We've written about Absolver before on GR+, but I was kinda "sleeping on it" as the kids say until I watched this trailer. My love for cinematic kung fu action alone couldn't explain the stirrings of hype I felt within my bosom. I searched for answers in our Absolver preview from E3 last year and pulled up the official site, then it hit me: this is the martial-arts practicing, creepy-mask wearing child of Dark Souls and Destiny.
I'm not convinced. How is it like Dark Souls?
While you're out exploring the ruins of the Adal Empire, you'll encounter other players, Invasion-style. Naturally you'll want to fight them. Once you both square off, you'll engage in a melee combat system that rewards positioning and balancing stamina consumption over frame-perfect reaction times. Win and you'll permanently receive the Attack XP you earned from their fighting style, potentially learning one of their moves. Lose and that expertise will drift away, like so many squandered souls.
Alright, what about Destiny?
You don't have to fight the other players you run into! You could team up instead and go kick ass together. Absolver has dedicated arenas for folks who want to team up for PvP battles (i.e. The Crucible) and co-op dungeons for players who would rather take down tough NPC opponents together (i.e. Strikes). The mentor/student system that the trailer introduces also sounds like a cool way to formalize and enhance the "sherpa" concept - skilled players showing newbies the ropes - that has become such an important part of the Destiny community.
But Absolver's still its own thing, right?
Oh yeah, definitely. Absolver looks like a unique game - and ambitious as all get-out, considering developer Sloclap is a new, small studio. It's just a lot easier to fit "Destiny" and "Dark Souls" in a headline than "a shared world action/fighting game with PvP and PvE elements and a massively customizable stance-based combat system".
Absolver is coming to PC and PS4 on August 29 and I really can't wait to give it a try. Until then, you can slake your martial arts thirst with our list of the best current-gen fighting games and the best kung fu movies.