Devolver’s Latest Excess: Mother Russia Bleeds and Eitr

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.

14 Comments

  1. Wagrid says:

    I’ve been looking forward to Eitr for ages; it was really great seeing it on the press conference.

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    They both look great, even though I have an awful feeling I’ll be terrible at both. MRB looks like an insane version of Streets of Rage, and I’m hoping the music from the trailer will be an indication of the sort of music that the game will have.

  3. dethtoll says:

    hotline miami meets double dragon. i need this in my life.

  4. plugav says:

    If videogames taught me anything, Alec, it’s that #oldmen are the future.

    Anyway, Mother Russia Bleeds does seem almost like self-parody, but I find it (almost) endearing. Maybe it’s just because I’m really sleepy and the title makes me think of that one Sisters of Mercy song, but I’d be willing to give it a shot. I did spend some of my childhood in arcades… and some of my adulthood playing ultraviolent, neon-coloured, lo-fi games like Hotline Miami and <Not A Hero (so much more fun than Hotline Miami 2, by the way).

    Eitr does have enough “spark” to make me interested in a game that seems like Diablo by way of Dark Souls, which is pretty far from what I’m actually into most of the time.

  5. pepperfez says:

    X-Men Arcade? At least respect yourself enough to play Cadillacs and Dinosaurs or The Simpsons.

  6. dangerlift says:

    Was onboard with Eitr the minute it reminded me of old school Diablo, with its more sombre tone with greater emphasis on horror. Reminds me of my 8-year old self having to face down and the Butcher for the squillionth time (that never stopped being scary).

  7. SlimShanks says:

    I’m surprised by how much the chick from the trailer for Mother Russia Bleeds looks like Revy from Black Lagoon. And then she executes someone with a handgun. I’m just gonna gratify myself and say it isn’t a coincidence. Also that game has some phenomenal animations.
    And now I’ve watched the other trailer. Redhead protagonist? Sold. With ass kicking ability? Double sold, I’ll buy a copy for my sister. That said, as a Souls savant, I can see impending annoyance if they don’t make the ranges of enemy attacks more clear. Some of the attacks had significantly different ranges than what I would have expected based on weapon and enemy size.
    More good Souls knock-offs please! Also Devolver kicks ass.

  8. Raoul Duke says:

    “May” contain content inappropriate for children.

  9. Megarlin says:

    I need that song from EITR so bad!

  10. RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

    EITR looks awesome, more redheaded warrior women in full armor fighting giants please! Also, the music tickled my fancy.

  11. VAgentZero says:

    Actually I agree with you wholeheartedly, Alec. Eitr looks fantastic, while I’m just a little bit over hyper-violent beaters and shooters. The market feels saturated with that kind of stuff at this point. Show me some novelty in your gameplay, or just let me go and play one of dozens of other samey games.

  12. Rane2k says:

    Am I insane or does anyone else think that the art style in Eitr looks a bit like Hyperlight Drifter?
    (Man, I can´t wait for that one..)

    • RimeOfTheMentalTraveller says:

      Well, they’re both pixely, but yeah, both the warrior woman and the HLD main character have kinda attenuated features.

      • Rane2k says:

        Yeah, I just had another look at a recent HLD gameplay video, its probably the dash move that made me think they look alike. :-)