after shot while you can barely defend yourself. I don’t think the lock-on mechanic was at all necessary in this game, I would have been much happier just being able to attack where I want to attack. It was really difficult for me to enjoy any battles that weren’t one on one because of it.
I will say that I really liked the art direction in Absolver. It has a unique look that not many games can match and I think it fits the game well. It’s also nice to see that you can obtain new armor that actually changes the way your character looks, unlike some games. They did a really good job with the environments and characters.
Absolver is one of those games that is hard to rate for me. One one hand, I really enjoyed the combat when I was battling people one on one and I like the way that your character progresses. What I don’t like is that a lot of battles are not one on one and that I don’t feel much of an incentive to progress through the game. For that reason, I don’t think I’ll be going back to it. I’d definitely recommend trying this game before buying it.
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Devolver Digital for review purposes*