Hatred is a game that found itself in the mire of controversy as it presents players with just one itsy bitsy thing: kill virtual men and women. While that theme has always been available in video games since decades ago, people still made it a worthwhile topic in online gaming news sites, ranting on the degradation of morals and values, consequences of violent video games, and others of the same sort. Though it has stirred up quite an uproar with hardliners and game critics, the question remains: is Hatred a good game?
Story… Or the lack thereof
I’ve been racking my brain finding something to tell you guys about the background of Hatred. It’s simply about a long-haired dude who lives in a decrepit house, finds himself an AK-47 and a combat knife, and goes on a rampage. The player controls this guy as he shoots and executes anyone that crosses his path. Talk about hardcore.
A game focusing on shooting unarmed civilians is definitely a magnet for controversy.
Hatred is a twin-stick shooter (given that you have an Xbox controller) with the player controlling the character with one stick and the other, his aim. I don’t recommend that you play this with your keyboard/mouse since mouse controls tend to be crappier than the joystick.
Movement is pretty basic. The player can sprint, vault over objects, and crouch. As this is an isometric shooter, vision is limited to a certain degree and the player can extend the sight if the need arises.
Player health regenerates once you kill pleading/near-dead victims.
The player can carry only three weapons at the time and four each of three types of grenades. This carry limit is not an issue since Hatred offers only a handful of armaments (eight to be exact). In other levels, vehicles are available for use since some maps tend to be larger and have streets to traverse. Health, once dwindled due to extensive bullet-catching, can be replenished by executing still breathing victims. I really don’t know how this works in reference to realism, maybe the guy is an embodiment of an old pagan god or something of the sort.
As the guy slaughters his way, he spouts corny one-liners that talk about death, how people are pigs, and how he relishes on killing. It gets old as you progress the game and at times, can even make you roll your eyes out of the sheer awkwardness.
Objectives are still available despite the chaos.
Levels are a mix of open-world sceneries and shooting galleries. Some parts implore the player to traverse a one-directional map, killing preplaced foes along the way. In others, the world opens up and offers the player completion of some crazy side quests in exchange for respawn points. These sidetracking involves ruining a funeral, killing a politician, and causing chaos in a well-packed smartphone launch.
The train level ends when you reach the engine. An open world map follows after this sequence.
In terms of level-design, a limited degree of creativity is expected from the player. Explosions, grenades, and cars, can obliterate walls, opening new paths or firing lines.
It is very usual for one to find death in the hands of a large mob of soldiers in Hatred. Due to some quirks with the design, getting shot at from a distance and not being able to fire back is an intensely irritating event. The AI opponents can fire at you from behind sandbags and you, even when crouched, cannot.
Soldiers can shoot you at a very long range.
Usually, with twin-stick shooters, diversity is not an issue. As you progress, more enemy types are introduced and can only be beaten with recently acquired weapons, thus prolonging the game’s life and difficulty. With Hatred, such is not the case. And instead of having boss fights, the game throws a massive amount of law enforcers to deter the player. Which brings us back to enticing an irritating moment of not being able to shoot back.
Presentation-wise, Hatred gets some points with its black and white portrayal of a world gone to hell because of you. The game uses Unreal Engine 4 and its prowess is shown with the lighting, physics, and destructible objects.
For audio, well, it could be improved. The crappy one-liners could be done away with. On the otherhand, the staccato of firearms and explosions are decent at best.
Should You Buy It?
(Place one corny one-liner here)
No. Despite the grandeur and fulfillment of killing digital and non-existing people, Hatred fails as a game. It rode on controversy to seek propulsion in sales, but miserably misses the point. I bought it for the sake of satisfying my curiosity and I am now wishing to turn back time and refund this sordid mess.
I finished this game for the sake of reviewing it. There are a couple of times that I thought of putting down the controller and writing how boring this game is. Yes, you have guns, explosions, slaughter, but that does not necessarily translate to something that will keep you playing for hours on end.
I do have qualms with the design. I keep on getting killed because of something not seen in my immediate vision and extending your sights can prove problematic due to the sensitivity. I honestly did not enjoy the feeling of getting riddled with bullets due to things that you cannot see.
There’s also the issue of combat diversity. In a game that just commands you to shoot, I expect more than a handful selection of opponents. In Hatred, you get only policemen, SWAT, and soldiers. And that’s it. I also expected more power weapons such as miniguns, sniper rifles, and mortars.
Kill it with fire!
For a game, the worst thing that could happen is that the player gets bored. Hatred is not a game that generously dishes out satisfaction with every challenge done. You do the same thing after every level and that is to kill the townsfolk, hold the law at bay, and be a complete douche while at it. The missions obviously try hard to change the pace, but it ridiculously irritates rather than improve. Story could’ve had helped since the one-sided anti-hero does not have anything to distinguish him from being a black-clad angry and disgusted guy.
If you can stomach the incredible list of flaws, then this game might be for you. It does have a great engine, graphics, and destruction. But it falls short as a game overall. Piece of advice: find something else to play. Or better yet, get Grand Theft Auto V.