Hiiii-YAH. That was me kicking you in the nose. If you want revenge on behalf of your face, come and fight me in Absolver, the martial arts slap ‘em up. It’s got a free weekend on Steam now and its crumbling world is worth wandering through if you like the following things: Halloween masks, fashionable scarves, statues, crystals, stones arranged in a nice cairn, pretending to be drunk but actually being a dangerously powerful martial artist.
The free trial lasts until Sunday at 9pm BST/1pm PDT, and you can download it on Steam. That’s definitely enough time to punch and kick your way through the story. There’s only three big bosses and eight mini-bosses. You have to face the big ‘uns by yourself, but you can team up with other players against the lesser “Marked Ones”. Here’s what Fraser said about the decaying world in his Absolver review.
“Journey is probably not the first comparison that springs to mind for a multiplayer martial arts game, but it is unexpectedly Absolver’s closest relative. Both are games of quiet beauty set in worlds filled with ruins, accompanied by a rich, atmospheric score from Austin Wintory. More notable, however, is the forging of fleeting partnerships with anonymous strangers that lies at their heart.”
However, he also did complain about disconnects, lag and a lack of single-player stuff to do – all fair criticism from what I also played. Developers Sloclap have fixed some of the lag issues since launch, though, and next month sees a free expansion that adds a new dungeon-delving mode and Bruce Lee fighting style.
It’s also on sale for £12.49/€14.99/$14.99 until Sunday 10th at 6pm BST/10am PDT. Something about these skinny, dancer-like fighters and their monkish emotes turns most players into civil, bowing warriors of honour. So I recommend giving the freebie a punt, even if you're not a dyed-in-the-fist fighting game chump. But then again, I have an ulterior motive. To slap you in the head.