VIDEO GAME REVIEW - Absolver on PS4
Absolver is a new download only game for the PS4 that’s different then pretty much anything out there. At it’s heart, it’s a fighting game, but it’s WAY more than just a fighting game. The game developed by Sloclap is described on their website as “Online Melee Action”. Here’s a description of the game from Sloclap’s website:
“Absolver puts players behind the mask of a Prospect, who has taken a sacred vow and chosen to join the Absolvers, an elite corps of combatants fighting to maintain stability in the world.
Monitored by the Guides, the new rulers of the fallen Adal Empire, players will wander these forsaken lands and encounter other Prospects online in order to learn their place in this world and eventually become Absolvers.
Along the way, they will learn new combat styles and attacks, and acquire better weapons, powers and armor. Battles between warriors are an intense real-time flow of attacks, dodges, feints and counters, with all aspects of gameplay customizable, including combat styles, weapons and even individual attack sequences in the player’s Combat Deck.
Build a team of warriors to fight side by side with you in the dungeon mines of Adal (PvE) or put your skill on display in dedicated combat arenas (PvP) scattered across the land.”
You start out first customizing your Prospect, clothes, hair, mask etc… then you select your fighting style. There’s 3 to start off that have a different look and feel to them, one having a Wing Chun look to it. You also can in game, learn a Drunken Style!Once that’s done you get a speech from your “Sensei;’and then it starts.
You can play online or offline and there is an offline “story mode” somewhat, but it’s REALLY vague, but it surprisingly is somewhat of the charm of this game. You roam the country side and run into various fighters and you fight. When you defeat them you may get items, weapons etc… but the best part is as you’re fighting, you’re learning their fighting techniques. If you block or dodge their attacks, your player starts to learn like the Matrix. You’re “downloading” their technique, and then you are able to use that.
The online is where this game does so great. As you travel the world, you’ll run into computer players you can fight or you may run into an actual person playing as an Absolver. This is where the tension starts. You see each other and you can either immediately start attacking the person, but you don’t know if this person is your same level or 10 levels higher than you. There is no talking in Absolver, but you communicate through body language. A thumbs up, a wagging of the finger, a motion of “follow me” etc… and also when you see someone you can request that you both team up and go exploring, fighting together. I can’t explain the feeling you get when you walk up on a player and in that short moment you don’t know “am I gonna have to fight this dude? or are we about to be besties?”, but it’s a rush.
The graphics are have a water colorish feel to them. It’s a very unique, soft, artsy feel to them. I don’t know how to describe it, so watch this video which will show you the first 15 min’s.
You may have also noticed, in game, there’s no music. It’s just the sound of the world and striking sound effects. It’s a very chill feel to it.
I’ve been playing this thing non stop since I got it and it’s addicting running around the world, upgrading your fighting style and looking for new masks for your Absolver. You kind of show how much of a bad ass you are by your clothes and mask, so half the fun is kicking the shit out of people and getting new stuff.
So final breakdown of game:
This isn’t revolutionary graphics and it’s not Uncharted graphics, but what it is, for it’s world it just works. From the environment to the other players, to the shadows and seasons changing as you move to different locations, it just works.
The fighting on this is exceptional. You’re literally “learning” how to fight for this game. You learn new fighting styles as you go (including a drunken style) and there’s nothing more satisfying than getting down the rhythm and timing of the fighting, blocking an opponent, then dodging a strike and then countering all in a fluid motion. The fighting controls are so tight on this, it’s really good.
Not a lot to the overall story. You’re trying to become an Absolver and… yeah, that’s about it. I don’t know much more than that. I beat the single player within a few days, but the beauty is the games not “done”. I’ll be still exploring, playing online, finding new masks and clothes. It can go on indefinitely, but there’s not much more to the story.
As I mentioned, there’s no real music other than a few menu screens. It works for the game, but you could’ve also had some chill Japanese music, “martial arty” music etc… Sound effects can get repetitive with the hitting, maybe they could’ve added unique sounds for your fighter, like a Bruce Lee scream or a “HIIIII-YA!” etc..
One of the only frustrating things about this game is the menus. Looking at the map is almost pointless and organizing your fighting style can be confusing as FAHK starting out. There’s A LOT i had to google because there’s just not a lot explained within the game.
FINAL SCORE: 8
I don’t do scores with a .5 or .whatever cause that’s for nerds. Just solid scores, round numbers. I give Absolver a solid 8. The game is fun as fahk and the ability to team up with a buddy and rome the country side kicking prospect ass is the SHIT. I highly recommend the game. Go get it!