Absolver is a unique game in more than one sense. Technically it is an online brawler, but the definition does not make good what are its true contents.
More specifically, it is a strange hybrid between an MMO and a martial arts simulator, in which echoes of other genres are not lacking. The player plays an aspiring Absolver, who must defeat a series of bosses scattered around the ruins of the Adal empire, so as to gain access to the central tower, where he can face the final boss. Between saying and doing, that is before the final absolution, there are countless clashes, against opponents driven by the CPU and, if desired, human.
The Adal empire is a single, large map divided by a two macro zones, each with its own characteristics. By visiting one you find yourself wandering through a port, then in a collapsed area surrounding a huge arena. Going on the other side you travel in wilder terrain, to get to a temple surrounded by a swamp and an outpost made of old wooden houses.
The game world is not vast and, when you know it, it takes very little to go from one side to the other.
However it is very nice to see, thanks to a simple graphic style, but refined in the details. The exploration is slowed by the need to find the booty, usually well hidden and, above all, by the fighting, which are very frequent. Just get close to an opponent to start the fight. Around there are also friendly characters, but they are very few and have as their sole objective to give us some information.
If you want you can work with other human beings, but you have to find someone who is willing to work as a team. If you want to fight with other players without being disturbed, it is still easier to go to one of the altars scattered around the maps and select one of the available modes.
THE COMBAT SYSTEM
Absolver’s core is its extremely technical and customizable combat system. At the beginning of the game you are asked to select one of the available styles, then you are entrusted to the tutorial that explains the rudiments. The moves to learn are few, the basics seem clear, but direct experience will teach us that there is much more. Absolver is a damn difficult, but rewarding game.
When you fight you have to take into account many factors and you can not limit yourself to attacking opponents enough.We must also learn to parry, perhaps at the right time to let the opponent discover; to dodge,
taking care not to consume the whole stamina bar; to absorb the blows, so as to learn the techniques that are undergone (you can do it just by observing, but it takes more time); to decide the combat position, which varies the moves used; and to attack the attacks, so as to be more effective in using the combos.
With the acquisition of new techniques, better equipment (which is not necessarily the one with the highest values, given that the excess weight worn negatively affects various factors, such as agility and damage) and experience points, it is possible grow the character, both in features (strength, agility, stamina and others), and in versatility. Depending on the style of combat initially chosen you can create custom combos, taking advantage of the acquired moves.
The wealth of details from this point of view is really incredible and when you fully understand the system you spend a lot of time in the so-called Combat Deck to change the moves assigned to the four combat posesto adapt them to our style and to create longer, more effective and lethal combos. You really become masters only when you have mastered the system completely.
At that point the fights between peers become real choreographically spectacular ballets, which excite as if you were facing a martial arts film. Of course, as you understand it is not an accessible system and does not really do anything to be so, so that even the clashes against generic enemies can be fatal if tackled lightly.