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Bleed 2 (PC) Review

By André Eriksson 14.01.2018

Review for Bleed 2 on PC

2017 had some interesting gems, with titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For fans of old school experiences, there were also Sonic Mania and the dark horse, Cuphead. This means many great games were left without attention this year, and Bleed 2, the sequel to the highly enjoyable Bleed, might be one of the best unsung games of 2017. It takes one part high pace action-platformer, action that takes gamers back to the golden age of the genre, and mixes into it some bullet hell beauty, making for a product that, while very frustrating and difficult, is an enjoyable ride from the beginning to the credits screen.

In 2012, Bleed originally released, and while it was critically acclaimed, it never really hit the mainstream quite as heavily as Super Meat Boy or The Binding of Isaac. Considering this, it is not strange that it would take almost five years for a sequel to be released, but for fans of everyone's favourite purple-haired, super cool, action heroine, the wait has been worth it.

Screenshot for Bleed 2 on PC

Players are met with a more secure and satisfied Wryn this time around. Her title of "greatest hero in the world" has given her a somewhat less turbulent personality as she is happier with herself and the world around her. No more is she just fighting to become recognised and loved by the people around her, and no longer is she doubting herself and the player's capacity to destroy the enemies ahead of her.

Her change of personality is shown wonderfully in a natural and subtle way. She is still the same rockin' gamer girl players came to love back in Bleed, but as her self-image grew, she became more responsible and kinder to both herself, the player, and the rest of the cast. This is shown both in the cut-scenes, but more cleverly in the game over comments in which she in the first game scolded the player for failing, but now encourages them to take their defeats and improve themselves. It is impressive to see how much they show this character growth in the very little story content the game has, and it makes people feel like Wryn is a dear friend to them, and someone they should aspire to be like, and thanks to this, her cheerful bubbly action heroine attitude becomes extremely contagious and empowering.

Screenshot for Bleed 2 on PC

As well as the character maturing, so the franchise itself has, also. The previous release was gritty with some of the most diabolical level designs ever seen, with challenging boss monsters to wrap things up. Bleed 2 has evolved itself to focus on the parts players love the most and focused more on this in the same way as Wryn has started to look after those she first only sought to impress. This has been done by adding more focus on the very satisfying boss fights of the previous entry and making using the sword to parry attacks more easily carried out by making the sword part of the gun from the start.

This focus on the boss fights has paid off big time as it has more bosses than before, with more interesting mechanics, as well. Some of the most interesting bosses include a giant drill machine, which demands the player to not only focus on the boss, but also dig tunnels for Wryn to get through and have room to dodge the attacks, and one boss that has Wryn jump from rocket to rocket for the entire battle to reach it. Many old fan-favourites make a return, as well, such as The Army.

Screenshot for Bleed 2 on PC

That has come at the expense of the platforming parts of the game, however, and it is very rare that any of the platforming sections will now cause any challenge, even on the highest difficulty settings. Some might find this change good as those were only blocking the next boss in line, while others might find it bad as those parts are important to them. This makes Bleed 2 more like a boss rush than a full action platformer. It is fine, however, as more of the new bosses have platforming elements, highlighting the smooth and responsive control scheme.

Even with these changes, Bleed 2 is still at its core the same. It still has all of the wonderful and cheeky charm that yells action movies in it, it still has the very iconic bullet time feature, and, most importantly, it still has the perfect and free controls from the original that were so fundamental to the greatness of the first game to keep the high challenge fair and fun. While the game is more mature than before, it still has the same stylish appeal. Wryn and Bleed 2 grew up, but they did not get any more boring or any less rebellious in doing so, but rather became so much more focused on who they are, and what their identity is, challenging content and devious boss fights.

Screenshot for Bleed 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

After playing Bleed, it would be very easy to be worried for the sequel not living up to expectations. While the sequel is very different from the original, it is not by any means a bad thing. At the core, Bleed 2 is still in the same spirit as the first entry, but just a bit more grown up and comfortable. Wryn is still the same cool chick she always was, ready to kick some you-know-what as before, except this time for less selfish reasons. The action anti-heroine has become a real heroine, and the bosses have got more creative and include more variety. However, this has comes at the expense of having less platforming segments, a worthwhile pay-off in the end as the most memorable parts of the first game weren't the platforming sections, but the radical boss fights, and Bleed 2 will not offer anything that disappoints on that front.

Developer

Ian Campbell

Publisher

Ian Campbell

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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