Bleeding Edge Review

Dan Webb

It’s been 20 years since single-player specialists, Ninja Theory, opened its doors. Three years later launching its first title, a 3D fighting multiplayer game known as Kung Fu Chaos. In fact, that was the last time the studio ventured into the world of multiplayer -- in the years that followed the Cambridge-based studio has since become synonymous with single-player experiences. Heavenly Sword, Enslaved, DmC, Hellblade -- all narrative driven experiences that fans and critics adored. Bleeding Theory is a break from the norm then, a game created by a tiny sub-section of the studio, a game that shows its limited investment while simultaneously showing off how talented this studio really is.

Bleeding Edge, for all intents and purposes, is a 5 vs 5 hero melee-fest. Think Overwatch but without guns -- well, one character has a gun -- and more focused on melee combos. So, classes, character abilities, special moves -- everything associated with the hero shooter, Bleeding Edge has. With melee combos, a good range of characters with differing abilities, Bleeding Edge’s minute-to-minute gameplay is actually really solid, although that’s not to say it’s perfect by any means.

It’s hard to put your finger on where Bleeding Edge feels quite off, but I guess at its core, the game has some serious balance issues. Not in that characters feel overpowered, in fact, they definitely do not. But I’ve never known a class-based game such as this where it doesn’t really matter what your composition is. As long as you have strength in numbers, you’ll win.

There is effectively no chance of winning a 1 vs. 2, even if those two characters are support characters. Even if they’re idiots. The whole make-up of this aspect does make for an infuriating multiplayer experience at times, especially if you have lone warrior teammates. If it’s 4 on 4 or 3 on 3, or so on, you can’t really fault Bleeding Edge or its character make-up, though. Well, except for the shaky netcode and unstable frame rate at times… oh, and that annoying bloody train that runs through one of the levels. Ugh.

It’s not really fair to compare Bleeding Edge to Overwatch, because the two couldn’t be any further apart in terms of budget and support, but it’s hard not to. While Overwatch had an overabundance of cool skins, loads of maps, a good selection of game types, Bleeding Edge simply does not. It has two game types, a handful of maps and while the eleven eclectic characters are great, their skins are nothing more than colour palette changes, which considering this is a third-person game and you see the characters all the time, is hugely disappointing.

For what it is, though, and considering it’s a budget title, there’s a lot to like about Bleeding Edge. With a lot more content and some subtle tweaking, it could be a little gem of a game for Microsoft, especially under the Xbox Game Pass banner. While it’s hard to fault Bleeding Edge’s minute-to-minute combat, the game does lack in other areas to keep players – in its current state – really invested in the title. Bleeding Edge is fun, then, if only for a short while.

Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge is a fun game, but one that lacks any real content and depth to keep players interested for the long-term. You’ll be entertained for a few hours, for sure, but if you’re looking for a multiplayer experience to invest in over the coming months, you might want to look elsewhere.

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Decent enough, though largely forgettable.


Wonderful creativity in the characters, not so much in the skins. Pretty looking game, although there’s not a fat lot to it.


As I said, you can’t really fault the minute-to-minute combat, it’s pretty damn fun.


Not a lot going on here: two game modes, five maps. The game lacks that all-important hook and any kind of longevity.


A lot of grinding involved here. Won’t take long to get the full 1,000G. Well, that’s assuming the achievements track properly, that is. After 250 kills, I've still yet to get the 'kill 50' achievement. Ugh.

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