|Dev: Destructive Creations|
|Pub: Destructive Creations|
|Release: June 3rd, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p||Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language|
by Angelo M. D’Argenio
Before it came out, people had a lot to say about Hatred. Many said that it was disgusting, a sick parody of what gaming and art should be about, exalting violence and sadism for no purpose other than to revel in gory hedonism. Others said that it was a shining example of free speech standing out against censorship in a world that had become too concerned with stifling creative voices that do not fall in line with the popular world’s conception of proper video game subject matter.
These complex sociopolitical and philosophical arguments raged for months, providing the developers enough free publicity to catapult the game to the top of the Steam best sellers list on the day of its release. However, the reality of Hatred is a lot simpler and less exciting than the controversy, as reality tends to be. The reality of Hatred is that its pretty normal, and normalcy isn’t really anything to have a controversy about.
Beneath all the scandal and flames, Hatred is a dual stick isometric shooter, and that’s about it. Aim with one stick, shoot with another, press some buttons to sprint, duck, and throw grenades. It’s honestly nothing we haven’t seen before. Of course, the scandal was all about the fact that you are playing a serial murderer killing for the hell of it. This is the case but it barely has any emotional impact. The camera is pulled so far out, rightfully so for the genre of game it is, that kills don’t look embellished at all. The only really gory violence we see is in cutscenes and executions. Frankly, we have seen much worse with games like Manhunt.
These ant-like people you are killing don’t feel like human beings, they feel like targets. They simply fall over whenever you kill them, littering the ground like refuse and blending in to the game’s black and white environments. This is odd because the people who were defending Hatred seemed to do so because they, “like killing in a safe fantasy environment” but killing these targets really doesn’t give any sense of accomplishment at all. It barely registers as killing, instead registering as target practice, so I don’t know how anyone can gain enjoyment from it.
In general, Hatred follows a fairly simple format. You are tasked with killing a certain amount of civilians, cops, or whatever, and then you have to escape. There are a few exceptions and twists, including some vehicle levels which control horribly, some puzzle style levels where you have to make your way around people who are more heavily armed than you or navigate through some claustrophobic spaces, but in general you are just being asked to kill and survive the response to your killing. It is, essentially, what we all do when we get bored in Grand Theft Auto, except it’s an entire game of it. It’s not just a distraction that you get to fool around with because you noticed a tank code in your favorite gaming magazine, it’s the central conceit of the game.
For that matter, it’s not as impressive as games like Grand Theft Auto. If the game brought out things like the National Guard, tanks, helicopters, and maybe the Truckasaurus or something, maybe I could have had fun repeatedly causing wanton death and destruction, but instead we get the same enemies and victims recycled from level to level, with the biggest variation being the amount of health they have.
You also have a very limited selection of weapons to fool around with, which I think was the most disappointing. I was fully expecting Hatred to give me a whole selection of horrendous torture tools to shamelessly mutilate victims with. Instead, I got a couple guns, and that’s it. Nothing new or interesting, just the basic gun, the shot gun, the machine gun, the SMG, so on so forth.