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Hatred - A Game About Massacring Innocent Bystanders for Fun

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By MrJenssen16-10-2014

Okay, so let me begin with a trigger warning: I'm going to be pretty subjective here, because I really don't think there is any way to cover a game like 'Hatred'. If Polish developer Destructive Creations weren't expecting at least a small bit of uproar to occur regarding their new game 'Hatred', then they must not have paid anyone to do public relations for them.

Their recently announced game is literally what the title teases, and what the in-game trailer depicts. The player inhabits the roal of a hateful, spiteful sick bastard with a disdain for the entire world, and he doesn't intend to change the system by getting into politics. It's way easier to just grab an assault rifle and a few grenades, and go on an aimless rampage against innocent civilians until the cops show up and shoot him dead.

It's not like the developers aren't aware that the game is rather sick. They even explain it on their own website in case you're wondering:

"Hatred is an isometric shooter with disturbing atmosphere of mass killing, where player takes the role of a cold blood antagonist, who is full of hatred for humanity. It's a horror, but here YOU are the villain. Wander the outskirts of New York State, seek for victims on seven free-roam levels. Fight against law enforcement and take a journey into the antagonist's hateful mind. Gather equipment of the dead 'human shields' to spread Armageddon upon society."

Now, surely, there must be some other, deeper purpose to the game as well? Apparently, there isn't. The developer are pretty black and white about that:

"These days, when a lot of games are heading to be polite, colorful, politically correct and trying to be some kind of higher art, rather than just an entertainment."

While many games - like the GTA and Saints Row franchises - let you go on a rampage if you so choose, it's never the explicit goal of the games. You won't win the game by killing innocent people. In fact, more often than not, it'll lead to your own death. And another thing to consider, is the fact that going on a rampage is but a VERY small part of GTA or Saints Row. There are countless other activities you could do. GTA in particular, has activites like tennish and pool, you can eat at a restaurant, or go for a swim if you like. Or fly a helicopter, or jump a dirt bike onto a moving train. Never once are you rewarded for killing civilians. Even in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's infamous airport sequence, killing civilians was optional. Postal 2 also let you do all kinds of crazy things with civilians. But there too, it was optional. Postal 2's goals involve things such as purchasing milk, picking up a paycheck, getting a signature from a celebrity. Crazy things happen around you, but you always have the choice of running away, and not taking part in the mayhem. And even when you do kill people, it's clearly with a comedic effect. The developers intentionally made it comedic. But with Hatred - the isometric "mass murder simulation" - the only apparent goal is to kill as many people as possible, and go out in style. And it doesn't seem very tongue-in-cheek at all. The art style, the alienating isometric perspective, the screams of the civilians as they are maimed to death. There is no social satire to be found.

We gamers know that violent games don't make for violent people. And it's even been settled in court; there is NO correlation between violent games and real-world violent behaviour. So what's the problem with Hatred? Well, let's look at that quote up above again. Games are "just entertainment". And yeah, sometimes it is. Sometimes it's just pure entertainment. Games don't always need stories or loveable characters. Look at Spec Ops: The Line. It's a game that tricks you into mass-murdering civilian people. It's a game that preys on the simplistic goals of modern-day shooters. "Move through the levels, kill the bad guys who shoot at you, and win". And when you do that, the game tells you "you know those guys you shot? Yeah, turns out they weren't bad guys at all. You screwed up!". It's a harrowing experience, but it's clearly done with some sort of purpose. It's meant to make you feel. Developer Destructive Creations on the other hand, don't seem to want anything like that out of their game. It's "just entertainment".

Well let me ask you; would you find this entertaining? To walk around in a game killing people who scream and beg for their lives? With absolutely no self-wareness, no tongue-in-cheek social satire or humor to be found? If you've got a slightly disturbed sense of humor, you'll have fun doing that in Grand Theft Auto. But only for a half hour or so, before you get bored and go back to doing the main missions - or one of the game's other two billion side activities. With Hatred, you're forced to do it to progress through the game's seven open-ended levels. You must kill people. Otherwise, you won't win. Where's the entertainment in killing helpless NPCs for hours on end? And where is the challenge in that?

If anything, Hatred is at least an interesting piece of gaming history, and I'm frankly intrigued to hear more about the game as the development carries on. I can't say I'm all that interested in actually playing the game, but the social implications alone make it worth at least paying attention to.

