Ninja Theory, the developers behind Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice recently revealed their latest game: Bleeding Edge. A 4v4 arena fighter, the game is a multiplayer exclusive coming to Xbox.
The game takes after Overwatch and Paladins, focusing on unique characters with distinctive abilities. From the gun-toting, rocket-riding Gizmo to a Metalhead that sports a flamethrower instead of a jaw, each character is bursting with personality. Split into the traditional Tank, DPS and Support roles, players will have the option of finding a character that’s suitable to their playstyle or switch around depending on what the match requires.
From what we’ve seen of gameplay, of which there is surprisingly little online, the game focuses heavily on melee combat. In fact, Gizmo is one of the few characters with ranged attacks. Perhaps this will be the feature that will distinguish the game from other entries in the arena fighter genre. The focus on combat is not too surprising as, after all, that’s one of Ninja Theory’s fortes.
In terms of a progression system, Ninja Theory has kept relatively quiet. So far, we know that as you play you will unlock Mods that change the way you play a character. Daemon — a ninja-like character wearing an Oni mask — can be played aggressively or made to rely on stealth more through Mods. It is still unclear how these Mods will be earned and it’s entirely possible that they will be tied to a microtransaction system. However, with the Mods “you don’t get more powerful, you just get more options,” Creative Director Rahni Tucker said, possibly dispelling notions of pay-to-win.
Though we haven’t seen much gameplay, from what footage is out there the game seems to be objective-based. Each map will have three objectives that have to be captured by either team and can presumably be contested by standing near it. In addition, maps are littered with environmental hazards such as high-speed trains. By using your character’s combat abilities you can send enemies launching towards them, instantly killing them.
Whether or not the game will stick is another question entirely. Multiplayer arena fighters such as this usually have issues competing in a market that is saturated by the likes of League of Legends and, most recently, Overwatch. We’ve seen games such Gotham City Impostors and Monday Night Combat fail to make such splashes in the scene, and eventually shut down.
Perhaps by being a Microsoft Exclusive Bleeding Edge will receive more attention, given that Xbox’s lack of first-party exclusive is a common criticism.
If you are itching to test the game, there will be a Public Test on June 27th. If you want to join this public alpha, you can apply here.