Bleed, originally released in 2012 as part of the Xbox Live Indie Game program on Xbox 360, finds its way to Xbox One.
Reviewed on Xbox One; also available on Playstation 4.
There are no shortage of platforming genre games available on the Xbox One, though this one sports a little bit of history with Microsoft, as it was first released on Xbox 360 as part of the XBLIG program and then later on Steam for PC.
The story is simple – you play as Wryn, a girl who hopes to become the ultimate hero by defeating all of the current heroes. As you progress through the hit list, names are crossed off and Wryn’s notoriety grows.
The mechanics of Bleed have aged very well. The game uses a dual stick control, where your left stick controls movement and the right stick controls direction of fire. The right trigger activates your jump, which you can do consecutively three times. The left trigger activates bullet time, which slows everything down and allows you to traverse dangerous areas with ease, or deal massive damage.
Bleed runs very smoothly, and it’s very fast paced. The levels are well designed, and checkpoint locations are well placed, and will provide hours upon hours of frustrations on the harder modes. The game’s focus is on that of a run and gun shooter, which at times feels a little short sighted, as the control scheme and movement using the triggers were a good opportunity to cater to levels that focus on maneuverability over the repetitive enemy slaughter. Some of the most memorable moments are when you’re forced to use bullet time to race past a series of obstacles, but these few instances left me wanting more, and are few and far between on this short outing.
Players are equipped with two weapons, always changeable through the pause menu. You can switch between them using the bumper buttons. Switching weapons will help build your performance meter, which will increase your points upon level completion.
As mentioned, completing levels earns points, which in turn are spent on upgrades, either new weapons or increases to health and bullet time. The game also boasts a number of achievements for those who are into hunting, and will keep players engaged for several hours while they try to overcome some very difficult tasks.
Graphics and Sound
Bleed sports the 16-bit style, and it’s graphics and sounds stick to that design. Thanks to the developer’s choice, this game looks and sound as good as it did when Bleed was released in 2012.
Once you’ve played through the story there are a number of extras unlocked, including new skins, challenge mode and a classic arcade mode (single life). As mentioned, the achievements provide some drive for those who are into hunting, but the game is fairly short.
And with that comes by biggest gripe with Bleed. Why are we simply re-releasing it? We’ve witnessed this same song and dance over and over this generation – this is a reissue of the same game. Personally, I enjoyed the game, and I would recommend it to anyone who is into this genre and hasn’t already played it on Xbox 360. However, I would have also liked to see some new content, specifically some new levels the focused on the movement mechanics of the gameplay.