There’s no such thing as bad publicity. All throughout its development, that seemed to have been on Destructive Creations’ mantra when it came to Hatred. How so? Without the controversy, discussion and news pieces, this would have been a video game no one would have noticed upon release. Bland, unremarkable and mechanically flawed, it provokes more boredom than it does moral outrage.
Playing as what appears to be a poor man’s Ozzy Osbourne impersonator, you go around murdering crowds of innocents, masses of police officers and bombing cars. Combined with burning down the odd building or two as well, you’re expected to cut loose and rampage across the city. The unfortunate thing is that going about killing people you have no frame of reference with, who don’t fight back in the slightest, is extremely uninteresting. You’re given no motivation to fight them, no reason to gun them down, and with score boards or objectives based upon kills, their deaths have about as much emotional impact as the average Goomba. The only time you might actually become remotely invested at all is when the game makes some admittedly amusing stabs at self-parody and satire. Cringe-worthy monologues included.
Even mechanically Hatred fails to be anything special. A lot of its secondary or more interesting ideas actually prove to be more infuriating than truly changing up the game’s dynamic. You never want to get in a car because you’ll disappear in a fireball in about three shots, and you’ll instantly want to switch off executions thanks to how intrusive and repetitive each cutscene proves to be. This leaves it heavily reliant upon the core gameplay, which is no more dynamic than the twin stick shooters we all burned out on Playstation twelve years ago. Enemies die so quickly there’s no satisfaction or challenge here, and you’re more likely to be killed by sudden random explosions or cars slightly bumping you than bullets. Atop this, you’re locked out of many of the most exotic weapons as it’s extremely difficult to find ammo for grenades, flamethrowers and the like.
If there is something to praise here, the physics engine, while a little wonky, proves to be quite impressive. Accounting for countless minute objects at a time and allowing for far better ragdoll physics than many modern AAA releases, it’s quite an accomplishment despite the dull gameplay. Unfortunately without better level design and combat mechanics to back this up, it’s wasted on this game.
Not offensive enough to be bad but not good enough to be remarkable, Hatred isn’t even worth bile fascination. Just allow it to pass by into the mists of time and stick with Grand Theft Auto.
HATRED / DEVELOPER: DESTRUCTIVE CREATIONS / PUBLISHER: DESTRUCTIVE CREATIONS / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW