Source: Xbox Game Studios / Ninja Theory
Bleeding Edge is a 4v4 competitive multiplayer game set in a cyberpunk world. Oozing with character and color, Bleeding Edge hit Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One and PC a little while ago, alongside Steam.
After a few weeks with the beta and now the full live game, I’ve had some time to collect my thoughts on the game’s potential, although we’re here to review today’s product, which is a bit thin on content, to say the least. Beyond that, systemic issues with lag and general gameplay stop Bleeding Edge from sitting on the top shelf in a genre that is arguably well-catered for. That said, I find myself repeatedly coming back to it.
There’s something really satisfying about Bleeding Edge, even in this protozoic state.
Potentially good, some day
Bottom line: Bleeding Edge misses its mark, but there’s a spark inside this game worth keeping your eye on.
- Great character designs
- Animations and combat feel good, at least when it’s not lagging
- Accessible for newcomers
- Lag really, really hurts the game
- Combat lacks the depth needed for long-term engagement
- General lack of content
What I love about Bleeding Edge
Set in a dystopic future where an evil authoritarian regime controls the population with advanced robotics and cybernetics, a group of hackers and engineers “liberate” the technology from the corporations, and spread them to the underground. Bleeding Edge, to that end, is effectively a fight club, where a group of bodymodders and martial artists test out their hacks in bloody combat.
|Genre||4v4 competitive multiplayer brawler|
|Xbox Play Anywhere||Yes|
|xCloud Streaming (Beta)||Yes|
|Xbox Game Pass||Yes|
There should be something for everyone, both in terms of combat and visual style. There are healers, defensive support tanks, and pure damage dealers represented in the roster, with a range of cool and quirky abilities that allow everybody to carve out a niche. Kulev’s utterly hilarious Bamboozle ultimate lets you mind control an enemy player for a few seconds, allowing you to force them into suicidal situations.
When Bleeding Edge isn’t killing you with lag, the combat system works really well. Most character combos are a case of just spamming X, but knowing when to save your finite dodge rolls and how to react to any given situation makes up the basis of higher-level play. Some characters do have less obvious “hidden” combos they can string together, and there are some extra tools you’ll discover as you play and experiment. Attacking an airborne enemy with a plunging attack, for example, will stun them, giving you a sizeable opening if you can bait an unsuspecting player. Also, using map hazards to your advantage can be incredibly rewarding to pull off, knocking enemies off the map, or dumping them into electrifying walls.
There’s a strong basis for expansion here. And if the game is going to survive, expansion must come swiftly.
What I dislike about Bleeding Edge
Source: Windows Central
It’s a bit disappointing that there’s not really much to reach for in the game.
You can change up to other characters to get some variety, but even they largely feel and handle the same way over time. It’s not like a shooter, where you’re improving your aim or feel for the physics. And it’s not quite like a fully-fledged fighting game either, where you’re learning combos and counters. Even similar games like World of Warcraft PvP Arena have far more abilities to track and learn, with class combos and synergies offering players a very complex meta to indulge in.
Source: Windows Central
Perhaps the biggest source of frustration for me has been the lag. We are living in some crazy times right now, with Xbox Live struggling with some of the highest concurrent users in recent memory due to many places around the world having restrictions. Still, on my connection, the issues I’ve encountered seem unique to Bleeding Edge. It could be that the melee-oriented combat is more susceptible to issues on Xbox Live, but either way, it detracts from the product experience. When an enemy teleports to another position or out of view due to blatant connection issues, it makes landing ultimates and other cooldowns an incredibly frustrating experience.
Finally, it’s a bit disappointing that there’s not really much to reach for in the game. The skins are color swaps, and a far cry from the unique models you get in other similar games like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.
Should you buy Bleeding Edge?
Source: Windows Central
All that being said, there’s still something truly compelling about the game’s characters and its world. We’ve been here before, though, talking about games with unrealized potential. Gigantic comes to mind. As does Battleborn. Of course, there’s also the other side of the coin, in games that launched light on content but grew into something much greater, like Sea of Thieves and No Man’s Sky. Which side will Bleeding Edge fall on? Only time will tell.
On the edge of greatness
Maybe some day. Not today.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.