Absolver, the online fighting game from French game studio Sloclap and published by Devolver Digital, is finally coming into focus. Revealed at E3 last year to overall praise and excitement, the flowy martial-arts title received a very in-depth gameplay trailer today, as well as an official release date: Augst 29, 2017.
“Combat is your art, and mastering the medium is essential to becoming an Absolver.”
In Absolver, you begin your journey as a “Prospect”, a novice fighter with a core fighting style chosen from 3 preset classes. First is the Forsaken style, described as “balanced and powerful”. Users of the Forsaken style can parry their opponents’ attacks, briefly stunning them to gain breathing room or prep a counter-attack. Next up is the “strong and resistant” method: Kahlt style. Kahlt fighters can absorb enemy hits, preventing themselves from being stunned or pushed back; they also have the potential to regain lost health on a successful counter-attack. The final style is Windfall, favoring agility and quickness, with students that “possess greater dexterity and will”, and can dodge enemy attacks. While only these three styles are described in this first combat overview, the soothing narrator does also say that “other styles exist in the world of Absolver,” meaning players may be able to change or acquire new styles along the way.
Prospects and Absolvers keep their fighting moves in a “Combat Deck”, the list of attacks that a prospect can use when fighting. The moves are spread across four Stances, which determine the way the fighter is facing relative to their target. Different attacks are available from different stances, and some moves will fluidly shift the fighter from one stance into another, allowing for the building of unique and unpredictable chains.
The combat deck is fully customizable, with players able to pick and choose which attacks are accessible from each stance, as well as assigning an alternate attack for each possible move, allowing the player to suddenly mix up moves at will. All moves, both standard and alternate, will flow seamlessly into each other, allowing for smooth, rapid attack chains.
New moves can be learned by fighting against opponents using a move you don’t yet know; moves can be learned from masterful Absolvers and newbie Prospects alike, provided they’re throwing an attack at you that you’re not familiar with. Prospects can also learn moves from a Mentor, another more experienced player in the game that they choose to be learn from. Prospects can pick any other player in the game to be their Mentor, and so long as they remain loyal to them, they will be able to learn new moves and access their Combat Deck.
The game also promises to have some form of gear and level-up system for players to progress and further customize their character along the way, although few details are shared on that aspect thus far.
Absolver will be available on August 29 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on PC via Steam.