We'll keep you updated as we get to know more.


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Comments (18)
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Posts: 3290

Yeah, that's pretty much the consensus. Not that it is bad, only that it maybe/probably will be. Though we're all open to the possibility of being wrong, we're just skeptical that we will be

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Posts: 81

One thing I would like to note is that my main argument is that the game needs context. So far the trailer has done little, to anything to provide any. It was pretty stupid but I hope that is just the fault of the advertiser. If the game is "Charles Whitman 2015", then it will suffer greatly.

I do hope that the developer doesn't screw this up. If it does, it might send the wrong message to other developers (and investors) that this genre is too risky. We might not see another Starbreeze caliber psychological horror/crime title. Which would be a great shame to gaming and this genre.

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Posts: 81

Ignoring all the "saving face" crap spouted around, I really want to play this game. Not just because of the novelty that is the subject of the game. Whether it IS novelty, I just think this game has potential to be good. It vaguely reminds me of "The Darkness". A game which I knew little about before I bought it. But it was one of the best experience I had last gen. You know why? Because I loved the characters and I wanted to know how Jackie was going to handle "The Darkness". What did you do in that game? Use giant demon tentacles and impale people and feed your demon hearts that you ripped out of peoples chests. But that was just one of the gameplay features.

I couldn't care less if one of this games features was killing civilians. I am an adult and as such, I have the ability to discern what is real and what is not. I think it will be fun to use a shotgun and blow away people! I do it all my other games, so why not make it a main feature? But again, as already stated. It needs to be more and I do think Stubbs is a bad example and I will go with "The Darkness" as my main comparison. If it can provide context, then it will be played. Not just a demo to say "yo guyz i got that crrazie game where you run around killing innocent peoplez". Then it sits in your Steam library with 46mns of game time.

I think you guys would agree with me or you have already done so, but this game has a chance to be good. If it turns out like Jenssen's concern, that it's just doing it to be "edgy", then it will reflect in its sales and reviews.

Either then that, sign me up lads.

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Posts: 3290

@Extermination: Actually, I own all seven of the Saw films because I found myself sympathising with Kramer. Not to say I agree with his ideals, but he was presented in a way that gave a plausible motivation for his methodology. Meanwhile, I am under no illusion that I am representative of the majority of the Saw fanbase

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Posts: 22

But the end result is the same, it's only when man happens to be involved and portrays a negative image upon ourselves without any sort of clear justified reason people lose their collective shit. You don't think there's a market of people who are interested in the experience of a mad shooter? We already have people interested in torture, Saw, and it's definitely not for the context of seeing them escape. Horror movies were built on the aspect of unreasonable murder, and torment, and mental and physical fatigue without rationality. So what makes Hatred so different? I think it's again just because of the aspect of shooting. I think it has a place on the market, I think there are people who would want to explore the potential genre of messed up shit lol.

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Posts: 1317

I'm not condemning the game, nor juging it. I'm simply questioning its validity on the market. Not all games need to have a point, sure. But when you make it obscenely violent like this, I think it does need a point. Either that, or it needs something to let players access it without feeling like monsters. Stubbs the Zombie is a cartoony game. The art-style is clearly not realistic, and it's very colorful. The dialogue is quirky and funny.

If the context of Hatred is that the protagonist is of the same ind as school shooters, and spouts the same things as school shooters write in their deranged manifestos, then honestly I think that having no context at all would be a better choice. I can't see the appeal (to anyone) in killing innocent people for an entire game, where that is THE only thing you're allowed to do. Killing civilians in GTA is a guilty pleasure, something you usually do by accident (running them over as they cross the street), or something you do because you're "bored" for a few moments. But not something you just keep on doing for five, ten, twenty hours straight. No one in their right mind would find it appealing, challenging or entertaining to just keep killing civilians in GTA5 for 10 hours straight. And when you add the distinct art style (like the black and white color palette), the "psychopathic" background soundtrack topped off with the endless screams of pain from the victims, and the continuous, mentally deranged dialogue from the protagonist... there's really no two ways about it. There's no way you can play that and say "hehe this is fun", without going to awfully dark territories of your mind. To the point where, really, the only reason you play it is to see what all the fuzz is about. And then you play it for maybe an hour and say "haha that was some sick shit", and then you put the game away and never play it again.

