A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bleeding Edge is a third-person, multiplayer-centric action game that's available for download on Xbox One and Windows PCs. The gameplay borrows elements from shooters and fighting games that have previously been released. Your squad of unique fighters will take on an opposing team, in a fight to the finish, in various arenas. Players have access to several weapons, including melee (swords, machetes) and ranged attacks (cannons, spitting acid). There's some blood that can be seen before fallen enemies disappear. Bodies may be tossed and flung around (in a "ragdoll" effect) -- but there's no gore. Online play against others is the focus of this game, and so players may hear profanity and other potentially offensive comments from others.
What's it about?
BLEEDING EDGE is an online action brawler that fuses elements from 3D shooters and fighting games. Playable on Xbox One and Windows PC, you first choose your star fighter from a cast of colorful characters -- each with radical weapons and a unique fighting style -- before your 4-player team takes on an opposing squad across various maps. Consider it a cyberpunk-esque gladiator 4v4 fight with some zany fighters, ranging from a snickering Irish grandma Maeve and death metal rocker Niđhöggr to the beautiful Buttercup with saw blade arms. All characters can be modded (modified) with upgradeable weapons and customizable abilities, plus you can tweak your hoverboard mounts to ride into locations in style. The setting takes place in the year 2057, a time when world governments have collapsed and replaced with corporations -- until one of the characters, Daemon, forms "Bleeding Edge," which are like-minded misfits vowing to take on the world and settle the score with their own personal vendettas. Finally, there are a few unique maps to fight over, each with a unique layout for the intense brawls.
Is it any good?
This action game good -- and certainly a lot more affordable than most other new games for Xbox and Windows PC -- but there are a few issues that prevent this game from being great. Bleeding Edge's over-the-top combat is fun and frenetic. You'll need to master your over-the-top weapons -- which focus way more on melee attacks than ranged projectiles -- and also learn to chain several moves and sharpen your defensive maneuvers. Along with timing and weapon selection, there are cool-down periods you'll need to get used to, switching characters, environmental considerations, and more. And then there are modifications and other upgrades to experiment with. In other words, there's considerable depth, but it doesn't feel overwhelming.
There's quite a bit of variety (and humor) to each of the zany characters. But the camera angles in this third-person brawler aren't the best and it's not unusual to have trouble seeing where enemies are during a heated skirmish. You can have your view completely obscured if you're up against a wall or ledge, since the camera appears to be inside your character. That only happens when you choose to lock on the camera -- but that's highly recommended and the lesser of two evils (because it's much harder to manually control the camera, character, and weapons). Another issue is the lack of maps and modes. The main King of the Hill-style option is the one most will play, plus there's another called Power Cells, which has you and other human players scouring the map for power cells. Either way, more variety would be welcomed here to match the vast selection in characters. Finally, while intense, combat gets a little stale after a while. For what it is -- a fun, funny and fast-paced 4-on-4 online brawler -- Bleeding Edge is a good game that won't break the bank. Just don't expect it to be one of the year's highlights.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Bleeding Edge affected by the cartoonish, ragdoll animations during battle? Is it intensified because blood is shown from some attacks, but there's no gore? Is it lessened because the events in the game aren't realistic?
What makes Bleeding Edge more fun than, say, a free-to-start game, like Fortnite? Is it the variety of characters? The maps? The focus on melee attacks? What makes it less fun to play?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Xbox Game Studios
- Release date: March 26, 2020
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood
- Last updated: April 29, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.