At a recent preview event for Microsoft's upcoming 4v4 brawler Bleeding Edge, we got some hands-on time with the game's mysterious final character. And oh boy, is it a weird one.
If you had any doubt that Ninja Theory had some of the wildest character artists in history, meet Mekko, a cybernetically enhanced dolphin with a robotic fish tank. Yes. You read that right.
Mekko is a unique character in the overall Bleeding Edge roster for a few reasons, and in our hands-on time, we got to find out why.
Bleeding Edge Mekko's Story
Mekko's bio reveals some traumatic details. Mekko was one of several dolphins experimented on with sonar communication technology, allowing them to speak and operate weapons platforms. Only Mekko remains of the dolphins chosen for these trials, and the sea-faring creature has sworn vengeance against the humans that have caused it such pain.
Still, Mekko is starting to learn that not all humans are cruel and has found a new pod of sorts with the other misfits of Bleeding Edge, who have welcomed Mekko with open arms.
Bleeding Edge Mekko's Abilities
- Sonar gun: Is Mekko's standard attack and can be fired from a pretty generous range.
- Bubble Block: Blocks a considerable amount of damage. Damage absorbed generates Power Orbs.
- Power Orbs: Orbs generated while blocking can be stored and spent on other abilities to generate additional effects.
- Surge: Rush forward, damaging enemies and knocking them back. Generates health when used with a Power Orb.
- Safety Zone: Places a watery area on the ground that grants allies armor and life-steal. Reduces healing on enemies when used with a Power Orb.
- Lifeline: Links your health to an ally, taking 40 percent of their incoming damage. You can also reel them in and pull them out of harm's way. If used with a Power Orb, it adds a shield on the targetted ally as well.
- Ultimate Sonic Barrage: Knocks back and deals damage in a cone in front of Mekko.
- Ultimate Exclusion Bubble: Traps an enemy inside a bubble. While inside, the enemy is immune to damage. The victim's allies can damage the bubble to free them.
Bleeding Edge How does Mekko play?
Mekko is one of the larger heroes in the roster, sporting a giant footprint owing to its lumbering spider-tank body. Designated as a tank, Mekko is an aggressive and disruptive brawler, able to knock enemies away with Surge, while pulling allies out of harm's way with Lifeline.
Mekko is also incredibly tanky, sporting reactive shields that feed into his other abilities. When players attack your shields, you gain Power Orbs that can be combined with your existing cooldowns. For example, spending a Power Orb on Surge not only activates its normal attack but also adds a health regeneration component, making it a powerful offensive and defensive tool all in one.
On the flip side (heh, flipper), Mekko sacrifices the dodge mechanic every other hero has, making him susceptible to combos, stuns, and other hazards. Despite being what is effectively a walking target, Mekko's considerable defensive abilities still make him a very credible threat, in multiple ways.
Skillful Mekko players will be incredible healer protectors, able to pull them out of enemy combos and hazards with Lifeline while dropping shields and armor into the fray as well. Lifeline even works on uneven surfaces, so Mekko players can pull up a teammate high above danger if need be. With good map knowledge, using Mekko's ultimate ability Sonic Barrage could, in some cases, push an entire enemy team off the map to their doom. Bleeding Edge's maps have tons of lethal hazards, from pitfall traps to passing trains, and more, giving characters with knockback abilities some unique opportunities to cause mayhem.
The new map Landslide, which was available at this recent preview event, is no exception. Landslide features several fast-moving trains that can be used to around the map quicker — or cause premature death — depending on how careful your jumps are.
Mekko and more, coming on March 24
Mekko will not be available at launch. However, Ninja Theory assures us that players won't be waiting too long. Mekko will release sometime in the launch window, "weeks, not months" after Bleeding Edge is out. The new map Landslide will be in on day one. For more Bleeding Edge info from this recent preview event, you can check out our interview with creative director Rahni Tucker.
Bleeding Edge has its final closed beta on March 13, 2020, for Xbox Game Pass users and goes live for everyone on March 24, across Xbox consoles and Windows PC. Bleeding Edge looks as though it will ride the delicate line between MOBA and hero shooter when it launches later this month, carving out a strong niche where it can exist among the Overwatches and Smites of the world. We're hopeful that the full game will deliver on all this promise, and so far, it looks as though Ninja Theory might have nailed it.
On the edge
Bleeding Edge is a cyborg brawler for teams of four across a variety of game modes and maps. Fans of games like Overwatch and Smite may find themselves right at home in this game, built by Ninja Theory of DmC and Hellblade fame.
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Microsoft's Netflix-style subscription service serves over 100 varied titles for a monthly fee and will include Bleeding Edge at launch. From hit franchises to experimental indies, Xbox Game Pass has value for all.
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