Mother Russia Bleeds is an eye-catching game. Drenched in buckets and buckets of blood and coated with a crisp pixel art style, this beat 'em up caught my attention almost immediately. After watching the gameplay trailer at least a half a dozen times, I reached out to Frédéric Coispeau, "game alchemist" for the developer Le Cartel, to discuss the upcoming title made by him and his three coworkers.
TechRaptor: For those who don't know, what is Mother Russia Bleeds?
Frédéric: Mother Russia Bleeds is an old school side scrolling beat'em up playable from 1 to 4 players. You choose between 4 playable characters with their own properties (speed/power/cooldowns) and fight against enemies. It's a little bit more technical than old school beat em up, but simpler than versus fighting. That game is a real escape valve, and propose even more fun experience when you play it with your friends or online.
TechRaptor: What game, or games, inspired the creation of Mother Russia Bleeds?
Frédéric: Streets of Rage, Renegade, Golden Axe, Double Dragon for old school beat'em up. More recently, Hotline Miami for the global ambiance. Hotline Miami also made us think that it was possible to make a real good game with a very small team.
TechRaptor: Mother Russia Bleeds is an incredibly graphic game, while titles like Streets of Rage or Double Dragon are more cartoony. Why make it so violent?
Frédéric: We're not sure that Streets of Rage was more "cartoony". It's also pixel art. However, we just wanted to create a beat'em up game with a "real" beat'em up spirit. You know, fighting in the streets is something violent. Everything in that game had been thought to give the best immersion in a "beat'em up context". As players, when we play to a beat'em up, we just want to feel something about the combat. So we added blood and violent combat stuff. To fit well, we chose to work on a deep universe with very dark ambiance, and badass music.
TechRaptor: Aside from the violence, what separates Mother Russia Bleeds from other beat 'em ups?
Frédéric: To start, we have no pretention to make the "beat em up"'s revolution. We just wanted to make a beat'em up we'll love as old school beat'em ups. To answer to your question, two things are maybe "different":
- The universe is deep. It tells a story. You know we love movies and wanted to add a real immersion.
- Additionally, some gameplay mechanics, like the syringe is really new stuff making the experience more "die and retry" / "survival". (There is no power ups in that game). You can use the syringe in two ways: To heal yourself, your partners, or to go into berserk mode. In berserk, you’re faster, stronger, and you can use a huge and gore fatality attack. You can fill your syringe up on some of your enemies once they’re dying
TechRaptor: The trailer has shown locations such as a laboratory, a nightclub, and what even appeared to be an aquarium. What other locations will players fight through in Mother Russia Bleeds?
Frédéric: We can't spoil your readers ahah. There will be 8 levels with real different locations. They describes a journey of vengeance taking place during 24 hours. Even more graphics, we try to make every level very unique. For example, during one level you have to escort a character, in other one you will fight in a giant arena, in another one, you'll need to survive from helicopters attacks...
TechRaptor: Speaking of locations, the USSR isn't commonly used in games. Why did you choose to set Mother Russia Bleeds there?
Frédéric: Why not? ahah. USSR is a huge inspiration's source. We felt excited when we chose that country. It changes a lot from "USA" / "Japan" etc etc... Actually, we thought about the ingame drugs before choosing the location. One of our inspiration was "Krokodil", a very hard drug used in Siberia at the start of the 21th century. Additionally, I learnt Russian at school... So we talked about USSR. And we thought it would be cool to create a game taking place in an alternative USSR. (I insist on alternative, because we have no pretention to have a big knowledge about USSR history)
TechRaptor: What sort of enemies will players be facing off against? Will they be unique to their levels?
Frédéric: We don't think according to levels but global story. In MRB, there are many types of ennemies, coming from different crew / locations. The big entities are: "the mafia" / "the government" / "common people". So according to the story, players will meet different characters. (prisoners / cobayes / militaries / hobboes / drug dealers / mafia / animals... etc etc...) Obviously, there will be more types of enemies than in streets of rage. Each one has its own pattern, and sometimes specific group AI. We also worked on allies, to propose some variety of gameplay situations.
TechRaptor: And finally, do you have any idea when in 2016 we'll get our hands on Mother Russia Bleeds?
Frédéric: We hope to release it on the second semester of 2016, on PC and PS4.
TechRaptor: Thank you for your time.