Dust off your fashionable frog mask, fabsolvers. Martial arts biff-em-up Absolver is getting a new dungeon-diving mode and a fifth fighting style modeled after Bruce Lee's twitchy fists and kicky feet. We knew this free expansion was on the way but now we know it's due out some day in September. And there are other details about what you'll be punching in the new ‘Downfall' mode, which sees players descending into two new areas – the mines and temples of the fighting game's crumbling world.
I'll skip the loredump found at the top of Sloclap's most recent developer update and give you the important bit. Here's how developers Sloclap explain the Downfall mode:
"Battle deep in the mines of Adal as a solo warrior or in online cooperative play, collecting Gleam from infected Prospects and transforming it as a reward for your deeds. The more Gleam you capture, the more powerful you become in your struggle to defeat the Corrupted, and even Arcell himself. Each run through the Mines and Temples is a unique path through a variety of challenges and situations, facing upgraded enemies, and three epic boss fights."
Each run being a "unique path" is pretty vague. So we asked Pierre de Margerie, creative lead at Sloclap, exactly how these dungeon runs will work. When a player starts a run, he said, the game randomly picks a "layout" - a combination of dozens of handcrafted rooms. Then there's some more rando magic to assign different objectives and enemies within that collection of rooms.
"So even if eventually players will get to identify and recognize the individual rooms," he says, "each run will be different from the one before."
As for the boss fights, these won't all be given cinematic treatments like the three major bosses who were in the game upon release last year. But they will be "significantly harder" than the eight "Marked Ones" of the main game, who were more like mini-bosses.
"Not only have the AIs been refined," said de Margerie, "but they have new powers, and are able to use special attacks against players."
Alongside this, there's a new fighting style called Faejin (see above) which "blends defense and offense with percussive strikes and fluid power". It's inspired by Jeet Kune Do and is called "a complex style for experienced Absolvers". It'll add 26 attacks to the library of unarmed moves, and 15 sword attacks.
There'll also be more rewards for fighting PvP as part of a School (these are like big informal teams that encourage you to use a particular set of fighting moves). Every three weeks, players in each School will get some rewards based on how good they've been at battering others around the head and body (provided they have already reach the rank of Disciple). On top of all that there's new masks, equipment, armour, swords, war gloves, and emotes. Some of which will be lying around in-world or winnable through fightgrind, and some you'll have to buy with Essence, the in-game currency.
Absolver had some connection problems in its early days, but it was still top stuff. I've been playing again recently and remembering how much more chivalrous and welcoming it is than comparable games like For Honor.