By Fabrice Stellaire / February 8th, 2017
|Release Date||February 8th, 2017|
Indie games are legion and it is very hard for developers to be noticed in this ocean of video games. Bleed 2, however, gets our attention with its unusual gameplay which mixes parrying and shooting. Waves of villains are coming and you are the only one able to protect the world. But does Bleed 2 provide a good challenge for fans of the genre?
Wryn is the last hero on Earth and she must face an invasion of super-villains. She starts the game with a blade and guns. It is important to note that you do not use the blade or the guns separately, but at the same time. When you push the stick, (the game supports controllers and I feel it is better to play with one) Wryn quickly draws her blade (a move that can be used both to attack and reflect energy missiles) and starts shooting. With the right timing you can reflect a lot of projectiles, but only those which are pink, perhaps because Wryn is pink-haired. I was not sure about this, but later I unlocked additional characters and discovered a blond guy who can deflect yellow projectiles.
You can use a special power to slow down time, but once the energy bar is depleted you have to wait a bit before using it again. The levels are rather short and the pace is quite fast, so you will probably finish the story mode in less than an hour. Yes, less than an hour. The story mode is intended to be accessible, providing infinite lives, and completing the seven levels of the game is not too hard in normal mode. But obviously, the point of the game is to improve your skills and get better. It is one of those games that encourages the player to get higher scores, and it will certainly be rewarding for you to dodge and reflect a growing number of projectiles while taking down your enemies with style. Getting a high score does not reward you directly with bonuses, but the score itself is the reward. I am far from having mastered this game and I would need to invest a lot of time to become decent at it, especially on higher difficulties like Very Hard mode.
The experience is fun and relaxing, the music is energetic, and the art, which is quite original, fits the light-hearted atmosphere of the game. The electric guitar is constantly there to emphasize the frenzy of fights, while also reminding us the main purpose of this game is to have fun. The art and the music are in fact complementary and could be described as “rock and roll”. Once you complete the campaign, you start unlocking new characters and weapons. Among them you can pick The Clawed Girl, a character borrowed from They Bleed Pixels. She is quite interesting as she focuses on melee attacks and can regenerate her health if she has enough energy to do it, as well as restore energy by killing enemies. She is also the only character that can reflect all projectiles. The Arcade mode, which grants you a single life, is there to test your skills and reactions. Finally, the Challenge mode allows you to fight up to three bosses at a time, but is not meant to be balanced so do not expect fair fights. Note that all game modes provide a 2-player local co-op option, but I did not have the opportunity to test it at home. Bleed 2 is one of those games that will only show its true value if you like to improve your score, get better and master the gameplay. My only complaint is that the number of levels is rather low, but the different characters and game modes compensate for this flaw.
Sold at a price of $4.99 on Steam, Bleed 2 is a nice action-platformer that will please fans of the genre. Despite a very short campaign, is has enough content for those who like fast-paced action and defeating waves of enemies.
Review copy provided by the developer.