|Available on PC and PS4|
To complete the triple-threat of ‘adult themes’, and more importantly to add some much-needed variety to the gameplay, Mother Russia Bleeds comes complete with a drug use mechanic. In practice, ‘Nekro’ as it is called, operates as both a powerup and a healing item. When taken one way, your character is thrown into a psychotic rage, adding extra damage, knockback and resistance. When taken otherwise (in this case, a different side of your neck), it regains a decent amount of health to combat the game’s difficulty, in addition to smoothing-over some of the mechanics vestigial of the quarter-sucking era. In a genre where freshly-roasted chickens are meticulously placed under trash cans and burn barrels, having a mechanic that achieves the video game function of regaining health, while not betraying its dark tone is welcomed. As is the grotesque way you use a syringe to abate your fallen foes of the drugs coursing through their veins.
|The Soviets had an
interesting definition of ‘Science’ in this revision of history.|
Mother Russia Bleeds makes an effort to freshen the gameplay up with dedicated grab and throw buttons, multi-hit combos, and the aforementioned drug system, but it ultimately doesn’t address the inherent flaws of the genre as a whole. The difficulty doesn’t feel balanced; While I was able to move through the game solo, I often had to resort to strategies that, while effective, brought the pace and fun of the gameplay to a screeching halt. Play enough of any beat’em up and you will end up dive-kicking packs of enemies over and over, and Mother Russia Bleeds is no exception. The unique gameplay elements do allow for more flexibility, but it still suffers from repetitiveness of gameplay, something plaguing the genre since its inception.
Overall, I had a really fun time with Mother Russia Bleeds. While I don't think it's going to be a chart-topper, it quickly became clear that a lot of love was put into the development of this game. The look, the feel, the soundtrack, it all feels straight out of a Jack Thompson nightmare, all without losing its arcade charm. If you are faint of heart, or simply don't have fondness for violent rollicks through fiction, appreciate Mother Russia Bleeds from a distance. Fans of the genre, grab some friends and make a couple nights out of it, and you will not be disappointed.
Developer: Le Cartel StudioPublisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC
Release Date: September 5th, 2016
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