If you’ve got a view to becoming a true Absolver anytime soon, you’ll need to learn how to get ahead in Adal. Absolver is a fast-paced, brutal fighting game where you’ll be up against countless other Prospects. If you’re finding yourself a little lost in it all, here’s a few hints that might help you out.
Pick your battles
This sounds fairly obvious, but bear with me. In Adal you’ll often be fighting one-on-one, but that’s not necessarily always the case. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself hemmed into a corner by three or more enemies, and you can’t always count on a friendly player to jump in and help you when this happens.
As a rule, if you see Lost Prospects (the hostile NPCs of the world) milling around in a group, try and take them out separately rather than charging into the fray. When you are fighting off multiple enemies, positioning is everything: a good bet is to get them on one side of you, and if you’re lucky they’ll even catch each other in their strikes.
As a rule, if you see Lost Prospects (the hostile NPCs of the world) milling around in a group, try and take them out separately rather than charging into the fray
The environment can be your friend or your foe, so make sure you’re not backing towards a cliff or a pool while you’re navigating a crowd. That said, a well-timed jab or even a feint can stagger an enemy back to their doom if you trick them right.
Know your combat styles
At the start of the game, you’ll pick one style from a choice of three: ‘Forsaken’, ‘Khalt’ or ‘Windfall’. Players with the Forsaken style can parry attacks, stunning their opponent for a moment to catch them with a quick counter or interrupt a combo. ‘Khalt’ is based on absorbing attacks, redirecting the impact in the form of counter attacks which will heal up any damage you absorbed. Finally, Windfall (my personal favourite) is all about lightning-fast directional dodges that’ll have you strafing around your enemy and ducking under flying kicks.
Windfall (my personal favourite) is all about lightning-fast directional dodges that’ll have you strafing around your enemy and ducking under flying kicks
Each of these styles will lead you to play in a different way; however, they’ll also demand different responses in combat. Feinting against a Forsaken player can cause them to parry prematurely, opening them up for a combo; a Khalt player can only absorb so much, and if you dodge or block their counterattack then they won’t be able to restore the damage they took in the first place; Windfall doesn’t break your combo or stagger you, so if you can redirect in time you can catch a defensive dodger off-guard. The best way to learn a style’s strengths and weaknesses are by playing it, though, so experimentation is the way forward.
Learn to Stagger
Speaking of styles, there’s one you won’t immediately start with that’s easy to miss. The ‘Stagger’ style can be learned by a player who’s completed their quest to become an Absolver, and reached level 30. If you travel to the Raslan Coliseum once this has been done, you can unlock a door that’ll lead you down a wooden bridge to an NPC who will teach you this style.
The ‘Stagger’ style can be learned by a player who’s completed their quest to become an Absolver, and reached level 30
Based on drunken boxing (as seen in some Jackie Chan films), this style features a light sway and a flowing, deceptively powerful moveset. Additionally, it lets you dodge an attack and instantly follow with a light counter – essentially a weaponised version of Windfall’s dodge. Stagger has long wind-ups on its attacks though, so it can be hard to master. Bear this in mind should you decide to learn it.
You’ll have many opportunities to find pieces of equipment throughout Absolver. Some you’ll find lying in cairn stones; others will drop from enemies; some you unlock through progression. Your equipment will have armour stats for resistance to blunt and cut damage (the latter predominantly coming from swords which can be equipped or found).
Your equipment will have armour stats for resistance to blunt and cut damage
However, heavier armour will impact your movement speed, which can have serious ramifications in combat. You’ll have to decide for yourself what works best: a bulky build will make combos and dodging harder to pull off, but will leave you much less vulnerable; a light build will have you darting around rapidly, but crumbling under heavy blows should they land.
Think through your combat deck
The game itself doesn’t quite get across the importance of your combat deck, but trust me: it is absolutely everything to your success in a fight. You’ll have separate combat decks for unarmed, war gloves, and swords, each with unique movesets; in higher levels, you’ll also have the opportunity to unlock spare deck slots so you can switch between two without having to sort through all your techniques again.
Crucially, you want a deck that matches your playstyle. If you want to keep enemies on their toes with a blinding barrage of light attacks, then make sure you have a deck that utilises all of your stances. This can be done by making the last attack of each flow into a different stance until the very last attack flows back to the first stance: this will give you an intricate, circuitous attack sequence that will flow automatically so you don’t need to worry about your stance. Alternatively, you might prefer judging the situation for yourself, in which case you can split it into two separate sequences, or even have them all completely self-contained.
The game itself doesn’t quite get across the importance of your combat deck, but trust me: it is absolutely everything to your success in a fight
It’s good practice to have a variety of attacks in there: flowing a jump kick into a leg-sweep prevents an enemy from blocking or dodging in the same direction twice, and a light attack chained into a heavier one can sometimes open up a window for the second blow to deal a lot of damage.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the combat deck. Try to play defensively in combat against NPCs as this is the best way to learn new techniques (you gain ‘experience’ in a technique by successfully blocking or dodging it and then defeating the enemy), and the more techniques you unlock, the more options you have to customise.
The rest, I’m, afraid, you’ll have to figure out for yourself. Go get ’em, Absolver.
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