BLEEDING EDGE REVIEW
Ninja Theory may be one of the most promising development teams around. Not only because they have an enviable development trajectory (Sword of Heaven, Slave, DMC, Blade of Hell), but now, as part of Xbox Game Studios, they have enough resources to give the green light to the most ambitious projects (such as Senua’s) . Legend: Hell’s Blade 2 or the mysterious Mara Project.
For this reason, it is surprising that after Hellblade was acquired by Microsoft, it was recognized as a success, and the first announced project was Bleeding Edge. This crazy multiplayer proposal is located between the hero shooter and the fighter-style fighting arena, and broke the development trajectory of the British team. This is a side project considered by the studio before joining Microsoft. It is actually carried out by a small team simultaneously with other projects.
“Bleeding Edge” is a game made by “Ninja Theory”. It has good team fighting ability, can conduct direct combat, and can capture the most colorful and eye-catching alternative artistic style. Is it enough to make your multiplayer game formula work?
It is easy to confuse the proposal of “Bleeding Edge” with the content in “Overwatch”, but this is not the case. This is the first difference of the ninja theory game, and we can define it as a “hero battle shooter”. In other words, it is composed of characters with unique abilities, but combines melee and long-range attacks to form a complete arena.
This is precisely the main premise of its science fiction world lore. This is a battle arena where fighters with cybernetic enhancement capabilities are bundled together, and each game is won by the satisfaction of fighting and competition. Of course, “Ninja Theory” manages to reconstruct a truly unique and attractive environment through its universe and characters, and adds its own changes to the classic playable formula of hero shooting games.
Bleeding Blade has 11 different roles, divided into 3 categories: combat, support and tanks, they focus on close combat or long-range combat. Everyone has three unique active skills, the fourth is “Ultimate”, there are two variants, we can choose at the beginning of the game or when changing the role in the game. Undoubtedly, this is one of the powerful advantages of ninja theory games, not only because the design of each character is very attractive, but also because it provides multiple skills and game styles. The difference between the two is so great that it forces you to relearn the game and use your skills, just as you would expect from this type of game.
This also means that forming a balanced team is the key to winning the game. If there is no supporting character to heal them in battle, it does not matter if you have two tanks in your team. This is the most effective method of “Ninja Theory” when two balanced teams meet and let the battle go on by showing all its possibilities. If the team is not balanced, the game will become a fast-paced cycle of death, frustrating, because without help, it is impossible to reverse the digital superiority or face stronger character categories.
In order to learn the operation of its game mode and the handling of characters, their abilities and combat systems, the game provides a series of very complete and fascinating tutorials, as well as a training mode that can test each role game without real pressure . Mastering the rules of the game is as important as learning to fight and using the melee combat system.
Ninja Theory hopes to stand out from the competition by this. In addition to using combos when multiple attacks are continuously linked, it also has dodge action, block-type block and power-up functions, which can improve certain parameters in a short time. In the same way, it explains the use of remote skills and skills that provide support to other players, as well as the scoring system that may remind us of Apex Legends.
As for the game mode, this is the place with the most proposals for multiplayer games. There are currently only three options: a typical team battle, an area control mode, and a “flag-catching” scheme with energy containers. The learning curve is fast and some games are good enough to understand its dynamics, but apart from the fact that you can’t choose a mode before starting to match, the content and originality in this area are not enough.
Finally, the energy container mode is the most creative mode because the game is divided into two phases that occur periodically: first collection, then delivery. This makes it more tactical and strategic, because you have to survive for a while before delivering the container, although in all game modes, you will also get points for killing enemies and eventually lose the main goal of the game. It also often leads to too much confusion and out of context in the battle.
These maps are designed to encourage a large number of people to fight, and they are usually large, so in order to move quickly, it has the purest Back to Future style floating skateboard. It also has the clever use of verticality, which can escape the battle or occupy a favorable position when attacking from a long distance. In addition, as we mentioned earlier, if possible, it can enhance combat effectiveness.
Each character in the bleeding edge has its own progress in the rest and the player’s own general markings. At the end of each game, we will gain the experience of each warrior that has been used, and receive rewards in the form of improvements and rewards, which can be used to purchase new equipment or appearances.
We can provide up to three passive improvements for each role from a variety of privileges, which can increase the effectiveness of each fighter’s active skills. The skin can also be changed, although at present, each skin is limited to three colors, the first is the standard color. It is expected that these two parts will be increased in future updates.
The visual part is another obvious attraction of “bleeding edge”, “Ninja Theory” makes full use of Unreal Engine. I personally think it has a cartoon and urban style network aesthetics, and most of its character designs are very primitive. Sometimes, there is a big contrast between the character’s aesthetics and his true power, giving people a comedic feel.
The battle animation and the effects and abilities are very determined. When the visual display does not impair the frame rate, there are indeed fierce and beautiful battles. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens even on Xbox One X.
On the other hand, the soundtrack follows its aesthetic line, including many urban rhythms, technical timbre and even heavy metal. In addition, the fighters have doubled, except for the narrator of this tutorial, it is strange to see how they comment on the gameplay and comment on each other. It arrived in our country only with Spanish subtitles, and even so, we found some text localization errors.
Bleeding Edge’s game formula in the hero shooter style but with melee combat is original, it is fun, very direct and sometimes spectacular , although Ninja Theory does not quite find the key to be satisfactory throughout the game, perhaps by current game modes. It is expected that with the passage of time new content will arrive in the game, but currently it is very scarce with only three very generic game modes .
It is a good starting point for a type of game that will benefit from having a more or less stable player base thanks to being available on Xbox Game Pass since its launch and will improve in content and possibilities. In my opinion, one of the main purposes of this “secondary” project of the British studio: To bring new experiences and variety to the catalog of exclusive games on Xbox Game Pass.