Review: Mother Russia Bleeds (PS4).
Russia. The 1980s. A group of Gypsies are kidnapped from their camp and exposed to an experimental drug. The effects are unexpected. After escaping from the laboratory, they prepare revenge. And it is in a truly bloody style.
I remember when a kid went to local salons with vending machines, whether alone or with friends. We flew there to play all sorts of games that were either not available on the good Pegasus or could never be obtained for the first PlayStation. One of my favorite genres were beat’em ups, the fondest of which are Cadillacs and Dinosaurs from Capcom.
The newly founded Le Cartel studio decided to take on its shoulders the preparation of a position that would perfectly suit the tastes of fans of walking fights. The authors chose an unusual reality, namely an alternative version of the 1980s, when the action takes place in the former Soviet Union. The plot focuses on the main characters’ simple goal – revenge. This is not a good theme for a multi-plot plot, but such a decision is only an excuse to smash the heads of a whole lot of encountered opponents, and there are a lot of them on each board. What distinguishes Mother Russia Bleeds (PS4) from other games is the aforementioned drug called Nekro. It is thanks to him that the heroes have strange visions, which has an impact on the story.
Each decent beat’em up should offer the player a lot of opportunities to eliminate enemies. Hand-to-hand combat will be the most common of course. This one looks good and each subsequent blow leaves visible bloody traces or torn clothes on the opponent. However, the small number of basic blows worried me. We only have a few animations of attacks using two buttons. You can also do what Mariusz Pudzianowski likes best with the opponent, i.e. “catch and throw”, but I am of the opinion that the creators could have added a few more animations to diversify the gameplay, because now it gets boring quite quickly, especially when playing alone . Fortunately, every few moments on the ground you can find a knife, a stick, a toilet bowl or a stun gun and the fun quickly turns red. In skirmishes, the culprit of all madness – Nekro – becomes very useful. Thanks to the drug, the heroes can go on a frenzy, thanks to which you can knock down a crowd of oncoming prostitutes and motorcyclists with one hit.
On the way to their goal, Boris (my crazy favorite), Ivan, Natasha and Sergey travel through eight locations. Eight very different and interestingly designed locations. In many games, you will often find that the boards start almost exactly as they end. Mother Russia Bleeds (PS4) is completely different. For example, we start in the laboratory, then end up in the sewers and finally in the prison, from which we escape anyway. It’s all within one board. The way you fight the bosses also adds variety. This is not a typical fight for it. You have to find the right tactics for every trickster. In this way, on one level you have to stun the enemy with a bang grenade and wait for the train to pass him by, and on another, push the fat man under the harvester on the edge. It’s nothing special, and it allows you to forget for a moment about a few minutes spent moving to the right.
Le Cartel decided to cover its production with a retro setting, i.e. pixel art known to fans of independent games. I know many complain about it and are surprised how this powerful PS4 is able to pull such graphics, but I am one of those players who become more sentimental with age, so I do not mind such a procedure. In the case of Mother Russia Bleeds (PS4), I can’t imagine a different graphic style. It just fits this production. It is true that the whole thing does not look at least as good as Street of Rage released in 1991 or my favorite Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, but I still like the overall look of the game. Combined with the attention to detail in each location, the overall look of the title is incredibly interesting and worthy of attention.
A few lines higher, I mentioned the names of four heroes for a reason. Well, the whole adventure can be experienced with three colleagues sitting next to it. In other words, there is cooperation for four people. During the game of the lone wolf, about halfway through the game, I started to get bored. Thanks to Share Play, I invited a friend to the game and we finished the adventure together, having a great time and breaking a few heads together. It is a pity that the creators did not add the possibility of playing online together – after all, not everyone has the opportunity to meet three other people in one place, and the additional liters of gourd pouring from the screen would perfectly diversify the game.
Finally, it is worth adding that the Polish players were not forgotten and the publisher decided to implement the cinematic Polish language version. Unfortunately, its quality leaves much to be desired. Namely, there are no Polish signs (there is a difference whether we give someone a favor or a cane), but I appreciate the gesture, and for a large part of players it is a factor deciding whether they will reach for a given title at all. There is also the question of price – PLN 52 for just over 2 hours of chaff. At that time I finished the story and unfortunately it is a bit of a poor result considering the sometimes excessive difficulty level. Fortunately, there is an arena mode in which, together with friends, we can break out guts until we give up the ghost ourselves.