Too much desaturation? Too many games with numbers in the title? Too many military bottoms? Perhaps these two games from Devolver, publishers of cracked independent fare, will break through your ennui. I like the look of one and my roll my eyes into the back of my skull at the other, but I suspect a fair few of you will have entirely the opposite reaction.
Mother Russia Bleeds [official site] is the ur-Devolver game, to the extent that it almost looks like self-parody. I sighed grumpily as I watched this trailer, whose hyper-violent excess seems to lack much spark. But then I am no longer particularly Young, and my days of hooting at spurting blood are perhaps behind me. Anyway: it’s a co-op brawler in a Streets of Rage vein, set in an alt-history USSR, and blood and blood and blood.
Official blurb for ya: “Mother Russia Bleeds is an ultra-violent co-op brawler overflowing with an unmistakable style and unforgettably brutal action for up to four players at once. Set in an alternate U.S.S.R, the story centers on a desperate crew of imprisoned street fighters that must overcome an oppressive criminal authority and crippling drug addictions through any means necessary. Battle solo or alongside friends locally and online in an exceptional story mode campaign or harden your resolve in a multitude of formidable challenge and versus modes.” It’s developed by Le Cartel.
I might go play X-Men Arcade again. #oldmen
Far more personally appealing is Devolver’s other recently-revealed 2016 offering, hack’n’slash adventure Eitr [official site]. A little bit of Sworcery style and enough Norse legend references to lure in a few Hiddlestone fans, Eneme Entertainment’s Diablo, Dark Souls, and Path of Exile-inspired Eitr does have whatever nebulously inventive factor I call ‘spark’. Or maybe it’s just the sad trailer music?
Blurbotron 3000: “The Shield Maiden, as with all mortal Norsemen, was to have her fate determined by the three fate-weaving Norns and their sacred loom before she even entered the world. However, her destiny was shattered when the mischievous god Loki interfered, dripping spots of the wretched substance Eitr into the unwoven loom, forever altering the Shield Maiden’s path and engulfing the great tree Yggdrasil in darkness. Now the Shield Maiden must venture into the nine Norse worlds connected by Yggdrasil and unravel the mystery of her fate.”
Quite like it. While very much retaining the graphical excess which seems to be the primary attribute of a game published by Devolver, Eitr is presented as more sombre than the publisher’s traditionally manic-to-the-point-of-inhumanity fare (though ‘traditional’ is a meaningless term for a firm which put out both Hotline Miami and Hatoful Boyfriend).
Both of these are due out on PC next year.