Absolver is easily one of the more unique games releasing this year. Devolver Digital’s innovative melee combat game brings an edge of skill and understanding to its fast-paced hand-to-hand battles; and with the game hitting shelves week, international publications have had their say on the title:
“Absolver has a few problems…yet they’re not impactful enough to take away from its unique strengths. There’s a significant challenge involved in learning Absolver’s combat intricacies, but it’s the kind of struggle that rarely frustrates. Defeat is part and parcel of the experience, but your demise always teaches you something new that you can take with you into the next battle–and Absolver’s deep, nuanced combat always finds ways of enticing you back for one more fight.
“If the game had tried too much–if it had thrown me into more complicated duels, or forced me to use weapons more often–I don’t think I would have found it nearly as appealing. Instead, Absolver recognizes its singular goal of building a robust, satisfying martial arts combat system. It leans into those strengths, and it’s a better game for it.”
“Absolver is a beautiful martial-arts fighting game that allows for an impressive degree of personalized play with its innovative combat deck system, which lets you learn skills from combat with other players and NPCs. Unfortunately, it only comes with a single PvP arena mode at launch, and its fascinatingly nebulous campaign breaks off early and abruptly. It feels like an early access game with a ton of potential, but it’s not quite there yet.”
“If you’re going to have the best experience, you need to try new techniques, put together different (and silly) outfits, and explore every nook and cranny of Absolver’s vibrant yet ruined world. It’s a little rough around the edges, and the lack of structured content indicates this is only the first step into a larger universe–but it is so thoroughly committed and confident in its core premise that I can’t help but be enthralled, broken hand and all.”
Game Informer: 6.75/10
“Sloclap’s first foray shows glimmers of brilliance in the combat and the somewhat intriguing aesthetic of masked martial artists going at it in strange lands. Even so, Absolver feels like a collection of little pieces from something larger that just never happens. It’s as if someone has set the table for a fascinating three-course meal and the appetizer is the only thing that ever comes out of the kitchen–and by the time you take your first bite, you’re being ushered out the door.”
“Absolver’s sure to be divisive. There’s a clear vision that shines throughout the game. Its combat system encourages a granular knowledge of the different moves and potential combos that stem from each directional stance. But while the appeal will be apparent to the competitive-minded player, Absolver’s pointed focus is complex enough to turn others away. The journey from lowly Prospect to Absolver is arduous and challenging, but it’s hardly inviting.”
Gaming Nexus: 9.5/10
“Absolver is one of the top games of the year. While its level design can use some work, its combat system should be studied and worshiped by anyone trying to make a fighting game.”
Absolver is now available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.