Throughout the Bleeding Edge, beta weekend players got the chance to brawl through the world of Bleeding Edge. With every new game in the hero-based multiplayer genre there comes a whole roster of characters to get to know and a new gameplay system to master. Here are 10 things we learned during the beta.
Tanks are currently too strong
As those familiar with the hero-based genre characters are separated into 3 categories: Tank, Damage and Support. Each role with their own responsibilities and reasons for being picked. As we found during the weekend developer Ninja Theory has some work to do on balancing between these roles as currently, the tank role seems to outperform the damage characters in most situations. As the game is grounded as a melee combat game many of the characters have been designed with this in mind, this has led to the tanks putting out a large amount of damage as well as being rather mobile which is unusual for the genre. This sets up situations where tanks are able to chase down supposedly more nimble characters with near ease as well as putting out enough damage to secure the kill.
Thankfully this is during the beta so I expect the gap between the tank and damage to be balanced more or the community will just find themselves ignoring the damage characters in favour of tank heavy lineups.
Teamwork really is key
Yes this does indeed seem rather obvious but most players will still ignore this fact. But due to the brawling gameplay style of Bleeding Edge that separates itself in the genre, it also puts more emphasis on the teamwork aspect and players finding themselves in a 1 v 2 situation will soon realise this. With Bleeding Edge being more abundant in crowd control abilities such as stuns and unavoidable traps (looking at your cage, Maeve) it is fairly easy to keep one player-controlled between 2 characters. This leads to players needing to group up more and working towards the same targets across the match. Throughout many of the games I have played across the weekend it is easy to see that when one team is grouping up and working together the game goes in their favour awfully quickly.
… Unless you are playing Energy Collection
Despite the previous point, the Energy Collection game mode is currently balanced in a way that benefits solo players. Energy Collection requires teams to collect and deposit energy cells in various locations around the map, if you die while carrying these cells you drop them all. At first, it can be seen the compelling team strategy that could be used in this game mode, a team could wait for the enemy to gather the cells and then ambush them, half the team could gather while the other disrupts the enemy or you could just let one person gather all of the cells and hide until they can deposit them. This last option has become the most common one where a player will choose Daemon and then use his stealth ability to hide while waiting for the deposit points to open. This leads to one player playing away from the rest of the team, not worrying about their fights and just focusing on the objectives as deaths bare very little on the outcome of the match. Many times I have seen large fights between teams be decided by one player sneaking off to deposit the points and win the game. Yes, this is a valid strategy to win but it seems to go against the grain of the team orientated game that Bleeding Edge wants to be.
Find your play style
Finding your playstyle goes a lot deeper in Bleeding Edge as there are many variables in the game that can alter the way you play each character. When selecting a character you get the choice of two very different ultimate abilities and you have a selection of modifications that can be unlocked and applied to your character (limited to 3 at a time) that alter different aspects of the characters abilities. Once you find out how you enjoy playing a character, you can begin to gather mods that will enable your playstyle even more. This leads to an interesting variety where two players playing the same character could have very different results in any situation.
Spend some time reading through the mods to find the best way to optimise your playstyle and find out what options you have. With the game only having 11 characters this leads to more variety for players and more space for experimentation with each character which increases the longevity of Bleeding Edge.
Don’t be scared by the advanced tab
With a roster of only 11 characters currently, it can be pretty daunting that two of the characters are marked with the Advanced tab (Kulev & Cass). Even with this warning, both characters are still common throughout matches and in the case of Kulev becoming the most commonly played in their role. These characters do have their downsides with Cass having a limited health pool and Kulev being restricted to only two dashes but they are both manageable with each character being strong in their own fields.
Most new players to a game may be scared of trying characters that are marked as advanced, in some games I believe this to be worth it, but when it comes to Bleeding Edge this is not as important. Both characters fit well into the gameplay of Bleeding Edge and the mechanical difference in these characters is very minimal. Just take some time to understand the character’s weaknesses and you will find yourself excelling quickly throughout matches as goes with any character on the roster.
Spend time in the Dojo
In the first couple of hours of the beta, I spent a large amount of time in the Dojo (Bleeding Edge’s training area) just going through each character and getting a feel for their skill set and how they played. The Dojo provides a variety of tools to help you practice a hero and honestly I found this time spent quite useful. I quickly found several abilities for characters that I had not been shown in the tutorials. Characters basic attacks react differently in different situations as in the air or while moving and I got a better appreciation for what each character could do and what each of their ultimates looked like.
Spending some time in the Dojo can be incredibly helpful in helping you adjust and find your play style, find out things about your character that you wouldn’t get in a normal game and just try out some new combinations or ideas without having to worry about throwing a match.