Ninja Theory’s Bleeding Edge is definitely one of the more unorthodox titles the company has worked on but it’s from your average hero-based multiplayer title. That being said, is it it worth getting into? Let’s take a look at 14 things you should know before buying Bleeding Edge when it launches on March 24th for Xbox One and PC.
Like some other team-based multiplayer games, Bleeding Edge has a basic story outline. It’s the year 2057 and the world is effectively run by corporations. Corruption is rampant, which spurs Daemon – a New Yorker who lost his mother to some corporate incident – to form a gang called Bleeding Edge. After executing a major data breach, Daemon is now all about heading into the underworld’s fighting rings to recruit more people for the gang. Expect bits and pieces of the lore to be revealed through character interactions and dialogue in matches rather than intricate cutscenes or narration.
4v4 Team Brawler
Bleeding Edge is, first and foremost, a 4v4 online multiplayer team brawler. Each team is composed of real players battling it out with a variety of different abilities, weapons and characters. Eliminating opposing team members and playing the objective will be your path to victory more often than not.
Development Time and MOBA Origins
When Bleeding Edge was first revealed at E3 2019, it seemed like Microsoft’s attempt to get into the team-based multiplayer genre, which is dominated by the likes of Overwatch. However, as Ninja Theory revealed in a recent update video, the game has been in development for more than three years. It started out as more of a MOBA title like Dota 2 with towers, lanes, minions and so on. Based on feedback, however, it would change into the third person multiplayer brawler we see today.
Thus far, we know of game modes like Control where three different objective locations open up over the course of a map. A team must capture these objectives to earn points, but points can also be earned by killing an opposing team member. First to 600 points wins the match and there may be times where two or all three of the capture points are open at the same time, leading to potential chaos. Other PvP modes have yet to be revealed but there are some modes to play offline. The Dojo is good for training against the AI while different tutorials will provide more insight into the game’s mechanics (and hopefully make entry easier for new players).
12 characters, 3 Roles
There are 12 characters to choose from in Bleeding Edge with three roles – Support, Tank and Assassin. Characters have a fair number of abilities outside of just flanking or tanking. Makutu, for instance, is a melee heavy who can heal nearby allies while also speeding them up. His Super is capable of making himself and allies invulnerable for a short period of time. Meanwhile, Gizmo is categorized as a ranged assassin with a bolt gun and evade ability. However, she can also create turrets, drop jump pads for allies and even deploy a mech suit for some tankiness.
Weapon and Ability Mods
Customization is a pretty big part of combat as well. What we do know is that players will discover different mods to augment abilities and weapons. While the true extent of this customization remains to be seen, the developer has promised that everything will be earnable through gameplay.
While Bleeding Edge grew out of its MOBA roots, mounts still play a role in the form of Hoverboards. Similar to Paladins, hoverboards allow for navigating through maps and getting into battles that much quicker. They can also be customized with decals and custom trails for that extra bit of swag.
Thus far, we’ve seen four maps for the game. Boneyard has an industrial, almost heavy metal influence to it; Skygarden is more lush with a central plaza and two ramps around it; Aqueducts looks like high-tech sewers with numerous monitors and walkways about; and Jersey Sink is set in an urban area with a passing train. Each map is fairly unique and packed with different paths, obstacles and hazards to navigate.
But really, it’s the hazards you need to pay the most attention to on maps. There are electric fences, the aforementioned train, fire and much more that you can push and pull enemies into. So while mastering a character’s abilities and tuning their loadout is key, understanding the environment and knowing when to bait your enemy into a trap can make all the difference.
Single-Player Campaigns (in the Future)
You might like the concept and characters of Bleeding Edge while being put off by the multiplayer. Despite the game’s multiplayer focus, single-player campaigns aren’t off the table entirely. Creative director Rahni Tucker told Metro that the team “could do some really great single-player campaigns with the game.” However, it was clarified that “It’s such a small team and the multiplayer is at the core of the game. It’s the most important thing and you can’t do it second. It has to be first. For me the multiplayer is the game. We have the potential to do single-player stuff in the future, like maybe, there’s plenty of interesting stories to tell with the characters but we’ll just have to see.” So while a campaign isn’t confirmed or currently in active development, the developer is certainly interested in it.
No Microtransactions “Right Now”
One thing that Ninja Theory won’t be doing with Bleeding Edge for the time being is implementing microtransactions. There are no microtransactions at launch and the developer is against selling anything that offers a competitive advantage. As such, everything that’s currently in the game right now – save for the Punk Pack items – can be earned through gameplay.
Speaking of the Punk Pack, if you pre-order Bleeding Edge, you’ll get it as a bonus. The pack includes three skins – one each for fighters Nidhoggr, Buttercup and Zero Cool – and a Rioter’s Hoverboard mount. You also receive an in-game sticker pack and three bonus taunt emotes. Those trying out the game on Xbox Game Pass can also receive the Punk Pass if they play within the first week of launch.
4K Ultra HD and Xbox One X Enhanced
Bleeding Edge is Xbox One X Enhanced, which usually means improvements and enhancements to its visuals over the base console versions. It also supports 4K Ultra HD, providing even more pop and clarity to those who own an Xbox One X and 4K TV. Given the multiplayer nature of the title, you might want to wait till launch and try it on Xbox Game Pass to see how the frame rate keeps pace in 4K.
Releasing on Steam
Along with releasing on the Microsoft Store for Xbox One and PC, Bleeding Edge will also be coming to Steam. In terms of specifications, the technical alpha required a minimum of 8 GB RAM, an Nvidia GTX 760, 15 GB of installation space and an Intel i5 4430 to run at 1280×720 resolution. Needless to say, wait for official specs closer to launch.