While Overwatch begins to struggle with retaining its more less-frequent players, Ninja Theory is taking the advantage to give Blizzard a run for their money, offering them a worthwhile competitor that could dethrone their smash-hit title, just as Paragon sought to do when Epic Games had it up and running. Meet, Bleeding Edge.
For the past few weeks, I’d been consuming an unhealthy amount of YouTube videos and now playing it since its release earlier today. That content is in regards to Bleeding Edge, a newly released third-person brawler turned competitive shooter that looks to battle it out against the formidable esport title Overwatch. During that time, I’ve spent a lot of time watching videos from YouTuber Mr. Fruit’s channel, who has covered this game more than I’d ever have expected.
During the dozens of times I’ve watched each and every video, I began to see a different side of Ninja Theory that I hadn’t seen before. We’re used to psychological trips that explore mental health, a somber experience that was with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It’s nothing like what we’ve seen come out of them before even with DmC: Devil May Cry or the likes of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, which is a magnificent reimagining of the Journey to the West, a tale about the Monkey King himself, Sun Wukong.
Now, instead, we’re watching a competitive team-based arena brawler, one that’s jam-packed full of colorful, albeit themed around each of these heroes being cybernetically-enhanced. Here’s to even looking at that magnificent-yet-hilarious video from Mr. Fruit playing grandma Maeve.
Truth is: It’s the fact even I, someone with hundreds of hours in the game, have been searching for a worthwhile successor, not a game that continues to bandaid on new mechanics in hopes to break meta builds like GOATS or anything of the sort. It’s the fact that this single newly-released title is doing everything it can to show how a well-balanced title actually looks, plays, and feels.
Just by watching it, I’ve already come to have a sense of nostalgia, easily taking note of how each of the characters operates, how each character’s kits will change based on each encounter and analyzing the break-down of the situation that played out before me. There are even three classes that characters will fall into including assassin, support, or tank, each one dividing how a character functions against their opponents and how their kits will work out in the end.
As you would guess, the characters themselves are unique, diverse, and each of them is just as crazy as the other. While the game launched with just ten characters today, it does seem that there are already favorites cropping up including the guitar-wielding maniac and charismatic Nidhoggr (I really wonder if there’s a hint we can see a Loki character later on); Maeve, a geriatric Irish woman who uses technology to her advantage (can we just call her a technomancer?) and then characters like Kulev, a 120-year old genius Cambridge professor who… Well became a robotic snake that… Well, pilots a corpse.
it would, however, not be fair to compare the two games alike, which truthfully, isn’t possible. I’d be comparing apples and oranges here. What does come of it though is the fact that this game, if treated right, could be Ninja Theory’s heaviest hitter yet, one that seems to pull some character design elements from titles like League of Legends and Overwatch for inspiration while going off on its own. There is, however, some influence in how the game plays.
It’s objective-based, making critical plays super important, forcing teams to work together, forcing each team to try different team compositions, allowing teams to do something completely different. One’s a first-person shooter first and foremost, characters all relying on their ability to attack from afar, using headshots and abilities to bring an enemy team to its knees.
On the other hand, we have a brawler, a game that emphasizes on the idea that it’s a MOBA-inspired title, one that uses objectives, flashy characters, special abilities, and heavy-hitting ultimate abilities to take out the enemy team or get out of a sticky situation such as Maeve’s ability to disappear and get the Hell out of Dodge or Nidhoggr who sparks an electrical field that stuns enemies caught within its reach.
It makes this 4v4 title feel as if there is a sense of urgency, a sense of duty to work with your team as each team competes to earn 500 points in hopes to win. Player frags earn extra points while completing objectives and capturing bases across the arena help earn points in the games base capture mode.
Just from what you watch, there’s a sense of verticality you don’t often see in many games. Using different approaches can often allow teams to flank through back channels or above the enemy, launching an assault that could overrun an unsuspecting team, something Paragon did quite well as a 3D MOBA turned action-based-shooter. It’s a void that has yet to remain filled and it seems like one that Bleeding Edge could do if Ninja Theory opted to toss in a true MOBA mode that would come down to a single or dual lane mode.
Don’t be surprised if Bleeding Edge manages to jump into the esports arena. It’s a game that seemingly deserves the chance and I wouldn’t be surprised if they showcase heroes shortly after some public test server feedback and adjusting or even dropping a few already-in-the-works champions. Due to what we’ve seen, it also seems that a META will be hard to find and it does seem like that’s to remain true as every video you watch online is filled with different team compositions and play styles, each character accomodating to a players preference.
The bright side here also? Ninja Theory doesn’t seem fond of loot boxes or microtransactions as the game seems absent of them at this time. It makes you wonder though: Will there be a battle pass since many don’t seem to count those as a microtransaction? My guess, quite possibly at this time as many games are doing it in order to get players hooked in their game, playing them incessantly in order to complete their deadlines.
Bleeding Edge is available now on Xbox One and Windows 10. Our review is in progress and will be released in the upcoming days.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!