Developer: Destructive Creations
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Once in a lifetime, there is a breath of life pressed into the lungs of the gaming industry. This often comes in the form of new intellectual property that expands the universe and experience of interactive entertainment. The development, in-game mechanics, or even storyline change the way some even look at life. I can say, that without a doubt–Hatred is not that game.
In fact, Hatred does so little to progress the the likes of video games themselves, that it actually might even set the industry as a whole back a few years.
Hatred is simple: guy doesn’t like society and decides to kill everyone. After the initial slaughter through the neighborhood, we get to explore boat docks, sewers, cabins, and even a busy train station. Each location must be cleansed of human life. At times, that means executing sleeping vagrants in sewer tunnels. If you think this sounds easy, there is a lot of challenge in the swarms armed enemies moving in your position.
If you guessed that there would be some sort of over the top violence within the game–you were right. Hatred prides itself on shock value, driving home a sense ultra-violence in each scene. The stereotypical shroud of a black trench coat and long black hair are what give the main character his identity, that, and the various weapons used for mass slaughter. Yes, that’s what we are given to work with in terms of storyline.
Hatred itself is an isometric shooter. Weapon slots can be mapped to three locations, having other explosives mapped to your grenade throws. Items like the flamethrower are perfectly animated and fun to use. But, succumbing linearity of the entire game, billows of flames become less exciting very quickly. Grenades are also part of your skillset, taking out groups of authorities all at once.
You can also melee in the form of a kick, which can help in hairy situations dealing with “human shields” also known as the police. These are the common enemies, but considering who you are supposed to kill, everyone is technically considered an enemy. And if you run out of bullets more can be found in houses and other buildings. Although the game is in its final release, I found it surprisingly buggy. Like this instance below. With destructive environments and physics there is always the possibility of a lamp post getting stuck in the doorway not permitting passage. Or is there?
The controls of the game are great when utilizing the traditional keyboard and mouse combination. However, when moving to the supported controller format, the game doesn’t function as fluidly. A line of sight or indicator other than the aiming reticle with a fixed line would have helped. Instead, shots are haphazardly sent in a direction in hopes of hitting your target. This wouldn’t be as bad if there were copious amounts of ammunition and swarms of cops weren’t closing in on your location.
With so many negatives about Hatred, is there anything promising? Actually, yes.
Although there is limited graphical prowess that can be expressed through an isometric shooter, there is ton to be appreciated in-game. The destruction engine in the game is phenomenal. Buildings have portions that crumble after heavy explosions, walls are blown out after cars barrel into them, and vehicles become violently flipped in flames. The animations for executions are also well-done, but less appreciated considering the tasteless fashion in which they are done. They present a certain level of shock value at first, but start to lose impact when consecutively done following each kill.
PC video games in the ’90s were almost seen as the rebellious, rogue platform. They could do things that consoles couldn’t do and produced games like DOOM, Duke Nukem, and of course–the Postal franchise. These games were violent fun and provided something different other than Super Mario platformers or bloodshed of Mortal Kombat fighting games. They were first-person experiences that took the genres to another level. Hatred, a game in modern times, relies on the shock value of its predecessors, but does nothing to define, redefine, or contribute to isometric shooters.
Of course, our main characters has various lines that are voiced in fear of being caught. Most of the time they are very cliche, almost becoming unlikely that anyone filled with disgust would even mutter these lines. But alas, they are used to describe the human excrement that must be “cleansed” from each location. Other sounds clicked and popped at times. It couldn’t be determined whether or not this was due to my computer setup even with it happening often.
The Bottom Line:
Hatred is an isometric shooter that has great destructive environments, explosions, and execution animations that give scenes various levels of depth. However, the story of the game rears its shallow head, providing nothing new or expanding the genre in which it finds homage.
Civilians and cops are seen as enemies, all being killed off in different locations. Shopping centers and neighborhood houses can be explored for ammo and weapon pickups. It can become challenging to extinguish all human life in these areas, which is the main purpose of each location. It would have been even more enticing to have different human types.
It might be wise to pickup Hatred on a Steam sale. The game doesn’t expand or offer much depth, finding itself in shallow waters. And, even in those waters, struggles to breathe.