Hatred Review (Or I’m On The Driveway to Hell)

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(Disclosure: The re­view­er pur­chased his copy, which you may pur­chase via the developer’s site here, or on Steam. I would warn of spoil­ers, but there are so few plot points that it’s “Not Important”)

Hatred is about as Morally & Fictionally Bad as You can  Imagine.

Hatred is not a great game. It is an en­joy­able, once-through, type of game; with a no where to go sto­ry about our pro­tag­o­nist… “Not Important”… killing peo­ple in an un­named se­ries of towns. Game play is fo­cused on hit and run tac­tics that has you run­ning and gun­ning and gen­er­al­ly mak­ing a gi­ant fuss for as many sim­u­lat­ed peo­ple as pos­si­ble. It is com­pe­tent at what it does but not out­stand­ing. The mu­sic is just as edgy as the game play is, but it fits well with Not Important’s dystopi­an out­look and quest. With a few bugs, it man­ages to al­low the gamer to ex­pe­ri­ence the joys of mur­der with as few tech­ni­cal dis­trac­tions as pos­si­ble.

Simple Story of Suffering Simpletons

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Ah the clas­sics. A boy and his dog. A girl and her ring. A hob­bit with the same. And a man and his gun.

Hatred fol­lows the bur­geon­ing, bloody ad­ven­tures of a man named Not Important as he pro­ceeds on his geno­ci­dal cru­sade against the worth­less scum of the plan­et Earth. His roar­ing ram­page pro­ceeds from town to city to town, as he mer­ci­less­ly slaugh­ters the weak and pu­trid mass­es.

As you can al­ready tell, the sto­ry in this game is “Not Important” as well; Hatred is al­most a boil­er­plate copy paste from an ear­ly mil­len­ni­al LiveJournal post­ing. It’s mere­ly an ex­cuse for Hatred’s game play and lord does it show. With angst and edgi­ness ga­lore, it be­comes so edgy in places it strays into the cheesy.

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Boom Goes the Dynamite!

Gameplay full of Gore

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Hatred’s me­chan­ics and game play are where it makes its mon­ey. Not Important’s ram­page is giv­en form as a third per­son iso­met­ric shoot­er. It re­minds the re­view­er of a pre­vi­ous game called Crusader: No Remorse. And akin to that old­er game, the en­vi­ron­ment is com­plete­ly de­struc­tible, as are the many vic­tims in the way of Not Important’s geno­ci­dal cru­sade.

Not Important is giv­en ac­cess to a num­ber of weapons rang­ing from genre stan­dard pis­tols, shot­guns, SMGs, and as­sault ri­fles all the way up to mil­i­tary weapons such as grenades, LAWs, flamethrow­ers, and armed Humvees.

Aiming is con­trolled via the mouse, with the left but­ton fir­ing, right but­ton con­trol­ling dis­tant aim­ing, and mid­dle mouse but­ton choos­ing weapons. Controlling Not Important is done with the key­board; us­ing space to jump this way and that, dodg­ing out of the way of gun­fire. A kick but­ton is pro­vid­ed for the player’s amuse­ment, and is one of the eas­i­er ways to knock peo­ple down. Not Important can run from place to place, over ob­sta­cles, and hide be­hind ob­jects for cov­er.

There are ab­solute­ly no health packs in Hatred. Not Important is not a heal­er, nor a hero. Instead, one is re­quired to fin­ish off the tar­gets one is fac­ing af­ter wound­ing or kick­ing them to the ground. The suf­fer­ing of his vic­tims as they die is how he re­gains his abil­i­ty to fight.

In it all, this re­view­er has two prob­lems that stood out: the aim­ing sys­tem and en­e­my tar­get AI. Enemies (which are made of ei­ther po­lice, army, or brave civil­ians with guns) are of­ten just out of the view of the screen it­self, and will open fire on Not Important while they can see him, but he can­not. The cam­era does not al­low the play­er to see where the gun­fire is com­ing from, of­ten re­quir­ing blind fir­ing to­wards a yet un­seen tar­get.

