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DO NOT DELETE

Mother Russia Bleeds - Review

Alive, yeah... not sure about the well part


I first heard of Mother Russia Bleeds by watching this video on disturbing games and the game interested me quite a bit in its gameplay. Sure enough, it was on Steam and thanks to a friend of mine who gifted it to me, I was able to try the game out. The game reminded me of Hotline Mami a little bit with its themes.


Pros and Cons

Pros

Intriguing narrative that can become incredibly intense

Beat-em-up mechanics provide a lot of fun and excitement

A fantastic soundtrack that enhances the overall experience

Pixelated art style is beautifully executed


Cons

AI teammate’s performance leaves much to be desired


Story

Set an alternative 1986 Russia Soviet Union, the story starts at a camp, where a fighting tournament is being held. The four champions, Sergei, Ivan, Natasha, and Boris (you can choose who to play) are getting ready to fight. Before the fight, Vlad comes in and warns them that the government is allied with a group known as the Bratva and they must overthrow them. After the fight, the group is later interrupted by government forces and captures the four champions.


About a month later, the party wakes up and finds out that they are being experimented on with a drug called Nekro. A performance-enhancing drug, which can reduce pain, and increase strength and aggression but is highly addictive. It has various side effects, and the four champions must find out why they were chosen as test subjects and find out what’s going on.


The story for Mother Russia Bleeds is very interesting and can get intense at certain moments. The story reminds me a bit of Hotline Miami in some regards, which I liked. It just picks up from there and gets twisted the more you dive into the story.


Gameplay

Mother Russia Bleeds is a beat 'em up that will make you go from point A to point B beating up enemies along the way. Along the way you will come across enemies that will try and block your path, some will carry weapons that you can pick up and use. They do have a durability limit and dropping them can actually damage them as well.



The only exception to this is guns, I think, I have never seen a gun in the game get destroyed as I used all of its ammo by the time I stopped using it. Although guns pretty much took care of enemies as it killed them in either one or two shots.


You have four characters to play as in the game and each character has their own stats and different moves for you to use on that character. If you have a few friends, you can play the game in local multiplayer or by remote play.


There is also a scoring system in the game, the more varied your combos are, the higher your score is. If you are playing with friends, you can have a competition to see who gets the most points while playing the levels. If you don’t have a friend with you though, you can have an AI partner join you. Also, you won’t have to worry about them stealing your chips, or pop, or soda. whatever you call your drinks.


During the levels, you will need to heal yourself and to do that, you need to use the drug Nekro. Although it can not only heal you but put your character in a Berserk state depending on how you use it. In your Berserk state, you will deal more damage and knock enemies back upon finishing your combo. You only have three shots of Nekro and to get more, you have to get it by the enemies you knock out that have Nekro. In other words, you must extract it from a dying body and who knows where that person has been and what germs the Nekro has.


There is also an arena mode for you to go and play, if you make it to round ten on any of the ten stages, you can unlock a different variant of Nekro. These different variants have different effects and are named after alcoholic drinks.


The only issue I have with Mother Russia Bleeds is the AI, while the AI partner is helpful it will make some dumb decisions. Like if you are knocked down, the AI’s first objective is to get you back up. The issue here is that the AI will ignore everything around them just to get you back up and will not attack enemies, so when this happens, it’s a game over.


Graphics, Performance, Soundtrack

The pixel art style that is shown is very nice and beautifully done and I loved how the areas looked in the game. The only odd behavior that I experienced was that the game set me as player 2 when I used a controller. I didn't easily see how to change this back to player one, but it did not affect the gameplay.


I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM, I had no issues while I was playing, and the game should be able to run on low-end PCs.



The soundtrack is also something I would like to praise as well, it just sounds fantastic, and the songs that are played fit the game’s theme. It reminds me of Hotline Mami in a few ways of how that soundtrack was.


Final Verdict

Mother Russia Bleeds provided an absolute blast! At its full price of 19.49 CAD, it’s a worthwhile investment. There’s so much to appreciate in a game like this, and I relished every second of the experience. I recommend this game for those who like beat em ups and games like Hotline Miami.


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