Collapse Russian-Language Demo: An Oblast?


The 350-plus-change megabyte demo of Collapse came out last week, but we haven’t blogged about it until now due to a minor problem. It’s in Russian. And since it’s in Russian, we didn’t have a clue of what it was and linking to “a demo with some stuff in it” is frowned upon by the fraternity. So, with a little investigative journalism, I decided to install it and see if I could make any sense of it. What sort of game is it about? Well, you don’t need to find out the way I found out – that is, by pressing random buttons – you can follow me beneath the cut.

Hullo Follower!

As you start the game you’re presented by some menus in foreign. The top option doesnt click, so I went for the second one. Which started the game. I found myself watching some bloke in dreads, slowly waking up in the middle of a ruined building, clearly somewhat hungover.

Just five more minutes. I'll get up in five minutes.

Bar the dreads, this is all very familiar.

Our hero manages to crawl to his feet, only to be interrupted by a menu of instructions for the controls. I hope it isn’t anything too complicated.
Yeah, don't get this at all.
Thankfully, while much is heathen gibberish, the international language of WSAD and Space scream clear. It’s a game which involves moving around. RPS can exclusively reveal (in the non-Russian speaking world) that Collapse features moving around. We speculate it also includes jumping by pressing space.

A quick move around and jump confirms these facts. Hurrah! Immediately, with the large man, the gun and the third-person perspective, it reminds me a little of gears and war. I’m trying to work out if there’s a way I can take cover in a fancy way when I’m attacked by enemies. At which point, I discover that right-click is indeed the expected aim button. This is easy!

Anyway, the game’s set in some manner of post-apocalyptic landscape which is mostly brown. Speaking of which, has anyone played Fallout 3 yet?

It's a good fixer-upper.

I shoot quite a few more people when another instruction thing appears. It seems to be trying to explain combos at me. At which point, men approach wielding swords. Shooting them seems unfair, so I try and work out how to switch weapons. By clicking Q or the 1-2-3 buttons, it seems (Oh – and press E to pick stuff up). I proceed to beat the living shit out of people.


I also discover, much like Oblivion’s special attack select, by holding down a different direction while mashing the left-mouse button, I set off different strings of combos. Which makes me do somewhat fancy animations. Which reminds me of the Witcher a little bit. Yes. It tries to teach me other stuff – like by pressing enter you bring up a series of menus which really make not a lick of sense. I hope there isn’t an adventure element I’m completely overlooking. I also discover that only the blokes with swords take multiple hits (and appear to block), meaning than if you get close to normal blokes with guns, you can slice them up effortlessly. I do that a lot, and take a load of damage. I don’t really care, as there’s really a lot of blood that flies everywhere. Much like Gears of War.

(I still can’t work out if there’s a fancy cover system I’m missing. I suspect not. I try crouching instead)

Anyway, I slice open loads of people – switching to the sword to do so – before a big bloke runs up to me and kills me. Man! I probably should have tried playing it seriously. The bast.


I have to presume the large text is saying something like “Your Mum Is Having Sex With Men Who Are Not Your Father For Money” or similar.

I try to work out if there’s any multiplayer or similar, but I accidentally just quit the game and decide I probably should just write up these impressions.

Anyway – seems a solid enough action game with a splash of blood. Gears of War is the obvious main influence (minus a little bicep-size and desaturation), but the heavier stress on close combat brings to mind Too Human. And the sword-fighting looks a little like the Witcher too, but obviously as a pure action game. Doesn’t seem high art, and is a trifle derivative, but it’s a solid enough action game. I suspect Jim will like it, because it’s in Russian, and he’s crazy for anything Russian. Like Tetris. And Vodka. And Tolstoy.

(Actually, I don’t know what he makes of Tolstoy. I like him! What Russian authors do you like, Readers?)

Er… you can get the demo here.

EDIT: And, yeah, since it was set in Kiev, I really should have guessed it was another in the trend of Ukrainian developers making games in the Ukraine. All fixed.


  1. Bremze says:

    I thought the “Mission failed, you are dead!” screen shouldn’t need any translation but I like “Your Mum Is Having Sex With Men Who Are Not Your Father For Money” too.

  2. kenoxite says:

    Time for someone to post “Russian for gamers” lessons!

    Have you looked into getting some russian native reviewer? Because this relationship between RPS and russian games seems more than a i-was-drunk-forget-about-it thing. This looks as serious as marriage.

  3. Ginger Yellow says:

    “I have to presume the large text is saying something like “Your Mum Is Having Sex With Men Who Are Not Your Father For Money” or similar. ”

    It says: “Mission Failed. You are dead.”

    If you post some better quality screencaps, I can try to translate more for you. I have rusty A-level Russian.

  4. Premium User Badge

    ChaosSmurf says:

    I google’d “Collapse english demo” in the hopes of embarassing you.

    I failed.

  5. Yhancik says:

    Developed by Creoteam, not the be mixed up with Croteam :p

  6. Yhancik says:

    link to

    look, more information ! :D

  7. Malagate says:

    @ Ginger Yellow, what is “Your Mum Is Having Sex With Men Who Are Not Your Father For Money” in Russian then? I feel it might be very important that we all know. Just in case.

