Games of the Year

Mother Russia Bleeds

Mother Russia Bleeds Screenshot 1
Mother Russia Bleeds Screenshot 2
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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 forced drug addictions through any means necessary. Battle solo or alongside friends in an exceptional story mode campaign or harden your resolve in the savage Survival Mode. Merciless Struggle: Pull yourself up from the cold, hard ground to punch, claw, and stab your way through the hardened ghettos, violent prisons, grim laboratories, and decadent clubs. Powerful Narcotics: Embrace your crippling addiction with a quick injection to crush skulls, snap necks, and tear flesh from bone in a drug-fueled maniacal rage. Find your next fix flowing through the veins of your fallen foes and jam your needle into their convulsing bodies to fill your beloved syringe.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Do you like hurting other people?

Review from Steam

It is funny how people from my country called this game russophobic and Anti-Russian back then. Well, this adrenaline pumping beat-the-crap-up adventure sure made my heart go crazy at certain bosses and I will never forget this blessed feeling. Also this game is one of the greatest anti-drug statements I've ever seen. So, as a Russian I can confirm this game is terrifying accurate and totally enjoyable, especially with friends.

Review from Steam

You can pet the dogs in this game.
From what I understand that gets it a free pass.

Review from Steam

Hotline Miami taught me to kill people
Mother Russia Bleeds taught me HOW

Review from Steam

The moment a bag full of methamphetamine and a trip to Russia becomes cheaper than this game, do that instead. Until then, this works nicely.

