'Absolver' Is a New Approach to Fighting Games in a Genre Desperate For It


With its weird world and customizable combos, this open-world adventure is a fighting game for players who don't like fighting games.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzzkkv/absolver-is-a-new-approach-to-fighting-games-in-a-genre-desperate-for-it


Very interesting! It’s a shame it comes out at the same time as EVERYTHING else.


i kinda hope absolver does have some of the stuff that the article lists as designs for hardcore players. frames, for example,are just what happens when you design a movelist with safe and risky stuff, and it’d suck if every move was exactly as punishable as every other move. (also i’m not sure if there’s that many people that memorise frames rather than looking at them to see what’s safe and what isn’t)

judging from the writeup it sounds like this game is taking a decent amount from what dark souls pvp eventually turned into (not incidental invasions, but DSCM-facilitated duels with different soul level ‘metas’), so i’ll be curious to see if something like that has wider appeal when it’s part of a game’s base design and not something you have to hack together with external programs on pc.


I started a post in the forums for anybody who wants to join a school in Absolver. Check it out!


The reason fighting games are so complex is because for there to be longevity there needs to be a high skill cap and a lot of different ways to win. It’s the difference between tic tac toe and chess, and this is why I was very sad about For Honor, because it could’ve been a great step towards a new style of fighting games.

I think this is where I can shamelessly say that the original Dissidia got this style of game right. It had a simple enough system to grasp, but there we’re deeper mechanics at play. Hopefully Absolver avoids the For Honor simplicity and goes more towards Dark Souls/Dissidia.


I’ve only put in about an hour or so into Absolver, but I can definitely see the potential for something great here. I personally don’t know what kind of game to compare it to, but it does feel like a new style of fighting game.

The feeling of playing the intro to Absolver makes me reminiscent of the first time I played Demon’s Souls, “Sure I’ve played Action RPG’s before, but this feels like something ‘new’”. I love the feeling of having new mechanics to learn, and I enjoy when a game in a genre I’m familiar with forces me to change up my playstyle; demanding that I look at the game for what it is, not simply what it’s like.

For now I’m finding myself just doing a lot of button mashing or doing a 2-3 stance infinite combo loop, but I know with some time and practice, I’ll one day be an elegant dancer of death lol. Hope to see some of you fellow Waypointers out in the field :slight_smile:


Very excited to get into this game. First one in what feels like a long time that I’ve been excitedly waiting for and doesn’t appear to be a letdown (looking at you, Sundered). Gonna pick this up ASAP.

I don’t usually play online multiplayer, but this game could very well change that. I’ve been hearing that Absolver’s single-player campaign doesn’t offer a whole lot of content. Can anyone speak to their experience with that?


The areas themselves are basically very pretty environments filled with generic enemies and a few sub-bosses, with some stashes of loot hidden about. They exist as places that you’ll hang out in search of oponants that will find their way into the area with you. I hear there’s about 8 hours worth of game if you were just planning in going through all the areas and heading for your goal, but it’s very clearly a game meant to be made whole by other players.

I’ve literally just been training in the first little dilapidated fishing village area, sparring with passervy and learning moves slowly from enemies. If you’re willing to do stuff like that, you’ll dig it.


Yeah, the more I look into it the more this seems to be like 80% focused on PvP. Which is great, but not necessarily ideal for me. Hopefully some kind of story-focused DLC might come down the line.


Is this really a fighting game? I played it and, other than the instances of 1v1 matchmaking it really doesn’t feel like one. I mean yeah, people are doing martial arts but it’s definitely more of an Action RPG I’d say.


Fighting Game with an RPG framework would be the best description. It’s absolutely a fighting game, built entirely around fighting other players in as even a playing field as possible, packed with complex mechanics with room to express personality and encourage mastery. It just frames itself in a more interesting way than just going through menus like in Street Fighter or Tekken.


I dunno, I played for about an hour last night. It feels more like an ARPG, or even a beat-em-up with PVP added in. A very deep combat system in a beat-em-up, but still.


See, that would suggest that the PvE is the focus, and the enemies in the field are basically serving the same purpose as Bot Matches in a fighting game. Opponants to spar against as preperation for fighting real players. I recon if you were to approach it as a singleplayer experience with a multiplayer componant you’d end up disapointed very quickly.


Ha, I definitely did and definitely was!


Dark Souls with Korean Backdash would be very appealing to me. Looking forward to getting my hands on this.

Side note, game classifications matter less and less these days. Madden is an RPG and the best sports game this year allows your team to draft a dog with a mustache.


Evo isn’t the final circuit of fighting games, though, it’s “only” the celebration of a grassroots community that is 20+ years old. That’s why Injustice 2 is outselling all of them but has a poor following in these venues.

ARMS was just released too, there has been more attempts at redesigning fighting games than ever this year. I really don’t see the reason of swinging on FGs when diversity in style has been at the forefront of the genre these past few years.


So question, does this look like a pepe reference to people?:

It’s a frog mask with colors that are close enough to the gamergate colors that I’m wondering if I really want to pick this up… Or it could just be a coincidence, but I sort of doubt it


It’s just a frog. There are other masks in the game like it.


so like, i get what you’re saying, but i still think game classifications matter in as much as if someone was like “hey man what’s a good rpg for me to play?” and you replied with madden you’d get a weird look and you probably couldn’t make a good case for it to someone who’s not deep into games culture already.

so like, in that regard, i’m looking at this game now, and it looks more and more recognizable as dark souls-style pvp with its kinda open world, ai enemies, leveling & stamina systems. there’s definitely fighting game mechanics in there too, but that feels like added elements rather than the primary base of the game.

i think game genres are useful when talking about the lineage of a game’s design, or placing it in a wider context for comparison & discussion, and calling Absolver an unique and new approach to fighting games feels to me like it’s missing the mark for that stuff. it feels like saying GTA3 was a new approach to racing games because you could get out of your car and walk around the tracks.


Having put in a good amount of hours into this game already it actually feels like the opposite to me. It’s a fighting game with other mechanics added on.