Today, Paris-based developer Slocap and publisher Devolver Digital announced that their online multiplayer combat RPG, Absolver, is set to release on PS4 and PC on August 29, 2017.
For those that don’t know: Absolver is the debut project of Slocap, which was founded in 2015. Here’s an overview of the game via Devolver Digital:
In the ruins of the fallen Adal Empire, you awaken with a mysterious mask on your face, and faint recollections of an esoteric ceremony. Freeing you from hunger, thirst, and even death, the mask is the creation of the Guides, the rulers of these lands, who have placed you here to determine whether you are worthy of becoming part of the elite corps of Absolvers. As you wander these forsaken lands, encountering other Prospects like you, you will learn new combat styles, acquire weapons, gear and armor, and build a team of warriors with whom to fight side by side in Arenas of combat.
Fluid Real-Time Combat: Position yourself in one of four tactical stances during real-time battles and execute devastating attacks, dodges, and parries. Movement becomes your weapon as you engage in solo duels or intense three-on-three melees battles.
Customizable Style and Flow: Players will define their character’s playstyle by picking a combat style, a weapon of choice, and arranging attacks in their Combat Deck to design their unique and personal attack flow.
Online Multiplayer Action and Narrative: Prospects and Absolvers will seamlessly encounter others in the world, generating unique stories that emerge through player interaction and choices. These moments are filled with tension as intentions to battle, trade, or befriend are never clear: trust is always a leap of faith. Encounters will have lasting consequences and transform into meaningful relationships as you make friends or enemies and find mentors or disciples.
PvP and PvE: Explore a rich and dynamic world including dedicated PvP battle arenas where champions will receive spoils of victory and progress in the ranks of the Absolvers, and PvE dungeons in which players cooperatively battle to retrieve rare loot and equipment from the depth of the Adal mines.
In addition to revealing the release date, the pair also released a new combat overview video, which you can check out at the bottom of the article.
As seen in the new video — and according to Slocap — the game’s combat system is based on two main components: the Combat Deck, and the Combat Styles.
The Combat Deck refers to the list of attacks that are available to the player in combat: while fighting, players can select one of four stances, which correspond to their orientation relative to their enemy. In each stance, players have a set of different attacks, a sequence of up to three attacks, and one alternative attack. Each attack is said to start and finish in a specific stance, so a sequence of attacks can loop on itself, or send the player to a different stance. With different parameters (such as range, damage, speed..) and special properties, players can create their own unique strategy.
Attacks usable in the Combat Deck are said to be learnt by fighting others in the world and by defending yourself from unknown attacks. Prospects — who you play as — will progressively learn attacks the more they are experience them. However, the memories of any given fight and the XP accumulated during said fight can only be obtained by winning it.
Meanwhile, A Combat Style is chosen at the beginning of the game. According to Slocap, different styles improve different character stats, and each style has a special ability, that can be used tactically during combat to gain the upper hand. At the start of the game there is only three Combat Styles, however more exist in the lands of Adal. As you explore, you can become a mentor, teaching to others different styles, or become a student and learn the combat styles for yourself.
The depth of the combat system is said to develop with additional mechanics, such as perfect attacks, which reward players who perform precise timing by allowing successive attacks to chain faster and stun the enemy longer. There is also feints, which enable players to cancel their attacks during build-up, and play mind games.
There are also Tension Shards, glowing crystals that fill up during combat, and that can be used to trigger powers which can change the tide of a fight or to draw a weapon, which do more damage than bare fists and come with their own Combat Deck.
According to Slocap, the team has reached its objective of making the core gameplay accessible and not detriment on high levels of dexterity to be played. However, players will be challenged on other skills, such as: timing, observation, reflexes, and memory.
A price-point for Absolver has yet to be divulged. Below, you can check out the new combat overview video: