Developer: Le Cartel Studio
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4
Mother Russia Bleeds – Review
After the success of Hotline Miami it makes sense that publisher Devolver Digital would look for more developers who could make a great pixelart violent and gory game. They found it with Le Cartel Studio who were able to make Mother Russia Bleeds. With this game they will throw you in an unique alternative Soviet Union in which you can use your fists for a beautiful feast of pixel gore.
The story of Mother Russia Bleeds is set in an alternative version of the 80’s Soviet Union. Before you start the game you have to pick one of the four characters, Natasha, Boris, Ivan, or Sergei. Storywise it doesn’t really matter which one you pick. Once you’ve picked your character you find yourself in a ghetto filled with homeless people and street fighters. Of course you belong to the street fighters and thus you start your first fights. After you win this fight it all goes wrong. The maffia, who works together with the corrupt government, suddenly crashes the party and kidnaps the fighters, including you. The reason for the kidnapping is so that they can test the drug Necro on you.The drug causes hallucinations and addictions, but also makes you stronger. Together with your newfound powers/addiction and your fist you start your quest for revenge. You break out of the facility and smashes everybody who you encounter on their face. It’s a simple story, but it completely fits the game. It’s no game you would play for a deep storyline, but for the action and the fun.
If you’re into for a nostalgic throwback to the 80’s the graphics of Mother Russia Bleeds really gives you what you want. The visuals are completely made in pixelart to give it an 80’s arcade style. Even without the optional CRT-screen filter it gives out this vibe. The CRT-screen filter adds stripes and imperfections to the screen to make it look like you’re playing on an old TV or arcade box. Even though the graphics all have a nostalgic feel it doesn’t mean they really feel old. It all run extremely smooth, never will the graphics or FPS fail you. It might looks very simple still able to splash a lot of gore and blood on your screen, giving you never a second to forget how violent the game actually is.
Fans of chiptunes will be delighted with the soundtrack of the game. Just like the graphics the soundtrack gives out a nostalgic feel but also have a great quality. The high quality tunes will be blasted out of your tv on a high speed that really adds to the game. The fighting sounds are more like bleeps than actual punches, this of course is to add to the 80’s vibe, but once you actually kill someone in a bloody fashion you will hear their blood, brains, and organs splatter. The latter obviously adds to the violence and gore of the game, making the the sound of the game actually really balance between nostalgia and ultra-violence.
Mother Russia Bleeds is an old school arcade beat ’em up game, but then ultra violent. In older games you knock your enemies out, but in Mother Russia Bleeds you completely smash your enemies to bits. This all with simple, yet at times clunky controls. The controls feel over sensitive at times, making every movement you make huge, but the game demands you to hit enemies precisely. This can cause a very frustrating experience because you might find yourself losing because of these controls quite a few times. It doesn’t help either that the game unleashes a bit too much enemies on your screen making it all very chaotic and hard to follow. After a while you will get used to the controls, but the game never gets any easier then, not because of error but because the game is actually really hard. While the story mode itself has a very short story you’ll probably still spend hours in it because you keep losing and losing until after trying so hard you finally find a way to kill the extremely hard and challenging bosses the game has to offer. While for some players this difficulty can be really frustrating it will still give most players a rewarding feeling when they finally take down that boss.
To give you a bit more chances and tactical options there are various versions of the drug Necro you can pump in your system to make you stronger, faster, or heal you. Next to the challenge the game also delivers a lot of entertainment. It’s surprising how fun it actually is to smash all your enemies to pixelart gory pieces. Especially if you play it with friends on the local multiplayer. At any time you’re playing the game your friends can pick up a controller and press “X” and they are in the game and just like that they can also jump out of the game. So you don’t have to go through any menus or setup any games just so that people can join. Next to its story mode Mother Russia Bleeds also has an endless survival mode in which you fight until you die and a boss rush mode in which you have to fight time pressured matches against powerful game bosses.
With Mother Russia Bleeds developer Le Cartel Studio created a more than decent ultra violent beat ’em up game. The game does struggle with its clunky controls, which only gets worse because you have to be directly in front of an enemy before being able to hit them. In intense battles the game gets really chaotic too. It’s hard to see where your character is or if they are even actually hitting anyone. Other than that it is a very fun game to play that is able to challenge even the most experienced players. The pixel art graphics and bloody style of the game are just simply beautiful. So get ready for a bloody nostalgia trip.