Absolver man expands on plans for fighting fans

Ab Solver is the name of my gym

Pow! Whack! Absolve! The martial arts biffing game Absolver [official site] is my hot cup of videogames at the moment. But like its slap-happy characters, it’s a bit on the skinny side. Once you’ve completed the story, there’s little remaining for the PvP-averse. And even online fighters might find themselves at a loss after mastering all the moves. So I asked creators Sloclap what’s in their fightpipes. The sad part is that new attacks, bosses and PvE areas are all at the back of the queue. The good news is there are a lot of small improvements coming, including a way to redistribute your character’s skill points, and pigments for changing the colour of your raggedy trousers.

“In an upcoming update we will introduce a ‘Prestige system’,” said creative lead Pierre Tarno, “which will allow high level players to respec their character, as well as get access to rare and even unique equipment. We are currently creating very cool assets (both rare variants, and unique pieces), and will give a more precise ETA on this very soon.”

That’s all well and good for the level 60 Kung Fu masters, however, it looks like softy singletons won’t get any beautiful new environments or tough bosses for a while.

“Upcoming new areas will be dedicated to PvP,” said Tarno, “[there’s] no ETA yet on new areas and bosses, but it’s something that players request often so this is certainly something we’ll be looking into.”


As consolation for us punchbags, Sloclap are looking to improve the way loot works. Currently you can get a lot of pointless duplicates and there’s no use for them, or even a means to get rid of them. That’ll be fixed, says Tarno.

“…we know that players can feel frustrated at not getting the items they want, having lots of duplicates, etc. We are going to do a couple of things to fix this: reworking our inventory to make it more manageable, as well as adding a system that will allow players to destroy pieces of equipment, which will give them a pigment allowing them to change the color variants of other pieces of equipment.”

Colour control! That’s character customisation 101, and it’s good to see plans for it even if it is a very tiny addition. As for bigger issues, like lag and connection problems, they are still working to improve these.

“We’re sorry about the lag and connection issues that were present at launch; even if it’s often the case for online games, it’s still very annoying for players when you can’t connect to servers for an online game… we will keep working (very) hard on improving our matchmaking system to detect this better, and ensure everybody has the best possible experience.”

Altogether, these are small things. If we were speaking Kaplanesque, we’d call them “quality of life improvements”. But that’s fine, that’s good. Finally, I asked Tarno about the “Calbot” slap – a silly, super-low-damage attack which is slowly spreading from player to player.

“This was done as a joke by one of our animators,” he said, “but we thought it was pretty funny so we left it as an Easter egg. We love the fact that it became such a hit with the community.”

We’ll have more on the game for as long as I enjoy getting pummeled to the point of disintegration, and you can always read Fraser’s Absolver review.


  1. Jjgddyuikbvff says:

    I don’t want to be a huge grumps but I have to say that they seem to deserve that Mixed rating on Steam.

    The game is clearly nowhere near complete, tbh it doesn’t even seem like much of a beta, and yet they have the gall to not even release it as an Early Access project.

    What’s the story there?

    • Celcos says:

      Why do you think that? Sure, I agree with you that the rating is deserved, but in my opinion it’s mostly due to the occasionally horrible online experience (there are times when even fighting NPCs is not possible). I see nothing wrong with the actual content, though. Sure, more would be better, but that’s the case for any game with good gameplay.

      • grve says:

        Yeah. Online aside this is an amazing fighting game where you Pokemon-punch your way to high fashion. Solid.

        Edit: I also noticed a fair improvement with the latest patch regarding server poop.

    • nullward says:

      A game can be very content light and still be considered a full game based on the gameplay. Absolver has the unfortunate problem of being judged against 60 dollar AAA games like Dark Souls for it’s PvE, while having very little similar fighting games to compare to for it’s unique and stellar PvP, which is really where the systems shine.

      Once they fix the server issues they’ll have a great foundation to build further content, both for PvP and PvE. For me, game is already a lot of fun based only on the combat systems and 1v1. I’ve sunk many hours into it, and also had a mostly favorable lag experience (West US).

  2. soijohn says:

    Well, i had to do most of the PVE offline (and the fact that they put it right there in the options is paramount) so i’m sure they knew it wasn’t gonna work perfectly right off the bat. Yes, we could argue that we bought half a game, then, but when it does work properly, it’s a neat game.
    Now, i’m getting frustrated mostly by meta stuff (like pvp players only relying on super fast combos (spam), which can be countered sure, but you have a bad time and lose constantly… and then the game crashes or lag too much.) or searching for new content.
    Still, for a small company like this, it is still a achievement to have the base for a really good fighting game, mechanically speaking, and the art/style is gorgeous.
    Check out Michel Donze on artstation, he created the idea for the final boss of this game like three years ago.

