Bleed 2 is a fast-paced, fluid, pixel-drawn run-and-gun style game that performs well, somewhere between a platformer and a twin-stick shooter. It’s a fun but difficult adventure that has some great pros, but also some cons.
Bleed 2 is a sequel to Bleed, released in 2012. It centers around Wryn – the last hero – who must save the world from an alien invasion. The game is a true achievement for Bootdisk Revolution – a one-man studio – who has done as much here with one person as I’ve seen done by studios 10x its size. It’s fast-paced, nicely drawn and runs at 60 FPS, which is a must for any game of this type.
I’m not usually a player of this type of game, and the controls took me a lot of time to get used to. You move with the left stick, aim/shoot with right and jump/platform/dash with R2. Often I would die struggling to find the right button amid the chaos that is almost always on-screen. But that is really the beauty of this game. Yeah, I struggled at the beginning, but through repetition, I got better. I found myself flying through parts that would have smashed me earlier on.
In Bleed 2, you’re equipped with a number of different weapons, but your mains are two guns and a katana. You’ve got unlimited ammo, and you can reflect pink bullets with your sword, which adds a really interesting layer to combat. You can triple jump and “fly” through obstacles, all of it adding up to a frantic yet supremely calculated jaunt through complete bedlam. Bullets and projectiles are everywhere and you’re constantly dodging, firing, slashing and evading everything in sight. There are a ton of enemies and great boss mechanics – which is important because it seems like there is a boss every 2-3 minutes.
The game also has a co-op mode, where player one deflects pink projectiles and player two deflects yellow ones, adding even more complexity to an already maniac experience. The maps also feel a bit constrained, which made co-op feel slightly claustrophobic, though certainly not a deal breaker. There are also unlocks once you complete the game, including new characters, weapons and modes – like 1-life mode if you’re feeling particularly insane and a randomly generated endless mode – all adding to the game’s replayability.
Where it falters though is in its length. This game can be completed in under an hour, and at $10.99 CAD at the time of this article, it comes in at the same price as Hotline Miami, Portal 2 and FTL, to name a few. While it’s a great game, there are plenty of games with a lot more meat available at that price point. It does have a platinum trophy, however, which may seal the deal for trophy hunters.
Overall, Bleed 2 made me feel like I wanted to keep getting better, shooting and slashing my way through boss after boss. Every time I died, I came back at the challenge with another angle or strategy, got more comfortable with the controls and usually came out on top. It’s that kind of mechanic that enhances replayability, but the game was over just as I was really getting into it. Thank goodness for the endless modes, customizable boss battles – where you can put up to three of the same boss on-screen to test your mettle – and difficulty levels, because it adds just enough to keep players coming back for a little bit more.
Have you played Bleed 2? Let us know what you think in the comments.