Thoughts on the Alpha and Current State of Bleeding Edge

  • I've played many a beta and alpha over the years and I'd say Bleeding Edge is in a good spot but definitely has room for improvement based on my play sessions.

    Most frequently when playing a game in it's alpha stages I've found that developers are often times already fairly rooted into the general consensus of what the game will be mechanically and I think this has led to several games I've loved in their alpha stages being generally forgotten or seen as lackluster by the larger audience once they are more widely available. Games like Gigantic and Atlas Reactor I'd played from very early stages and they didn't make it very far unfortunately. I think Ninja Theory will be better about this however given their experience, because hey feels like Enslaved but multiplayer and that's a great starting point!

    I'd begin by saying, the game visually is wonderful no need to worry about that. Combat in it's current form is great from a basic level. Objectives and moving as a team are incredibly important.

    However with my now limited experience playing the game for a few hours and having read some e3 impressions from a few months ago the game has to improve in some key areas.

    • A better visual indicator for when you are taking damage and where you are taking damage
      This is incredibly important, as in several fights you may run in just to instantly be down to half or a quarter of your health and having to look to a corner of the screen isn't going to cut it when you've got so much to focus on during the action. My recommendation is to try and develop either a health bar under your characters feet, or on your character visually like the health bar in dead space in the best way I can describe it. White for full health, yellow for half, red for a quarter which I believe is already in the game so that's a good choice. 👍

    • A more detailed combat system that doesn't revolve solely on hitting x and abilities every so often.
      My first suggestion would be have the team at NT play Anarchy Reigns, a multiplayer Platinum Games joint, and see if that doesn't at least slightly provide them with some influence or extra inspiration for how to build their combo system out without it being too overwhelming for casual players. Because genuinely the second most common complaint I've seen is the issue of how 'button mashy' the games combat is and if that's the first impression your game will leave this will be an instant turn off to many seeing the game as having little depth. I can see the depth of when to dodge, using abilities appropriately and such, however most will not play long enough to see past it. I'd suggest, just as simple as possible and this wouldn't be easy imo, but to incorporate heavies and lights, holds like on Mutaka(?), possibly even pauses like many action games and if this sacrifices an ability slot sure I'm fine with that, I think a fun engaging combo system will be more rewarding than building this game to be the overwatch of arena fighting.

    • A better indicator to new players as to what the Objectives are and what they should be doing
      As expected and I don't blame NT for this at all, people ignore objectives, this is incredibly common in video games. So if the objective is to capture the point people are just fighting on the other side of the map, if it's to collect power they're literally walking around them to go fight, and then ignoring having to cash them in entirely. The best I can think is just HEY GIANT TEXT MIDSCREEN, as well as large indicators to go along with this showing players on the minimap what they should be looking for. Of course have the option to turn these off for more experienced players.

    • Different preset control schemes as well as different control schemes for ranged and close range
      I was not a huge fan of where everything was on the default button configuration, I did try to change it but nothing felt right? Because having to keep tapping X means hitting any of the other face buttons, resulting in the interruption of X tapping. And for ranged fighters I felt the control default control scheme didn't fit at all, it didn't feel good to reset and switch targets on clicking in the right stick. I think genuinely that ranged characters need to have a completely separate control scheme that allows for easy targeting more along the lines of something like how Smite plays.

    • Ranged just feels off
      I can't imagine a scenario as a ranged characters where I'm not constantly running away from a melee character, which makes sense! But, having to constantly be on the back door because if I get hit once and try to dodge away, then they dodge after me and I dodge again I'm essentially done. Not to mention the difficulty with trying to Target my opponent correctly. It almost seems like ranged characters should just play like a third person shooter, aim down with LT and that would be the major mechanical change, so that way when you're not aiming you can keep the traditional movement and control options.

    • A variety of game modes
      Not to be like hey, just make Anarchy Reigns 2, but I think it's inevitable. I've never an arena fighter more fun and infinitely replayable as Anarchy. This game, already has a lot on common with that one, and what that game has was a large variety of game modes. A football game mode, a 1v1 cage match game mode, deathmatch, team deathmatch, Objectives based game modes and co op game modes focused on points where you fight enemies in a PvE format with big boss creatures, mini bosses, and ads. The list continues because you could fight in like 4 teams of four, teams of 2, free for all, battle Royale with 16 people fighting across the whole stage. If even some of these were stolen to throw into your game mode rotation, that would be really cool.

    • Hoverboards are cool but...
      Why you gotta cast to call the board out? If I can customize my board it should be on my character at all times, whether it collapses or is literally on the characters back doesn't matter to me. Also, your character should automatically start to mount if they stay outside of combat for long enough. So you're running away, your character gains some speed slowly and then after a few seconds, much like casting but you can move and don't have to hit a button, they'll just pull out the board and jump on it and get rolling. This can also open up for a dash attack coming off your board.

    Anyways, those are most of my suggestions! It's a good base, I hope my criticisms don't come off as too pessimistic or negative although that may be unavoidable! 😬

  • @BluDRAGUN I agree wholeheartedly with the combat. While I see the game has a lot of potential, the combat feels, for lack of better words, shallow and slow.

    This is not an overwatch clone, and should never aspire to be, but I would say a few things they got right in Overwatch was:

    1. animations felt punchy like you were actually doing damage when you attacked or were attacked.

    2. while similar with the "attack and use abilities" concept every character felt wildly different and had to be treated as so. You felt damage differently, you would plan your playstyle around such ways of doing damage. This game feels more like an all out brawl. And whoever can mash X while doing their abilities best wins.

    I like the game, it just feels like it needs more. I know this is odd, but Fable Legends is a good game with a lot of combat and abilities that would be an example that I would pull from... If it is even possible for the dev team to get their hands on. Just the game play, not the format.