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The Must-Play Games This Week – Absolver, a giant XCOM 2 expansion, and Mario

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It’s usually easy to tell if we’re approaching the tail end of the year: there are a lot of them coming out at the same time. This week, we’re looking at three noteworthy games:

Absolver

Absolver is what you get when Dark Souls and For Honor have a baby. It’s an action role-playing game where you fight computer-controlled enemies or other players using a deeply customizable martial arts system.

The game is like Dark Souls because:

  • It doesn’t let you just mash the buttons in combat. There’s a heavy and light attack button, a block button, and (depending on your fighting style) the ability to either dodge, parry, or absorb attacks.
  • You have to manage a stamina bar that drains whenever you use an ability.
  • The online experience is seamlessly combined with the single-player component. Should you allow it, other players organically show up within the environment as you explore the world.
  • You can team up with others to take on enemies, which is sometimes necessary because…
  • Absolver is tough and requires mastery of the combat system to survive.

Absolver came out on August 29 for the PlayStation 4 and PC.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Here’s a surprise: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is more XCOM than party or platform game, which is the last thing we would’ve expected in either Mario or the Raving Rabbids. Better yet, the game is way harder and meatier than you expected.

This isn’t your typical turn-based strategy game, however. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle blends the sarcastic humor of the Rabbids, the charm of the Mario franchise, stunning art design, engaging mechanics, and devious level design.