A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Absolver is an online martial arts fighting game. In it, players get into fistfights with both real people-controlled and computer-controlled characters. But even when using a sword, there's no blood or gore. Players can also team up by sending short messages, though these are pre-existing messages, so there's no unmoderated communication between players. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
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What's it about?
Set in a futuristic world with strong ties to the past, ABSOLVER casts you as a martial arts warrior who has to walk the planet like that guy from Kung Fu. Except this is a game, not a TV show, so you get into random fights everywhere you go, often with multiple people at the same time. Which means you're the hero of your own story ... and that this doesn't really have much of a story save for some loose narrative threads.
Is it any good?
While this online open-world martial arts fighting game has some intriguing ideas, it ultimately ends up being rather redundant. In the third-person action game Absolver, you're a warrior trained in the martial arts who runs around an open world, getting into fights with enemies who are other online players and AI-controlled opponents. As you progress, and look around, you can improve your skills, customize your fighting style, and find clothes that will protect you better. You can also, if you find some sympathetic soul, forgo the fisticuffs and team up to fight together.
The problem is that all you do is run from one tough fight to the next. This isn't driven by a strong story, and it doesn't have much in the way of variety. Sure, you have a lot of fighting moves to choose from, and there's some variety in your enemies -- especially given how real people are far less predictable than computer-controlled ones -- but you're still just running from one fracas to the next. It also doesn't help that the camera controls are a bit wonky, even after you adjust them. Which is why Absolver can be engaging in short bursts, but is ultimately the same thing over and over and over.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it make you feel different that you're fighting humans as opposed to monsters or aliens? Why do you think that is?
Talk about cooperation. In this game, you can fight other people, or you can work together to survive. What advantage is there in working with someone, as opposed to just fighting everyone?
Discuss meditation. In the game, your character learns new skills through meditation, so how do you think meditation might help you?
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