When Microsoft bought British studio Ninja Theory in 2018 nobody was expecting a title as Bleeding Edge. They had zero knowledge or experience with online games but managed to bring something out-of-the-box and totally different for online players with Bleeding Edge. While most of us are really looking forward for their Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 on Xbox Series X, this hero brawler game deserves a lot of credit for some fantastic character designs and more importantly fun teamplay battles. It remains to be seen if Bleeding Edge can catch on, with the help of Xbox Game Pass it found its way towards thousands of players but keeping those players isn’t an easy task, especially for a studio that found success in massive single player games as Enslaved (Gosh, this game was fantastic), Heavenly Sword or the widely known Hellblade. What is available at the moment is decent enough to warrant checking it out, it lacks content but I’ll explain that in this Bleeding Edge review.
What we liked!
- World-class character designs: Pure on a gameplay standpoint, it is utterly important to immediately know who you are facing in a hero brawler game and Bleeding Edge excels in this. Every character has that neat touch in making it standout, a few examples! Maeve runs around with a balloon on her back, Cass seems to escaped Cyberpunk 2077 this human with robotic raptor legs makes her fascinating to look at, but my favorite is Kulev. This character is actually a large snake inside a zombie/skeleton body, to make the look complete he has a tophat with a dice on top of it. The short story, tutorial and main menu focuses on Daemon, a kick-ass ninja with a demon mask and because why not, a couple of graffiti cans. It isn’t the character that I would have placed in the spotlight but he has a mainstream look so I guess that’s the reason. I can’t give enough credit for the creative designs, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these characters will be heavily cosplayed or used in other games.
- Creating your own playstyle: You have the usuals when it comes to classes. The frontline tanks with large health and useful defensive options, melee or ranged healers and heavy damage dealers from up close or ranged gunners and casters. With the workshop menu you can alter and change a few things from characters, you’ll have to unlock mods that can make abilities stronger or change them.
- Quality over quantity: There is no way around it, Bleeding Edge isn’t filled with a lot of content. There is a handful of maps and only two game modes. You could call it a soft-launch like Sea of Thieves, so I really hope that Ninja Theory can bring more content soon. The five maps that are available are great though, they know how to make some interesting and fast maps so you’re never out of the action for long. Team work is important and the two game modes are built around that. You either capture and defend control points or have to collect orbs and return them to a collection point. Each character has a role to play and that is what makes this game so damn fun!
What we disliked
- Connections aren’t stable, resulting in lag: Yeah, this is a damn shame. It isn’t a rare thing either, well the action hits the fan and everyone is gathered the lag issues are very obvious. I haven’t had a single disconnect but you clearly see that the game is struggling to process every movement and ability, resulting in some heavy lag.
Bleeding Edge is a fantastic experience with friends but it won’t carry a lot of players in the long run. The characters are great and memorable but it lacks content. It remains to be seen if Ninja Theory can built and keep a loyal player base with new content and updates, I honestly doubt that a little…
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