Bleeding Edge (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 23.04.2020

Review for Bleeding Edge on Xbox One

Since Overwatch took the world by storm, there have been countless attempts by other developers to cash-in on the "hero online action" game genre. These kinds of titles typically involve a colourful cast of characters with distinctive roles and unique play-styles to balance them out. Ninja Theory is attempting to leave their stain on the tired sub-genre of online action with Bleeding Edge. Just what does the Cambridge based studio offer in this current climate of an oversaturated market of interchangeable multiplayer games? Surely there has to be something to keep people coming back?

Not only has Ninja Theory come extremely late to the online hero action game sub-genre, but it has also delivered a product that will leave gamers wanting. The developer probably thought it was making something in the same league as Overwatch, but instead it has put out something closer to Battleborn or Lawbreakers. Like others of this ilk, Bleeding Edge's sole purpose is to be played online with other players.

Bleeding Edge's dynamic is four-versus-four, spread across only a laughably meagre two modes: a variation of domination or capture mode. No last man standing, no death match, no capture the flag, no survival, and no search and destroy of any kind. Not that it would matter, since most of the roster would just be worthless in most of these modes since only heavies would be viable.

Screenshot for Bleeding Edge on Xbox One

In a perfect world, Bleeding Edge's cast would be in a game like Anarchy Reigns; a better brawler with a bigger cast and with a substantial single player mode that fleshed out the world and setting. Even the environments were bigger, more varied and had scripted set-pieces within them to keep things exciting. There were even plenty of fodder enemies to fill things out between boss battles with other characters. This is what Bleeding Edge needed to be, not a barren and soulless wasteland of nothing.

Every character design in Bleeding Edge is an excessively over designed gaudy mess. Each one is like as if they were intending on them being a parody of rosters seen in hero online action games. From stupid and ironic flairs like the cyborg granny with electric powers, or the clichéd Cajun snake-guy who was ripped off from Paladins. There is not a single character that is not an eyesore to play as; every single one is an obnoxious and trite knock-off of the same stooges from similar online action games. In such a desperate attempt to make the characters seem so unique and different, they have all become generic.

Screenshot for Bleeding Edge on Xbox One

Between all 12 characters are three distinct roles; ranger, melee and support. Sometimes a hero might have a sub role like being a tank, or might be a combo of two other roles. The point of all of this is so the combat requires teamwork so that there is never a perfect combination. The problem with all of this is that Bleeding Edge's community is nigh dead, and the few souls who do play are not keen on taking the responsibility of playing as one of the loser healer characters like ZeroCool. It is terribly boring to be assigned to support, so nobody wants to use the specialists that lean in that role.

The actual combat mechanics present are functional, if a bit basic. The fluidity is restrictive to prevent skilled players from truly getting good, so there is no cancelling possible at all. The special abilities do cover a wide range of concepts and each hero gets two. Most of the time these will never land, because the range is telegraphed to other players who can easily dodge, and avoid the reach of some of these moves. This will leave the user wide open, and then will likely be terminated and then have to wait a stupefying 15 second respawn wait. There is no reason in Gaia's green Earth why a respawn must be so long.

Screenshot for Bleeding Edge on Xbox One

One thing about Bleeding Edge that might feel off about it is just how quiet and dead the atmosphere is in the areas. Music is very quiet and restrained, with not memorable tracks to get excited to. The arenas themselves are extremely small, and have very little in terms of interesting landmarks or layouts. It feels like it isn't finished, and for something that seemingly apes from Anarchy Reigns, it is lacking so much of what was so great about that game's environments. There is nothing happening in the stages; no hazards, no gimmicks, and so few platforms to create some verticality.

Bleeding Edge is another entry in the big book of "What Could Have Been Great," by Ninja Theory. There is just not enough content or modes to keep this thing going past a few weeks. The novelty of the online melee brawler proves to have no legs when it is purely just four versus four. There needed to be some kind of offline arcade mode where players could at least fight AI controlled combatants and every match has some kind of gimmick. Ninja Theory's strengths is obviously presentation, which is quite strong in Bleeding Edge, and in the past the team has proved that it has the narrative chops when they produced Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. The developer really needed to put something more in Bleeding Edge, even something as simple as local multiplayer could have elevated this to some degree.

Screenshot for Bleeding Edge on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Bleeding Edge has almost nothing to offer. What potential it has in it is woefully stuck in a product that is so meagre and void of content. It is like taking a single slice of cheese, and trying to cover an entire pizza pie; there just not enough here to make this work passed a few hours, and that's all. There are not enough modes, not enough interest in the community to keep it going, and the combat is way too simplistic for high level play.

Developer

Ninja Theory

Publisher

Xbox Game Studios

Genre

Brawler

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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