And if Hatred turns out to be THAT - to be a game that thousands of people buy to play for an hour because they want to see what the media hysteria is all about - and then they put it away and never play it again... then I think it really DOES prove that a game solely about killig civilians, really doesn't have any place on the market. Not from any moral standpoint per sé, but from a practical standpoint. What's the point of making a game that nobody will play? As in, actually PLAY-play?

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Posts: 22

@BobFish

But the contextual framework is really apparent by the lines of the trailer that we were given. He feels betrayed, and wants revenge, he is ready to die, but wants to go out doing horrible things. Is that not a contextual framework relative to both the Predator character, and Stubbs the Zombie? I mean isn't SplatterHouse another example of just mindless political in/correctness? I wasn't really addressing the entirety of the context, but more so on the enjoyment of something like this. As Jenssen has stated that only people who are disturbed would enjoy this, and that games that trip over in the same territory are excluded because it's not the main focus. I'd argue that it's worse to optionally kill innocents, then a game like this where you have to.

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Posts: 3290

@Extermination: It's interesting you bring up Stubbs the Zombie, as that is a perfect example of how something very dark and abhorrent can be completely transformed by the contextual framework around it. The visual aesthetic and general tone of the game is very light heated and, clearly, satirical in bent, whilst the fact you are playing as a zombie on its own justifies the motivation to eat brains as, well, that's how a zombie not only perpetuates its own existence, but furthers it's 'species' as it were.

That is something Hatred, at least so far, seems to lack. The developers are almost bragging about the fact that they threw out any attempt to even want to justify the game's existence as anything more than a mindless massacre simulator. And that's fine, absolutely it is. It's their game and they can do whatever the darn hell they want. And honestly, I'll probably play it at some point and get a nice chuckle out of the animations because I have a very dark and morbid sense of humour. My favourite stealth kill in the last AvP was when the alien, well, sodomised an enemy to death with its tail. Because it was so gruesome and brutal. But, at the same time, it was far more satisfying because it was contextualised by the fact the zenomoprh is a perfect killer. Yes, it is excessively brutal and inhuman. But it is also brutally efficient in execution, from an animal which does not worry itself with human concepts of compassion or empathy.

Baboons, though omnivorous and generally eaters of vegetation, will sometimes catch foals and eat them. Alive. Tearing chunks off the animal with their teeth and bare hands, whilst the juvenile creature bleats in terror for something to stop the agony. It's disgusting and horrifying to think about, nevermind see. But the baboon does not care, because it is not human. It is hungry, it needs/wants meat, and that is the simplest way for it to get it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So the point here isn't that it needs any kind of deeper meaning to exist. Of course not. Nothing needs any reason to exist. Existing in the first place is reason enough. And we have the mental capacity to inject our own sense of meaning into anything and everything. The only comment we want to make, right now, is that what the developers appear to be saying is coming from a flawed position. Games are just as politically correct and incorrect as they have always been. Leaving this sounding like nothing more than a childish attempt to get some quick attention and make an easy buck.

For it to have any lasting effect, for the developers, as anything more than a brief moment of controversy, it will need more than "lolz vilunz" to stay in the social consciousness. And they have hinted about wanting to explore the inner mind and motivation of the character. We are just left unconvinced that they will do so in any meaningful way. But hey, maybe they will, and maybe this will be looked back on as a defining moment in human history. Or maybe it's just a dumb game about violence for the sake of violence.

Only time will tell.

@doesntmatter7: Nothing is too edgy. Nothing. It's only too edgy for you...or whoever thinks it's too edgy at the time. Someone else will always come along and, genuinely, just snort and say "that's tame." People complained about not seeing the faeces going into people's mouths in The Human Centipede for fuck's sake!

Some weird arse people out there

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Posts: 1

"Well let me ask you; would you find this entertaining? To walk around in a game killing people who scream and beg for their lives? With absolutely no self-wareness, no tongue-in-cheek social satire or humor to be found?"

I thought this question was already answered with "Do you like hurting other people?" from Hotline Miami. That game had context, but in the end hurting "people" in that game was fucking fun. Can this game make hurting people fun? I think that's the real question we should be asking, not if the context is too edgy.

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Posts: 1317

I don't question the purpose of games. I question whether a game like this should be entertaining to anyone at all.