  8. Andy Johnson says:

    I’ve played this demo, and at the earliest oppurtunity I’m going to play it again. It’s completely crackers, and it’s ace.

  9. Andrew says:

    If we can say pro-something-tute, when it’s simple: твоя мать проститутка (tvoya mat prostitutka).

  10. Lim-Dul says:

    When it comes to Russian authors I like Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov and Alexander Pushkin.
    Funnily enough I don’t particularly like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

  11. Sheepye says:

    To fully appreciate this article I google translated everything into German. Weirdly all it said was something about lebansarum, anyone know what it means?

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    Lim-Dul: Can’t go wrong with Chekov. Still haven’t read Master & Marguritta, despite having it within a foot of where I sit.

    Sheepye: It means I have a nice living room.


  13. Horatius says:

    My favourite Russian authors are Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

  14. Andrew says:

    All Hitler wanted was an extension for his semi-detached but people had to get all uppity about it.

  15. clovus says:

    The numerous grammatical errors were a joke, right?

  16. tukken says:

    If you don’t mind poetry and the occasional essay, check out Joseph Brodsky, he was very interesting. The Master and Margarita was great, Heart of a Dog also by Bulgakov is wonderful too.

  17. Muzman says:

    Could it be like Severance with guns? (Witcher comparison suggests no). Well, seems like a fairly nice looking Shoot ’em/Beat ’em up anyway.

  18. Sheepye says:

    Hmm…so that means that Germans wish to comfortably play their Russian action shooters in the comfort of Kieron’s home? I think they would be well at ease in the presence of the Gamingzeit that occurs there regularly.

    That’s right, I’ve upped the anti of learning from GCSE to A-Level. I might have to bring out the degree next to cover my appaling lack of knowledge about Russian authors.

  19. Tasogare says:

    Boris and Arkady Strugatsky my favourite too :)
    Kieron: in english version thers nothing about your living room … why? (thers somthing about pressing “lebensraum” i think)

  20. Radiant says:

    Hahaha sounds like me playing those all japanese dating games.
    “Which set of responses progresses me to the shagging?”
    “Now which set of phrases progresses me to the shagging which is not my sister?”
    “Or my mother”

  21. Radiant says:

    “A dickgirl…eh that’s good enough”

    Back on topic this game sounds like something I’d enjoy; with the shooting and the punching what with my love for Devil May Cry and all.

    Internet I command thee to provide me with a translation FAQ!

  22. clovus says:

    Why no Solzhenitsyn love from RPS??

    I didn’t see the Russian authors request the first time through. I love Dostoyevsky; Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot are some of the few novels I’ll re-read. I also like Tosltoy and Gogol. I’ve never managed to really get into Chekov though.

  23. Radiant says:

    Which reminds me:
    Is Wet coming out on PC?
    And why do I have to type into my browser to find out??
    They couldn’t come up with a better url that the misses wont divorce me over???

  24. Tei says:

    Stanislaw Lew is russian? It seems all cool people is from Lituania.
    Fun review. It reminds me of my times with a commodore 64 testing games from random tapes. Learning what the game was about whas the 50% of the fun. And theres really crazy C64 games out here… Imagine two pre-teens tryiing to learn how to play Agent-USA or Burguer Chase.

  25. Tasogare says:

    Stanislaw Lew is polish (born in Lwow, now part of Ukraine)

  26. Ginger Yellow says:

    Ooh, I missed the author request as well. My tastes are very much in line with Lim-Dul, Pushkin and Chekhov especially, although I do love The Brothers Karamazov. And Tolstoy’s plays were surprisingly good.

    Incidentally, Pushkin is the source of a very cheesy gag for English speaking Russophiles. In The Queen of Spades, there’s a prominent German character called Hermann. But Russians transliterate ‘h’ as ‘g’. So he’s actually called Germann (Германн). How we laughed.

  27. Pags says:

    Love me some 19th century Russian literature; I’m a Dostoyevsky fanboy, but you can’t go wrong with Nikolai Leskov, Ivan Goncharov, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin or Ivan Turgenev.

    Also, this game looks very Russian and very brown.

  28. Leeks! says:

    Checkov and Pushkin. Word.

  29. Marcin says:

    Siergiey Lukianienko, the guy who wrote Night/Day/Dusk Watch and quite a few other books which I actually like more. :)

    Bulgakov and the Strugatskis are great too.

  30. Jochen Scheisse says:

    I really liked The Idiot and Brothers Karamasov, so it’s Dostoyevski for me. Vladimir Kaminer doesn’t count, and I never heard about the Strugastkis, so on my next trip to the dying medium store, I have something new on my list now. Thanks, medium in its infancy!

  31. Leeks! says:

    Also Yvgeny Zamyatin.

  32. Flubb says:


  33. Radiant says:

    Whojanica Bollockov

  34. Rook says:

    I liked Anna Karenina but that’s all I’ve read. By the by, Cryostasis is coming out soon (looks like a Russian Bioshock). Anyone seen in good previews on that?

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    You don’t see this sort of thread at Kotaku.


