Title: Bleeding Edge
Developer: Ninja Theory
Publisher: Xbox Games Studios
Genre: Team Brawler
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Version Tested: Xbox One
Welcome to the party pal! Yet another game is trying to do what Overwatch did the best when it comes to the team brawler genre. Bleeding Edge even seems to borrow a bit of the steam punk-like look of some of the worlds and the characters you can play. Because the game was put out by Xbox Game Studios and the developers of Devil May Cry and other fan favorites, there were some high expectations.
Add in that people knew they could get Bleeding Edge on Xbox Game Pass, meaning basically free, and there were plenty of people willing to try it. Unfortunately, what they found was a game that adds to the number of titles in the team brawler genre that doesn’t add a ton to that genre. One of the big reasons it doesn’t add that much to team brawlers is because there just isn’t much game there.
The story is Non-Existent in Bleeding Edge
No, most games like Overwatch aren’t punching us in the face with volumes of story beats. For the most part, these games know people who play them don’t really need a ton of explanation. Just allow them to boot the game up and play. Still, there are ways these games have found to at least give a bit of info on why the characters are fighting.
Overwatch, as a matter of fact, found a way to give its players tidbits of why the characters exist. No, it’s never really been explained why they’re fighting, but at least we know why they are what they are. Bleeding Edge, on the other hand, throws you right into the game. That’s both good and bad. Certainly there aren’t any loading screens that are going to slow down getting into the game. On the other hand, a couple of cut scenes wouldn’t be so bad.
To be clear, nobody expects team brawlers to spend 10 minutes before a match with a long cutscene. We just want some explanation why there’s an extremely skinny albino hitting people with a guitar. There’s none of that. It’s safe to say if the game had been more popular, supporting lore would follow. The game doesn’t appear as though it’s something that’s going to get that far. For now, it feels like a game that will likely be ignored in a couple of months.
There’s Also Very Few Maps
What Bleeding Edge lacks in story, it supplements with a lack of maps and arena. Granted it’s still early and there’s always hope more maps and arenas are going to be coming, but for now, the game simply doesn’t have enough to grab your attention. Team brawlers, in general, are supposed to offer replayability by giving you lots of different worlds to play in and different things to accomplish in order to win a round.
The game does neither, making me wonder why exactly I would ever play the game that much once I’ve seen everything it has to offer. With very few characters and even less worlds to battle in, the title seems to be set up to make sure you play for a few minutes and then move onto something else. That seems a weird thing for a game to be aiming at. Pair the lack of content with a lack of story and you’ve really got a double whammy of “this is ok but not great.”
Bleeding Edge is a Good Looking Game
While the focus so far has been what the game is lacking, there are some things Ninja Theory and Xbox Game Studios got right. There are some characters that have very original powers and abilities and everything in the game looks pretty good. There’s something to be said for a AAA title at the end of a console generation. It’s hard not to take advantage of what the technology has to offer. Even if playing the game isn’t going to take up hours of you time, you will be able to take in the scenery and be impressed.
Verdict: As is the case with most wannabe Overwatch games, Bleeding Edge isn’t terrible. It simply doesn’t offer anything that would pull anyone away from the original. The lack of heroes to choose from – and the extreme overpowerfication of some of those heroes – as well as a lack of maps or areas, and there isn’t a ton of replayability. This game feels like someone had a really good idea for a title and then didn’t quite know what to do with it. That appears to be the running theme of the entire game. It’s just a bit undercooked. When it comes to Game Pass, it might be worth downloading. It’s hard to claim it’s worth paying full price for.
- You can jump into the action right away
- Wide variety of different characters to use
- Offers nothing new to the team brawler genre.
- No story to speak of.
- Some characters seem severely underpowered.