There are a few things I think about when I ponder the trailer for a game called Hatred:
- The title would be good in comic sans
- No exclamation point!
- This is an indie gamers attempt at appealing to emo teenagers
- Bands who have songs with a lot of shouting in their vocals would love this
I had a more controversial thought in mind that I initially resisted connecting to this game: violence, no matter how extreme it is, has become the norm. My video gaming history is rather hazy, but I seem to recall that the “video games will harm society” discussion had it’s peak around the 1980s and started to taper off at the end of the 90s. Let’s face it: there are stickers preventing children under a certain age from getting a game like Grand Theft Auto, but family and friends can easily get around that by getting the game for the kid that they shouldn’t be playing.
Hatred, created by Destructive Creations, is about a tall, dreadlocked deep-throated man who “fucking hates this world” and wants to die “violently”. He isn’ t seeking any sort of redemption. There is no character arc unless you consider the part where he loads up his weapons and starts shooting seconds after leaving the house. I know that character arc isn’t necessarily required for you to enjoy any particular game, but this kind of game usually needs something to drive the player to put up with all the destruction one would see in this game.
But, according to creative director Jarosław Zieliński of Destructive Creations, his audience are the types aren’t looking for depth:
“Our target is basically a gamer that is coming home after a long, tiring and overall a shitty working day. So we give him the opportunity to just sit by his computer and let some of the steam go by shooting NPCs and destroying the level.”
“The game is also addressed to people that are in general tired of colorful, sci-fi shooters and are looking for a change. In Hatred they are not forced to run with a laser gun and save the universe for a hundred time (sic). Quite the opposite in fact as we give them a chance to be The Bad Guy and the one that’s being hunted.”
I get it: make a game that appeals to people living shitty lives. Considering people are far more nitpicky about how they want to live out these murder fantasies in video games, I’m not sure this game would impress people that much. In fact, his argument that nobody wants a colorful sci-fi shooter where characters are trying to save the universe is dwarfed by the popularity of games like Destiny and Titanfall. If there’s anything that this game sets out to prove, judging by the general reaction to the trailer, it’s that people are sick of first person shooters and welcome a game that has a different task in mind that shooting NPC’s.
This is Journey, I can’t exactly explain what this game is. I will say that it has more of a spiritual uplift than any of these AAA titles that might get more attention. It’s also the kind of game that makes us remember what games were originally about in the first place.