  36. Ben Abraham says:

    I flicked through a friends copy of Anna Karenina once, and read just the chapter where she offs herself. That one section still gives me shivers, and I didn’t even read the rest of the bloody book!

  37. Cian says:

    I’m particularly fond of Tolstoy for his politics as much as his writing, Chekhov and Pushkin are definitely also up there. And if author extends to writer I’m going to add Kropotkin, he makes me feel all funny.

  38. Biggles says:

    Dostoyovski is ace. Read Crime and Punishment while feverish, slightly insane and skiving uni. Quite a dangerous combination, but came out the other side of it ok. Meanwhile War and Peace is the very definition of epic while being quite intimate at the same time. If you hate getting to the end of books and not having anything else to read, read this. Did me for about a year or so, though was being quite slow. Epilogue felt a bit flat though. Gogol is mad and wicked, how the hell he came up with that nose business I have no idea. Master and Margarite I still haven’t finished, seemed to go all over the place, but I might try again. Ironically, I had to do an illustration of it for class once, so should really get more familiar with the whole thing.

    Don’t know any Checkov or Pushkin I don’t think. Might pick some up soon.

    I feel like a showy-offy twat now, but russian litrature is wicked, the insight those guys have in to general human nature is astounding.

  39. Pantsman says:

    I’m reading War and Peace for the first time now. It’s pretty good so far. I’m only fifty pages in though, and the length is somewhat intimidating, even for me, and I read The Silmarillion cover-to-cover.

  40. StenL says:

    Honestly, Solzhenitsõn is the best Russian writer for sure.

  41. Rook says:

    Just thought of another. Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It’s actually nice and short so one or two train rides is all you need. Pretty essential reading if you’re a fan of a certain PC game.

  42. subedii says:

    I feel ridiculously out of place here now, I’ve only read Tolstoy. Did enjoy his work a lot though.

  43. Erlend M says:

    The text in the last picture is Russian for “YOU’RE WINNER !

  44. Lim-Dul says:

    I’m pretty amazed, like Kieron, that so many people reading RPS also read good literature and are well versed in Russian literature. Indeed the RPS fan-circle gives some hope as to the brain decay rate, or the lack thereof, caused by (playing too much) video games. :-D

    Anyways – I forgot to add that I played the demo as well – since I’m a bit eccentric when it comes to controls: inverted mouse – which actually ISN’T inverted – I’m adamant that the OLD nomenclature from the times of Duke Nukem 3D etc. is correct; jump with mouse2, reload with mouse4…
    Luckily I’m able to read the Russian alphabet (very slowly) since it’s similar to the Greek one and given that I’m from Poland I can at least guess what most words mean. :-D

    As to the gameplay itself – it wasn’t that exciting but I really liked how fluid the melee combat was – reminded me a bit of Prince of Persia. Other than that I predict it will be another 6-7/10 shooter.

    Speaking of which – I finally managed to find ANOTHER shooter that will make it on the list of the worst games I ever played. It’s also Russian (but has been translated): Escape from the Earth. I dare you “buy” it from the internet (he, he) and play it a bit… It immediately reminded me of The Mark, a horrible, horrible shooter I had to review once upon a time and I still like to inflict as a prank on some people I know. :-D

  45. Lim-Dul says:

    Uhm – I just realized how messy the above post is stylistically and grammatically, I hope I manage to bring my points across. ;-)
    Rhetorical question: why is posting on the internet usually one of the first things that come to your mind after drinking a couple of beers? (If there’s no one to sleep with, that is – uhm…)

  46. malkav11 says:

    Lukyanenko and the Strugatskys are both absolutely excellent. Makes me want to read more Russian SF/Fantasy, but I think that it’s largely not available in English. And I only got through a year of Russian. Long enough to develop an abiding affection for Russian pop music and learn how to pronounce Cyrillic characters and not much else.

    Roadside Picnic in particular is amazing. I’ve also read Hard to be a God and Prisoner of Power, since both have PC games based on them as well. (Hard to be a God is an intriguing, if poorly translated RPG, and Prisoner of Power…well, there are three games based on it, but the one that came out in English is Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power, a not too shabby, very poorly translated turn-based wargame.)

  47. Ginger Yellow says:

    “I feel like a showy-offy twat now, but russian litrature is wicked, the insight those guys have in to general human nature is astounding.”

    What’s astounding to me is that Russian as a written language has essentially a 400 year history, which is nothing, but it’s one of the richest literatures in the world. Basically in the course of 200 years, Russian went from the most culturally cringing language in the world to one of the most deservedly confident tongues there is. That’s amazing.

  48. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    Heh, just tried this.

    AMAZING music! I bet Meer hates it! AMAZING!

    I wish I knew what was going on, because that had my adrenaline pumping. Time to learn Russian.

  49. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    On a side note, just to join in the fun, I’ve read Roadside Picnic and can confirm it is “the shit”. That means it’s good, btw. And I hardly read anything, much to my shame, so you don’t have to be a literary genius to get stuck in to it.

  50. unclelou says:

    “Still haven’t read Master & Marguritta, despite having it within a foot of where I sit.”

    Tsk, get cracking, what are you waiting for, it’s ace! :)