Review from Steam

Ah, Mother Russia Bleeds. Will you enjoy it? Is the theme good? The music? Should I play it? Will I become addicted to it like the characters are addicted to drugs in this game? TL;DR at the bottom.
My experience with Beat em ups and this game:
Ah, Mother Russia Bleeds. I'd like to start out by mentioning I'm mainly into more sandbox and RTS style games. But, I have a little bit of a history with Beat Em Ups. Playing Final Fight as a kid on Capcom's retro collection comes to mind. Still, that doesn't grant me a "qualified" perspective when reviewing Beat em Ups. I don't entirely know what makes the genre good or bad. So, please try not to expect an exclusively beat em up perspective on this game.
When I first started this game out, it was a bit meh. I liked the music. The art was edgy and grotesque, but fitting. At first, the control scheme to me was clunky and uncomfortable. I got my butt kicked as I tried and tried again to slog my way through. I enjoyed the themes, enemies and music, but the combat didn't click too hard yet. The blood-lust felt rewarding, but only in a limited way. After many tough battles, I beat the game, and that was that. But something odd happened. I came back. I don't remember if it was the achievements, the score system, or what. But it began to click. Hard, like the Neckro coursing through the veins of the characters. I got better and better at the controls. I learned that I could throw people up into the air and pound them into the crowd like serving a softball on a beach. I learned the various combos, some of them not too obvious. The game had become more and more varied as I learnt the various little nuances, like that you can counter a dog jumping you... by grabbing it in midair and slamming it to the ground (I don't feel much pride saying that...). Mother Russia Bleeds, to me, began to feel a tiny bit closer to a sandbox style game when it came to unethically executing your enemies. You could focus in and get a gory kill on an enemy that's been pestering you, or simply just punch them to death. However you wish, this depressing, rather extreme alternate reality of the USSR and it's aggressive denizens are your bloodied Matryoshka dolls to toy with and unearth.
Now, about the theme.
If you are thinking of buying this game focused on the overarching themes, story and setting, I don't know if I would recommend it. The story is straightforward and leans a bit on the basic side. It's not bad, nor great, there's just not a huge focus on the it. I don't think a majority of players play Doom exclusively just for the story. As for the overall art, I think it fits with themes. The pounding, blasting, dark synth wave music aligns with the bloody and gritty atmosphere the game aims to produce. Like others say, if you like Hotline Miami's soundtrack, you will probably like the soundtrack of this game. This is very subjective. You may hate the art style and music choices, but I personally enjoyed them.
Is it fun? Is it enjoyable? What flaws does it have?
I feel like in order to truly enjoy the game, it has to eventually click. And that's it's huge flaw. At first glance and initial play-throughs, it doesn't seem as fun as it could be. The tutorial should have shown all of the moves and some of the complex ways and situations they could be used in, but unfortunately, it shows only the very basics. The tutorial is sort of split into two pieces, with the prologue making up the bulk of it, and level one really showing the ropes of Neckro; even here it fails to show that you can share it, further hiding another interesting mechanic. I feel like it would have been tough for the designers to show off the sharing mechanic in level one, since not everyone plays with AI or other players. Regardless, I'd say the biggest flaw of the game BY FAR is that it doesn't show you all you have capable of. It's sort of a travesty, as I think more players could have enjoyed it if they knew the tricks and moves. That leads to another point of discussion: The controls. They are completely confusing at first, perhaps owing partially to the flawed tutorial. But they are kind of like a second nature to me now that I have over one hundred hours in this game. But, that is after one hundred hours. If you practice the controls do become easier, (it's totally possible to understand them in a reasonable amount of time) but they still are a bit initially complex for newer players, adding to the "enjoyment curve" of the game. One additional flaw is the lack of online multiplayer. While Mother Russia Bleeds is fully compatible with Steam remote play, depending on your network connection, and your friends, the stream may be laggy, to no fault of the game. Where the issue lies is that online multiplayer was promised but never added. If you are thinking about buying this to play with a friend/friends (It is four players!), you may want to consider checking your internet speed, getting your friend together and playing in person, or maybe reconsider buying the game if online multiplayer is your main reason for grabbing it.
One additional note on variety:
You can unlock different types of drugs! All types of drugs! The drugs fundamentally change the way you recover/heal, also how you go on rampages. The original Neckro variant is balanced. When it's "activated", you become enraged with a bit more power, and the ability to punch the heads off people. There are three doses there. Versus the famous purple rain variant, where you only have one dose, but, um, it allows you to refill your "prescription" nearly instantly compared to the original variant. You unlock these by fighting in the arena mode, I think by surviving until wave 10. Once they new needle is unlocked, you can use it in the arena or story modes. The arena modes are pretty enjoyable, they quickly get overwhelming, but I personally think that's the fun. They vary things up decently. The sewer arena has weaker enemies and rats that constantly try to feast on your flesh. The, uhhhh nightclub, yes, nightclub, has a BDSM guy who helps you fight.
A note on subjectivity:
I think people have different perspectives on variety, art, etc. A lot of people may find the barrage of enemies too repetitive. Or too unique to cope with in terms of strategy. You may hate this game even after 200 hours of prudently trying to enjoy it, and that's something to keep in mind. Everyone has their own backgrounds and tastes. There's a fair risk that you may not like it, and that your hard earned money and valuable time would have been wasted. That leads to the last portion here:
should I buy it?
Well, during the summer sale, it's 3$ dollars, 5$ for two copies (you can send the extra to a friend). If you like beat em ups or they sound fun to you, and you like the dark, edgy drug-addict-soviet-chaos style theme, and are willing to put some effort in to learn the nuances and at first confusing controls of the game, you might really have fun with it! It's tough to go wrong for 3$ during the summer sale! I rate this an 8 out of 10, the two points removed because of how difficult it is to get into the game, and the lack of integrated online multiplayer. Otherwise, I honestly feel like I don't know how to rate the art style- this isn't due to the art style itself but me. I don't know how to rate art styles, that also includes music. The rest of the 8 points in the rating comes from my experience with the game, and how I enjoyed the entire thing more and more over time.
TLDR; Definitely worth a try. I really enjoy this game, but it has a few large flaws that make it harder for players to initially get into it. If you set your expectations correctly, and are willing to initially dislike it, later on the fun/enjoyment factor of this game might just increase for you, like listening to a song over and over again and having it grow on you.

Review from Steam

its OUR game

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