    • n0etics says:

      The meta your talking about is the old meta, anyone still running it is likely taking advantage of new players inability to sidestep (for whatever reason they are unable to, beats me)

  3. anonbutnot says:

    >The sad part is that new attacks, bosses and PvE areas are all at the back of the queue.
    >”Sadly, the PvP game is still a PvP game.”

    There are more than a hundred moves in the game and literally thousands of viable combinations with them; while new moves would be nice, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not having them as top priority at the moment. And as implied above, I don’t see anything wrong with the lack of new PvE content. Everywhere you look the game tells you it’s an online experience and the content that’s only unlockable through PvP further emphasizes that point. People raise this analogy all the time, but criticizing Absolver for its lacking PvE content is like complaining about a scarce single player mode in Street Fighter games.

  4. Dracofav says:

    I was really interested in this game in the build up to release, but after reading reviews I kind of changed my mind. It still sounds like fun, and the streams I’ve watched look good, but it sounds like the game is just a little too shallow. Maybe I’ll pick it up at some point, just not right now.

  5. Abraxxas says:

    This game was designed as a 1v1 fighting game. Period. To those complaining this game is too shallow: What were you expecting? Did you seriously expect World of Warcraft level quests and content from a game focused on 1v1 combat? Do you expect those things from SFV, or Marvel vs Capcom? The entire purpose of the world is to find and learn moves from NPCs that you don’t have for your combat deck. That is it. Maybe if you watched more than a 1 minute clip of the game, you’d know that going into it and wouldn’t buy the game expecting Skyrim.

    To those complaining about server instability: stop being whiney little cunts.

    Do I have my complaints about the game? Sure. Are they any of the above mentioned child level complaints? Nope.

  6. AutonomyLost says:

    I like the title.

  7. upupup says:

    Absolver is one of the very few games that I’ve ever used Steam’s refund feature for, for now at least. I’m almost certain to pick it back up again once it’s been patched and has more content to play through, but the game being short is not why I refunded it. In fact, it didn’t bother me at all because you’re playing Absolver for the gameplay, not the story, and the depth of the mechanics compensate a lot for the sparseness of the game world. I played off-line and felt perfectly fine beating up the AI while working on my deck. This is also where the problem lies though, as I found out that for some arbitrary reason you can’t fight the harder PvE content without first ranking up in PvP. Now I’m fine with PvP being the more expedient way to get gear, exp and moves, but outright locking me out of already scarce PvE content, and the most challenging PvE content at that, for no reason other than to force me to do PvP, is a very unwelcome surprise. It felt like I was being forced to play in a way that I’d wanted to avoid, after being given the impression that the off-line portion could stand on its own, even if it wasn’t the ideal way to play the game.

    I’m was also worried that this trend will continue with the content that’s still in the works, where you wont be able to do any of it unless you’re doing PvP, such as what they’re saying about prestige. My expectations before release were that the PvP would be integral to the gameplay and the intended way to play, but in a way were it re-contextualizes everything you’re doing. That is to say, the content you’re going through is the same, but doing it on-line makes for a different and experience. Instead, it looks like this might turn into the off-line PvE being the equivalent of Act 1 and PvP being an Act 1 with more content, plus with an Act 2 on top.

    People also need to stop making excuses for the game based on calling it a fighting game as that’s not what it is; it’s a Beat ‘Em Up – God Hand style. It having PvP and depth to its mechanics doesn’t automatically make it a fighting game, as it lacks the crucial element of every fight starting with all players starting as equals beyond self-imposed handicaps – you cannot make your Ryu hit harder than another Ryu by grinding levels or unlocking rare items, and the only way to beat an unreasonably difficult AI boss is to get good at using your character. And even if it were a fighting game, hiding part of the game behind the PvP wouldn’t be justifiable, as a proper fighting game always has all of its content reachable no matter the number of players with the option to play against the AI. That playing against the AI at the highest difficulty is currently inexplicably kept away from off-line players is unacceptable for this type of game.

    All in all it’s a shame, because the combat is good and the game has the potential to be something special, plus the developer’s commitment to continue improving the game is commendable, so I’m only doing this to send a signal that I’m hoping to see them change their stance on how they’ve been approaching PvE and PvP.

    • Raiyne says:

      Sorry to say this, but I think you’re just bad at the game. The stats really don’t make that much difference. And I easily completed the tiny amount of PvE without ‘grinding’ in PvP. I do acknowledge that PvE can be annoying as hell, especially with multiple enemies, but other than that, it’s very beatable, even with basic moves.

      • upupup says:

        I don’t talk about the difficulty, so I’m not sure why you’d think that. You don’t need to grind PvP to make the PvE beatable but to fight the harder forms of the bosses by reaching certain ranks. As in, you can’t fight those bosses without a high enough rank in the Trials, when the PvE content is already sparse and lacking in challenging AI opponents. This is an unwelcome and arbitrary restriction on the PvE. I explain this in my post.