Sloclap's kung fu simulator, Absolver, brought a fresh approach to hand-to-hand combat in video games when it launched last year. A new expansion, Downfall, is now available for free, so now is as good a time as any to get back into fighting shape or to jump in for the first time. That said, there's a lot to learn about Downfall and how it turns the Absolver experience on its head. But first...
What is Downfall?
Downfall is not only the name of the new expansion but also the name of a brand new PVE mode. It tasks you with entering the depths of a twisting dungeon full of people who want to punch your head off, all in hopes of stopping the villainous Arcell from breaking free from his prison and engulfing reality. No pressure.
What is it like?
The dungeon itself is a procedurally-generated string of rooms across three different regions, the Mines, the Caves, and the Fold. You can tackle it single-player, or with a group of friends, and the dungeon will adapt the challenges in front of you to the amount of people in your party. Defeating enemies and completing the room challenges will award you a new currency, Gleam, which will unlock new things for you to spend your fragments on.
Sounds like a piece of cake.
Well, maybe not. Meditation isn't available during Downfall, so whatever moves and stats you have at the start are locked in. You only have a limited number of lives, and very few healing options in the dungeon, so every step is a risk. The enemies are numerous, and can overwhelm you if you're not careful during your missions. And every area is punctuated by a boss character, who is full of unique abilities and hard-to-counter affects. It's no walk in the karate park.
What are these missions you mentioned?
Every proc-gend room has a goal that, when completed, will open the door to the next one. They come in the following forms:
- Clear the Room - You walk into a room full of people who need to not be standing if you want to leave it. These rooms are of various size, and sometimes finding all of the enemies can involve navigating a labyrinth.
- Ring the Bell - Like the scenario above, but the enemies don't come in until you ring a stationary bell. Then, enemies will assault you in waves. Survive the waves and move on. The big difference here is that the enemies come to you.
- Protect the Statues - Similar to Ring the Bell, but the waves of enemies are there to attack the statue, not necessarily you. If the statue survives when all of the enemies are dealt with, you win bonus Gleam based on its remaining health.
What kind of stuff can I earn collecting Gleam?
As mentioned before, new weapons, armor, masks, and emotes. But you'll probably be particularly interested in the new fighting style.
It's called Faejin, based on Bruce Lee's Jeet Kun Do. Even if you don't know what Jeet Kun Do is, you'll see the inspiration almost immediately in the way your character moves and how the style-appropriate attacks are pulled straight out of classic kung fu movies. Its Ability, Special Movements, has varying offensive and defensive properties depending on the direction you move. It's definitely an advanced style, but after Gleam level 6, it's yours to try out.
How do I get to this new content!?
At any alter, go to Combat Trials (where you would enter PvP) and choose the new "Downfall" option. So long as you've cleared the main story, you can get in.
Any tips I should keep in mind?
A few, actually.
- Consider sprucing up those weapon decks. Lots of enemies will be coming your way, and doing as much damage as possible, as quickly as possible is the best idea.
- The more you kill, the more damage you'll do. If you notice under your life bar, there's a read gauge filling up. For every one of those red icons that are full, you multiply your damage by 10%.
- There are headstones littered throughout the dungeon that will heal you at the cost of one of those filled up combo icons. Be mindful when you use one, because it will also clear whatever progress you've made on the way to the next one.
- Use the environment as much as possible. Knocking enemies off ledges and pushing foes into spiked walls will help thin the herd more quickly.
Looking for more information in order to perfect your fighting form? Head over to the Absolver Wiki. Absolver: Downfall is available now.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.