Absolver Review - PlayStation 4 Review

Master your inner martial artist

Game Info:

  • System: PS4, PC
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Developer: Sloclap
  • Release Date: Aug 29, 2017
  • Price:$29.99
  • Rating: T for Teen
  • Genre: Action, Role-Playing, Adventure
  • Players: 1 (Online Only)
  • Official Website: https://absolvergame.com/

Who it Caters to

Absolver aims to give players an open world game with seamless cooperative and multiplayer play. Players will create a character and then enter a world with little explanation. The only thing you’re aware of is that you have the ability to fight with martial arts mastery and can create your own combos. Learn from your enemies to improve your skills and unlock new moves to become a true Absolver. The world of Absolver is large and unknown, but you must face your fears and be ready for a fight.

What to Expect

If you jump into Absolver without any knowledge of it prior, you’re going to be greeted to a title that doesn’t hold your hand. You will be briefly taught how basic fighting works but from there, you must learn the world of Absolver for yourself. Every area you can meet other players worldwide to either aid your quest, spar with you or fight against you. The world of Absolver is mysterious but similar to games like Dark Souls, taking your time will get you far as you learn the game and what secrets it holds. Choose your style and path, then be ready to set off in a world that is both beautiful and hostile.

Story

Absolver starts off with a room filled with people and your created avatar. An older man walks up to you then chooses you out of all of those within the room. The unknown man then takes you into a chamber with a spirit and after watching a brief ceremony, hands you a mask. Once you put this mask on, your body seems to enter some odd space and you see yourself fly towards an unknown location. Once your eyes clear, you notice that you’re no longer in the room but now in an abandoned village and you notice a large tower in the distance. Your next goal is to reach that tower and learn more about your role as a new Absolver.

Gameplay

After a brief—and maybe too minimal—character customization, you’re dropped into Absolver with very little guidance. Similar to the Dark Souls series—be prepared to hear us mention this quite often—Absolver aims at giving gamers a freedom to explore an open world and learn the mechanics for themselves. This works for Absolver in many ways but equally a few issues arise that keep Absolver from being as great as it could be. Let us now kick and punch our way through our review of Absolver. We promise not to use this same joke again during the review.

Absolver is an online only—yes you need PS Plus or to be connected to the net—action-adventure RPG. However, unlike other titles that are MMORPG-like in nature, Absolver is all about martial arts and some weaponry. Once you begin Absolver you’re told briefly how the controls work and how to edit your skills—more on these concepts in a moment—and then just let loose to do whatever you want. Want to explore, go for it and want to battle others you see come across your path, do it. Easily one of Absolver’s greatest strengths is letting you do whatever you want and learn as you go about it.

Now as we mentioned, Absolver is a martial arts heavy title. Initially you’re only given three forms to choose from when you make your character, and each form only has several moves associated with it. These moves are linked to your square and triangle button and you can mix and match all you like to make your own combos. That right there is the beauty of Absolver because as you learn moves—from defeating enemies or other players—you will begin to see a world of possibilities open before you. Do you start a combo with a heavy attack that throws off an opponent then chain that with multiple weaker punches or do you make a chain of heavy hits to just break guard and do massive damage? Absolver won’t hinder you from doing any of that and it really makes you feel like a martial artist in every sense of the word. Just remember that dying or running away from a fight will erase your current progression with new moves that are being learned.

Equally the combat of Absolver opens up even more once you gain access to weapons and various powers. There are several powers—gained upon defeating specific bosses—and each gives you a means of either helping yourself or hindering the enemy. While there are only a few weapons in Absolver, a smart player can change the tide of a difficult battle if they can use one or gain access to one. Add to this by having the ability to even learn new art styles from masters found in game and Absolver just has a mind blowing amount of combat customization of which we’ve never seen before in a game like this. We can only imagine here at Honey’s Anime that even more can possibly be added to the game if there are future patches or DLC.

Graphically, Absolver looks pretty good with some nice art that really shines when you’re in certain areas of the game. Character models and some of the environmental items can be a bit bland at times but it’s not a big deal and really doesn’t hinder the game in any way. While Absolver also has little music and little spoken dialogue—Absolver uses a strange fake language when a character actually speaks—it works to keep you immersed in the setting Absolver is trying to show you. Sound effects such as punching and kicks sound good and honestly work fine. Now then let us talk about some of the issues with Absolver.

As we mentioned earlier, Absolver is an online only experience. This leads to some great seamless co-op and multiplayer play but it also leads to some horrible frame rate drops and incredible lag. There were times where are screens came to an abrupt stop as other players loaded into our world. We also know it’s not our internet here at Honey’s Anime as there are reports from other players on forums that are stating the same thing is happening to them. It’s not bad enough to say Absolver is broken or doesn’t work, but during some fights, it did provide a small annoyance. We’re sure developer Sloclap can fix this though in future updates.

Our final gripe about Absolver is the same thing we’ve praised a bit, the learning curve. While it’s always fun to learn a game and not be told every specific detail—it’s what we love about Dark Souls for example—there are a lot of nuances that need to be looked up if you want to truly master Absolver. We found ourselves going to community forums and wikia pages to learn some of the more obscure details of Absolver such as the equipment stats and the overall stats themselves and what they do. This, by no means, is a big issue folks but for some it may be a deal breaker if you like a game to be explained in more depth. Absolver is not keen on telling you what to do or where to go, so be prepared to get slightly lost in your quest to master Absolver as a whole. Seriously, if you do get lost, don’t feel bad as we here at Honey’s Anime went in circles trying to find the next boss to defeat. We did mention this has a Dark Souls vibe to it, right?

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Absolver is probably one of the most unique action-adventure online RPGs we’ve ever played here at Honey’s Anime. The fact that you’re thrown into a world with little guidance reminds us of Dark Souls but at times Absolver could have used a bit more explanation for some of its core mechanics. There is a deep learning curve in Absolver and only those who can harness their inner patience will truly enjoy the almost liberating freedom seen in Absolver. While the seamless multiplayer is a great idea, it is plagued with some terrible lag at times and that can ruin the experience, especially seeing as how Absolver is only online and has no single player. However, for $29.99, Absolver is an impressive title with a lot of room to grow in later updates and patches. We honestly can recommend it to anyone who wants a game that is similar to a MMORPG but not quite a MMORPG.

Honey's Pros:

  • Very unique fighting mechanics
  • Cool art style
  • Seamless co-op or multiplayer
  • Deep leveling system
  • Tons of customization in your fighting skill set
  • Free world to explore
  • Hard but fair

Honey's Cons:

  • Online can be at times very lag filled
  • May be a bit daunting to those who like direction in games
  • Could have used a bit more of a tutorial
  • Poor starting customization

Honey's Final Verdict:

Absolver is a fun title that we enjoyed playing immensely with others. By yourself it can feel a bit repetitive and the learning curve will shy some gamers away. However, if you’re in love with titles like Dark Souls that gives you freedom to get better and learn things on your own, then you’re going to love Absolver. Well folks that concludes our review of Absolver. Are you planning on picking Absolver up now or are you going to wait for a bit? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more game reviews and articles from us here at Honey’s Anime.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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