Biff! Devolver Release Beat ‘Em Up Mother Russia Bleeds

Imagine if Devolver Digital were to publish a beat ’em up. It’d probably have gritty pixel graphics, right, and buckets of blood, guts, and cussing, yeah? An edgy setting and shocking scenes? That’s about what I’d expect and – what a coincidence! – that’s Mother Russia Bleeds [official site], a beat ’em up made by French studio Le Cartel and released by Devolver this very day.

Mother Russia Bleeds is set in alternate-universe U.S.S.R. where things are a bit grim, violent, sexy, and sexyviolent. You play people who duff people up because reasons. It’s a beat ’em up, okay? Walk from right to left through stages, duffing up whoever gets in your way. Also punching their eyes out, chainsawing them, popping their skulls, and jabbing syringes into their corpses to suck up the murderdrugs that power you up. And it supports local co-op for up to four players.

Here, Devolver have released a gameplay video showing 27 minutes of biffing:

Sure, that’s a beat ’em up! The biffing looks pretty fun. I like the two players juggling enemies between each other. If I’m nonplussed, it’s because Mother Russia Bleeds looks a bit too safe or typical a pick for Devolver. It looks like a game I’d expect from one of the small publishers currently trying to ape Devolver’s success by pouncing upon pixelguts, as if gore were what made Hotline Miami so great.

Anyway! Mother Russia Bleeds is £10.99/14,99€/$14.99 through Steam and GOG for Windows, Mac, and Linux. What’s it like? Well, Simon Parkin reviewed it for our pals Eurogamer, and he’s a nice boy.


  1. geldonyetich says:

    I like to think I’m a man of the world, a regular Internet denizen. I’ve seen my tub girls and my goatsecxses. But seeing the screenshots of Mother Russia Bleeds make me a bit sick to my stomach. It’s like Digital Devolver hired its pixel artists direct from /b/. This one seems bound to score up there with Hatred in terms of needlessly giving the media fuel to point out how bad games are for the rest of society.

    • Kollega says:

      And don’t forget it being blocked from release in Russia for “gross falsification of history”, too.

      • Shirsh says:

        I guess you joking, it’s totally available in Russia.

        • Kollega says:

          It’s kind of a joke about the possibility that it won’t be available, like Child 44 was blocked from release last year amid the accusations of “falsifying history” (not that it actually changed anything, that movie was not very good and bombed hard either way).

          • Shirsh says:

            Oh, that was a cinema in real-life theatres, about real time, Steam and other game stores require too much higher IT-skill than our censors can have, like couple decades back =)

    • Zankman says:

      I *haven’t* seen that much horrible stuff Online and I generally dislike gore and extreme violence in movies and such…

      So, yeah, it makes me feel very uneasy and “sick to my stomach” as well.

      Shame, looks like a well-made game.

    • MrFinnishDude says:

      It didnt make me “sick to my stomach”, but it did make me mighty uncomfortable. Why?

      I don’t like this as much as Hotline Miami. Sure, both are gruesome, hyperviolent,”destoying someones face in boiling water” sort of thing.
      The difference is in style.

      Here the violence is more sadistic, savage, absolutely repulsive just to be repulsive. Why does this make us sick unlike Hotline Miami?
      In Hotline Miami you felt like you weren’t really there, you were in a trance, the 80’s synths and adrenaline pumping, your most animal insticts crawling out to smash someones face in again and again.
      When every last enemy is dead, the synths stop, the drone sound kicks in, the red mist disappears, only then you see the all that blood and carnage, and truly realize what youve done. Just beautiful.

      This game seems to lack all that elegance, it’s just gross.

    • dethtoll says:

      Clutch them pearls a little harder, people.

    • GWOP says:

      Also, can we all agree to be officially be over the 80s synth revival?

      Time to move on to the 90s.

      • April March says:

        Now THAT makes me sick to the stomach!

        It doesn’t, actually, but I saw an opening to make this joke and I made it. I have no regrets.

    • horrorgasm says:

      I mean…there’s no nice way to say it, but the problem here is just that you’re a bit of a puss.

      p.s. remind me how much impact Hatred had on gaming again?

      • geldonyetich says:

        I’m inclined to believe a fellow who calls himself, “Horrorgasm” might be a tad biased in terms of violence in media.

    • icecreamjones says:

      Not to mention one level is set entirely in a transgender club, and you murder all the patrons and staff

  2. Kollega says:

    Between this and Dreambreak, I’m really starting to wonder why, when devs these days try to do “alternate history USSR”, they come up with “Russian Nineties but more cyberpunk” rather than something like the glorious madness of Red Alert 2 or the delicious phantasmagoria of You Are Empty. Because seriously… why go with the “alternate USSR” premise/plot hook if it’s not going to actually look a lot like USSR?

    • ZIGS says:

      Just chiming in to say that You Are Empty truly is a pearl. I’m still hoping a ragtag group of drunken Russians team up to “remaster”/restore all the cut content, fix a it up a bit and plop it on Steam (chances of it happening: 0.0017%)

  3. yabonn says:

    Not enough enthusiasm, missing the glorious point : it’s a brawler! Cadillacs and Dinosaurs! Streets of Rage! Final Fight! Denjin Makai! Captain Commando!

    People! It’s back! C’mon!

    • Laurentius says:

      Yeah, but the only thought I can muster is: in comparison to Cadlliacs & Dinosuars it looks bad, art style, music, charactes, enemies, no fun.
      “Open MAME”

    • CurseYouAll says:

      This actually feels much stiffer than Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, which is a 20-year old game..

    • April March says:

      Yeah, that was what I thought as well. A good, responsive modern Streets of Rage is all it’d take to make me moderately happy.

      • fuggles says:

        Streets of rage remake is for you (

        The best brawler I’ve played. Streets had actual nuance to combat with context throws, different flying moves all for different circumstances – why don’t other brawlers have similar depth?

  4. Shazbut says:

    Well, this is some horrible ugly shit isn’t it.

  5. mejoff says:

    Welp, that’s certainly 6edgy17me.

  6. MrUnimport says:

    Well it sure looks more fun than the last time I saw it, but I can’t say I really like the theming much. Hammers and sickles in the 90s? It’s like they’re going on hard on the ‘Russia is hardcore’ stereotype, with not much thought put in to back it up.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Beg your pardon, it’s supposed to be an alternate 80s that happens to evoke the 90s.

  7. April March says:

    ” If I’m nonplussed, it’s because Mother Russia Bleeds looks a bit too safe or typical a pick for Devolver. It looks like a game I’d expect from one of the small publishers currently trying to ape Devolver’s success by pouncing upon pixelguts, as if gore were what made Hotline Miami so great.”

    I had a strange feeling about this game and I think O’Connor hit the nail on the head why. It does feel very Devolver-y, but not in the way actual Devolver games are. Then again, from watching a few bits of the video it looks like maybe it might have some hidden depths to it.

  8. syndrome says:

    Four things: It’s a brawler, it’s in a Soviet Russia, it’s gory AF, and you’re an experiment that’s gone wrong.

    Quite Devolver-y enough for me.

  9. Shirsh says:

    Well, being russian, I find game quite cool, of course aesthetically it’s not an alternate USSR but exagerated 90s Russia.
    Game exactly as disturbing as I expected from such violence and dismemberment. My opinion is that when you play game where you do such things you really should feel yourself quite uneasy (and I think it’s good if you feel it this way and not with bloodlust). It’s like an B-action-horror-movie and it works as it should.

    • Shirsh says:

      I’d add that I’m also was unable to play Hotline Miami at all, partly because of too much violence and how “fun” game threat it.