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.