What do you see in front of your fist? It is a question that dawned on me in my youth or from an old animated movie. There was another thing taught to me when I entered martial arts, “Know the enemy in the mirror!” Meaning that no other opponent will be tougher than the one you face every day in a reflection. The best thing about entering Absolver is being chosen and given a mask that hides what I consider your soul as a faceless warrior. Showing no emotion, no fear, and no sorrow only your martial skill in an open world full of other warriors geared to be the best. Are you ready to see your fate beyond what is in front of your fist?
In the ruins of the fallen Adal Empire, you awaken with a mysterious mask on your face, and faint recollections of an esoteric ceremony. Freeing you from hunger, thirst, and even death, the mask is the creation of the Guides, the rulers of these lands, who have placed you here to determine whether you are worthy of becoming part of the elite corps of Absolvers. As you wander these forsaken lands, encountering other Prospects like you, you will learn new combat styles, acquire weapons, gear and armor, and build a team of warriors with whom to fight side by side in Arenas of combat.
This is your right of passage in a way to rid yourself of the hardships and I can get behind that. The game starts off with you in a lineup as a guide walks by and picks you as the chosen. Once you dawn the mask you are transported into a new area and of course, have different objectives to accomplish. However, it is recommended to learn what you are worth. Before you get your fist dirty, you will have to pick your play style. You will have to choose between Forsaken, Kahlt Method and Windfall.
Each class has their own special abilities whereas I choose Kahlt Method which is mainly a tank fighter that uses Muay Thai attacks. I have the ability to absorb damage by flicking the right analog stick at the right time that if done right I can gain back some health and counter at the right time. Many of my attacks are strong attacks, but you take a penalty with speed at times. You will not be as fast as most, but timing is key and when you hit, you hit like a Fu*king Freight train as you switch between medium and heavy blows. The customization is pretty limited which is always annoying because I wanted Mohawk and of course none was available not even a baldy.
There Can be only One!
Sorry for the Highlander reference, but I just could not help it. You see each time you defeat an opponent you technically gain power or XP. At certain points, you will gain a point to use in your skill tree and course armor drops from fallen enemies. It will get confusing as when I first started putting on armor I noticed that my damage was going down, but armor against blunt objects and swords went up. Then as I leveled up later on better armor drops happened and now my damage is a little higher and I have better protection. There are also key abilities that you can assign on the D-pad to give you an advantage in combat. I have a healing spell, weapon ability, and a shield right now. Before that placement on the right d-pad was a gravity ability that made my enemy heavy and slower.
At times you will find weapons on the ground, but so far I have only found swords nothing blunt yet. I am hoping to get a bo staff or escrima sticks if possible. In that do not expect to keep the weapon for long as they do tend to break after a certain amount of use. They do give you a great amount of damage, but facing an opponent barehanded is better unless it is a boss.
Even with the above reference, you will not have to fight alone. You can use the L1 button to open up request to co-op with another player. This is a PVE and PVP world combined because there will be moments where help is needed. Also, there will be opportunities to open a school or join one. and that’s what I choose to do after meeting another player and getting my butt whooped. So, I joined his school and gained extra perks.
Eyes Wide to Enjoy all Its Glory!
Absolver is amazingly beautiful to look at like an interactive fine art painting. I tend to stop and look around the environments and get lost at seeing how far the field goes. The textures are nice and it is pretty open to exploring around. In that, the audio combined with the environment gives you a nice atmosphere as you venture out looking for a fight. You will definitely have an experience of each hit and each attack not only from the rumble but from the sound itself which is authentic.
I do have a few concerns with Absolver. The first thing that you will notice after you have your first interaction with the stones to show you a map of your objectives is that you can only see the map during the stone interactions! Why can’t we have a map that we can magically pull up so we know where to go? I have to open this gate, but only after I defeat a particular person which was easy in the first area, but now I am running in circles trying to find this one person. I even assumed my crystals would show me if I am going in the right direction, but no.
Expect some unfair battles all the freaking time. Why is it that I can’t have a fair fight? It is nearly impossible to take on more than one opponent at times. I get that there is hit dedication that you can utilize against other NPC’s and players, but still, it is massively annoying you are attacked at once and can’t properly defend yourself. The match below will show you an example during a boss fight who decides to pull a bit*h move and call in his minions.
Also, in terms of co-op why is that I can end my co-op if I hit my friend too many times. That is freaking annoying and should be a friendly fire turn off or something. I can’t back him up if I have to worry about kicking his butt while making sure he doesn’t get killed. Luckily if they do die you can revive them right there to hold on to your connection, but if they respawn on their own you will have to request co-op again if you can find them.
Meditate on this!
This is one game I can get behind to just get all my aggression out as I learn to get better. It is one of those games where you will have the experience to learn from your defeats. I am a tank hard hitting fighter that needs more patience than someone with speed. I love the combat deck where you can set up your combo tree to set up the right blows against your enemies and they give you a practice area to get used to the timing. The key here is to look at the light flashes as you land a successful blow and do not spam the attack button. It is crucial to find your rhythm and work with it. As stated traveling around is a pain without a proper map and at times if you respawn you tend to lose your co-op buddy unless they revive you. However, the game runs for 30 bucks with a lot of replay value to offer and that is fine by me. If I were to compare this title, it would have to be the old school Tobal series, but I can see potential in this title.
Absolver is satisfying and I will give it 4.5 paws out of 5. Check out Absolver right now and hit me up on PlayStation 4 if you want someone to have your back in these fights, but if it is a boss fight you will have to fight alone, but pray the boss fights alone as well. – Beast Out –