Three weeks ago, I played the Bleeding Edge beta with one of my closest video game friends. We love fighting games and appreciate the combat only Ninja Theory is capable of. Without hesitation, we downloaded the beta, put on our headsets, and jumped into a handful of matches.
We left our time with the beta with mixed feelings. I thoroughly enjoyed my time, while my friend had plenty of balancing issues he thought needed to be fixed before launch. With any beta, nothing is perfect, and that’s why betas exist in the first place. I have issues with Bleeding Edge too, but I think there’s potential for a bright future. In fact, with a few tweaks, I think we have a new esport title in our midst.
The masters of combat taking a stab at multiplayer
One thing that Ninja Theory does so well in their games is the combat. Look at the previous titles from the studio. Heavenly Sword, Enslaved, DMC: Devil May Cry, and Hellblade are all unique experiences with incredible combat. Each of them deserves to be on various “best of” lists, and this dedication shows with Bleeding Edge. The combat is responsive; each character feels unique, and they also feel integral to the objective-based nature of the game.
The problem with Bleeding Edge, as my friend put it, is that the game currently feels unbalanced. It’s also a difficult game to play when you’re alone. Unfortunately, a lot of gamers don’t like to talk to each other online. I can’t begin to tell you how few times I’ve heard someone speak in the middle of an online game. Many people either don’t have a microphone or prefer to play in a party chat with friends.
This is a hindrance for Bleeding Edge, because the game counts on players communicating with each-other. If you don’t ask teammates for help, or discuss going for the objective, you’re basically screwed. We lost countless times because my friend and I couldn’t get through to our teammates.
If you’re not coordinated with your team, it’s basically impossible to succeed. Bleeding Edge is about playing in a group, and that’s something most players don’t seem to care about. I can’t begin to express the frustration I felt each time I got wrecked by players who were clearly more coordinated, and engaged as a team.
This 4v4 brawler begs to be played the way that Ninja Theory envisioned it. When you’re on a team with even one less player, you can kiss that victory goodbye.
A huge install base can make Bleeding Edge thrive
While some tweaks need to be made before launch, there is a lot of potential. The fact that subscribers to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC will get it for free means that there will be a robust community at launch.
I’ve spent countless days watching Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, Mortal Kombat, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate tournaments over the past few years, and I could definitely add Bleeding Edge to that list. The game is the definition of competition, and I see it doing well on a professional level. Watching teams of four taking on equally skilled and coordinated opponents would be intense and rewarding.
Will Microsoft give Bleeding Edge the push it needs to succeed?
It’s difficult for a new game to come along and try to find a place among some of the heavy hitters in the industry. With Microsoft publishing Bleeding Edge, there’s no doubt that the company will try to give it as much life as possible.
Still, it’s tough to say whether or not Ninja Theory’s latest hero fighter can cause a crack in the competitive market. While there are some kinks to fix, one huge factor that works in its favor its that Bleeding Edge is unique. There truly isn’t something else like the game on the market, and I think fans of esports are in for a treat at launch.
Nothing is guaranteed, but Bleeding Edge has the possibility of being one of the newest games to foster a competitive scene. With a few tweaks, continuous support from Ninja Theory and Microsoft, and feedback from the community, I think we’re on the precipice of seeing the next big online game rocking the industry when Bleeding Edge launches in a few weeks.