Gorey Grey-scale Graphics

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Hatred is done in grey-scale art style, with only a few things giv­en colour. Not Important himself’s view­point is ex­treme­ly bleak, only tak­ing note of blood, ex­plo­sions, and gun­fire. There is a bleed­ing ef­fect one can see when he moves, mak­ing every­thing look even more bleak and sketchy.

The over­all at­mos­phere of the graph­ics works with Not Important’s world­view — that of a bleak and ter­ri­ble place full of equal­ly weak and de­spi­ca­ble peo­ple.

Music Maudlin & Morose

Jangled gui­tars, sharp keys on the pi­ano, and the strum­ming of bass are played in a vi­cious and dis­cor­dant man­ner, de­pend­ing on the lev­el and where Not Important is. Long, drawn out strings fill out a good part of the sound­track, fill­ing it with a dis­cor­dant sound. There is a per­sis­tent melan­choly to the mu­sic, un­der­set with a feel­ing of in­evitabil­i­ty.

The mu­sic is one of the places where Hatred shines a bit — save for the credit’s song which feels rather out of place com­pared to the mood­i­er pieces in the game.

Technical & Settings

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There are a few bugs — main­ly with jump pathing over ob­sta­cles, and the oc­ca­sion­al mod­el freak out af­ter a char­ac­ter death that could have been ironed out be­fore re­lease, but these don’t de­tract over­ly from the ex­pe­ri­ence at hand. The load times are en­tire­ly de­pen­dent on one’s hard-drive speed, as well. Faster is bet­ter.

The Settings menu is thank­ful­ly en­riched due to the Unreal Engine be­ing used for the game, and of­fers a va­ri­ety of set­tings and tweaks to al­low any­one to ex­pe­ri­ence Hatred smooth­ly.

Final Thoughts

For a game whose mar­ket­ing cam­paign was en­tire­ly de­pen­dent on peo­ple scream­ing “BAN THIS SICK FILTH,” a prod­uct of de­cent length and com­pe­ten­cy was re­leased be­hind the wake of these mod­ern Jack Thompson cru­sades waged on­line. It’s ranges from mediocre (usu­al­ly when the only goal is to kill a set amount peo­ple) to some­what thrilling (usu­al­ly when po­lice or heav­i­ly armed and ar­mored army units were sent af­ter Not Important), es­pe­cial­ly on the high­er dif­fi­cul­ties.2015-09-02_00005

As it stands, Hatred is at least worth a sin­gle play through, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

I would, how­ev­er, wait for a good dis­count.

Buy Hatred at Full Price if: You are dark­ness in­car­nate, a knife amongst the edges of the woods of doom & geno­cide in­car­nate. And en­joy in­flict­ing mis­ery on those pet­ty tar­gets of your Hatred.

Buy Hatred at a Discount if: You are a rel­a­tive­ly well-adjusted per­son that is in­ter­est­ed in an iso­met­ric shoot­er, but just can’t get into the men­tal­i­ty need­ed to get all the achieve­ments, fin­ish a game mul­ti­ple times, or pre­fer your shoot­ers in the first per­son.

Do not Buy Hatred if: You have eas­i­ly of­fend­ed sen­si­bil­i­ties. It’s in the name, af­ter all.

 

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Michael Campbell
My name is Michael Campbell. I am a bud­ding writer, pro­duc­er, and the content-manager for off-site opin­ion pieces. I fo­cus on Early Access Game Reviews, Traditional Games Media (Primarily Pen & Paper Role-playing Games), Steam Games, Origin, and Indie Titles. My in­ter­ests in­clude draw­ing re­al­ly ter­ri­bly, run­ning far too many RPG games a week and hor­ri­fy­ing my co-workers and friends. I also get re­al­ly an­gry on Twitter at in­jus­tice. I am also like­ly go­ing to be­come a fix­ture in the ed­i­to­r­i­al sec­tion of this site, due to the above anger. You can reach me at M.Campbell@supernerdland.com if you have ques­tions or com­ments; As well, you can reach me @EvilBobDALMYT on Twitter to see some of that anger in mo­tion.
Michael Campbell

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