Bleeding Edge, New Game From Ninja Theory, Opens Their Alpha To The Public

Bleeding Edge, New Game From Ninja Theory, Opens Their Alpha To The Public
Credit: Ninja Theory via YouTube

Bleeding Edge has been announced by developer Ninja Theory, filling the much-needed gap of more online hero-battles; clearly OverwatchProject A, and who knows what else simply hasn’t been enough.  Granted, Bleeding Edge does offer 4v4 combat, and the combat tends to focus on melee instead of projectile damage.

With combos taking the center stage in this title, hearkening back to the days of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, some may find that it’s enough of a move in a different direction to merit yet another hero-based MOBA-lite battler.  Coming to Xbox One with Windows 10 support added recently, developers Ninja Theory has opened Bleeding Edge’s Alpha gameplay to those that request it on their website; you need to simply link your Microsoft account, and await the email saying that you’re in.

While the idea behind Bleeding Edge may actually be a new take, with hero-based melee combat (with multiple heroes that shoot, which must be fun to chase around maps while futilely swinging your stick), it’s difficult to get behind the title at this moment.  Even within the website itself, there are many red flags that are, at this point, simply exhausting to even stomach.  Mind the cynicism, as it’s well-earned at this point.

Bleeding Edge currently offers ten unique heroes of various difficulty to control to maximize their impact, with two heroes yet to be fully announced.  All of the heroes have basic abilities, special abilities, and ‘super’ abilities(ultimates, in other words).  Some heroes, such as ‘Zerocool’ (which is not the title of the game) is a support line specialist, that has a ranged weapon, a healing beam, and an automatically firing drone.  His ultimates are similarly uninspiring, with ‘1UP’ instantly reviving an ally that has been slain, and ‘Upgrade Protection’, a creatively named ult that upgrades the armor of nearby allies.

A different hero, named ‘Nidhoggr’, wields a guitar/ax, and his abilities are roughly as creative as his weapon; an AoE cone of flame, throwing his ax at enemies and leaving a trail of fire where he runs.  His ultimates Supers are ‘Death Growl’, which silences everyone around him, and ‘Ride The Lightning’ which stuns enemies surrounding him.

Immediately, we’re looking at various balance patches over the life span of this game, users crowding forums because their hero that they’ve spent the time and money (we’ll get there)on specializing isn’t meta, and awaiting said balance patches that will crawl out of the developer.  That’s simply the nature of hero-based combat; it’s been seen in Overwatch, League of Legends, Dota 2PaladinsHeroes of the Storm, and so on; with various abilities, eventually a playstyle will be found that is difficult to defeat, and balancing shenanigans begin anew.

Next, let’s talk about unlockables that ‘allow’ the user to customize their character (lucky us).  You can modify your character with unique load-outs, chosen from ‘hundreds of cybernetic mods’ that are ‘all earnable through gameplay’.  Now we’re looking a bit closer at the first point, with balancing patches necessary to stop someone with the ultra-rare mod from curb-stomping everyone in the server.  Additionally, this is thinly concealed speak for loot-boxes or some form of microtransactions.  If you think that’s a bit of a dire prognosis, bear in mind that there is a segment on the website that states that you can currently receive ‘free mod parts’ for participating in the Alpha.

Bleeding Edge, to be absolutely fair, could be the newest form of hero-based combat that simply none can live without.  It’s still in Alpha, and has a long development life ahead of it that could very well change everything for the better. If anyone could make this game worth more than a passing glance, it’s Ninja Theory.  Their work on past titles such as Heavenly SwordDevil May Cry, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has found them picking up multiple accolades through the years.  Worth noting that those titles were primarily single-player, if not entirely; some heroes feature the ability to trap other heroes in cages, or outright remove their ability to act, which as Blizzard has found, is the surest way to annoy your fanbase.

People who opt not to join the Alpha can see the game further at the upcoming ‘XO19’, Microsoft’s unironic celebration of their own console that is currently lagging behind others in the ever-present console war.  Right now, it appears like a knock-off version of every other hero-based battler that is out there, mirroring the worst traits found in many of them.

And we’re so tired of waiting for patches.