Developer Sloclap Publisher Devolver Digital Format PC, PS4, Xbox One Release 2017
One of the highlights of this year’s E3, Absolver offers up a striking mix of elements inspired by Dark Souls, Journey and
God Hand. We can think of few headier concoctions. Taking place in the ruins of the fallen Adal empire, players take up the mantle of prospective Absolvers – warriors seeking to maintain world order – and must prove themselves worthy of joining the group. You’ll encounter a mix of NPCs and other wandering players with whom you can trade, form alliances, or scrap. You can form a band of up to three players to fight with, tackling PVE exploration or showcasing your skills in dedicated PVP arenas. Encounters are weighty and deliberate, the camera sitting just over your shoulder, and necessitate caution, skill and a little deception. You can feign a move and cancel out of it, ready to parry your opponent’s attack, while a smart system allows you to learn new moves over time.
These moves go into your Combat Deck, with which you can build custom, branching combos. Each move ends in one of four stances, and which you choose to combine will alter your fighting style and available moves. Brilliantly, you’ll also have to recognise your opponent’s stance to counter in the right direction. It’s a lot to take in at first, but once you find your rhythm, Absolver is nothing less than entrancing.