If you’re a gamer like me, you’ve likely heard the controversy around the up and coming game Hatred. For those new to the news, here’s a quick primer.
On December of last year, Hatred, an isometric shooter that puts the player in control of a seemingly nameless man (only referred to as The Antagonist) with an irrational and sociopathic need to end as many lives before losing his own, was pulled from Steam Greenlight on the grounds that it’s hyper-violent content would be something that, according to Valve’s director of marketing Doug Lombardi, “we would not publish… on Steam.”
The next day, the game was brought back with an apology from Valve co-founder Gabe Newell and is now slated for release this year.
Firstly, let’s not kid ourselves, fellow gamers; we’ve seen this song and dance before. Games like Hatred love controversy because it spreads the name and sells copies. It worked for Doom. It worked for Mortal Kombat. It sure as HELL worked for Grand Theft Auto. Now, every game wants a piece of the blood-soaked pie and will intentionally insert sex and violence in a rather weak attempt to look edgy. Hell, Valve was probably in on the whole thing and feigned removing Hatred because what helps their third-party developers helps them.
Now, if that were the only issue here, than I wouldn’t even be talking about it. But here’s the thing; not only is it relying heavily on controversy to spread the word, it seems to be relying solely on controversy.
I say that because, looking at the trailers, it’s just not very good.
Think about it; it’s just running and killing with seemingly no story or dramatic weight. I know it may sound silly to expect depth in a game like this, but it’s not too much to ask for.
If the game took a cue from movies like No Country For Old Men or comics like Batman: The Killing Joke and turned its plot into an exploration of abnormal psychology like the obvious Anti-Social Personality Disorder that The Antagonist suffers from, I could care enough to approve of it and give it my blessing. As it is though, it just looks like another dime-a-dozen gore-fest meant to appeal to immature brats who need to justify their hobby with a veil of faux-masculine crimson.
It’s possible that I could be wrong and we may get some info between now and its release that shows that it’s deeper than it seems. But, for now, I’m calling it; Hatred is going to be the unholy union of Manhunt and Goat Simulator that nobody asked for, won’t be worth our time, and that I’m just too bored of to give a damn about.