Wot I Think: Hatred

Obviously Hatred [official site] has engineered itself, with the support of a jejune voluntary army, a degree of infamy. A drearily tasteless and cheap (in all senses of the word) promotional campaign dared a mostly uninterested world to care that it was to feature a lone gunman slaughtering hundreds of innocent civilians. They got a bit of attention from the credulous, but not much, and now the finished isometric shooter appears with little noise. Despite all that, I’m not here to review the clumsily engineered politics behind its development, but the game itself. Here’s wot I think:

Hatred, while not in the leagues of the worst games ever, is a terrible game. Bug-ridden and clumsily constructed – and perhaps most damningly, repetitive and dull – it’s flawed from the most basic design decisions onward. But what it is, more than anything else, is bland.

You play a guy who’s had enough of the world, and wants to take as many other people’s lives as he can before ending his own. From his target-range-filled basement, he fills his pockets with guns and knives, and sets off to slaughter the local population.

I really shouldn’t underplay just how bug-ridden and clumsy it is. From the controls down, it has an overriding feel of something poorly constructed and badly implemented. While ostensibly a twin-stick isometric shooter, its controller controls are so awful as to be unusable. With mouse/keyboard it becomes playable, but you’ll float over surfaces, get stuck on corners, develop wrinkles during the load times, and stare in wonder that AI can still be so dreadful in 2015. And most strange of all, when playing in a window, each time it loaded something the window would creep its way down my desktop, as if trying to escape the monitor and slough itself off onto my keyboard.

Once its foibles are understood, you can then get on with pointing the cursor at the human shapes and clicking at them until they’re dead. Hit Q before they breathe their last and you’ll perform an Execution, which sometimes gives you a mini-cutscene as you kill them. Other times it just shoots at them like you were already. Although all of this does rather depend upon being able to see anything at all.

I’ve not quite understood the motivation behind the black-and-white presentation. While it certainly does make colourful explosions more striking, and the sometimes-red blood stands out a little more, it really only succeeds in making the game an indecipherable mess. While the opening town is fairly easily distinguished, once you’re down into the sewers, then out into the marina woodland, even seeing yourself on screen becomes tricky, let alone identifying people to shoot at. And spotting objects on the ground – the only method is to hold down Left Alt which will outline them in red. If you need to do that to make your game workable, you need to go back and rethink the core design. For instance, the character is on this screen:

Even more problematic is the lack of helpful feedback. You can, and mostly are, shot from off-screen, which while not necessarily a gaming faux-pas, does at least require some effort to inform the player from where it’s coming. The white single-pixel-wide bullet tracers, projected across a cluttered, fifty-percent white screen, really don’t do the job. Just a little red flash from the relevant side would be enough to make the insta-deaths a little less frustrating.

And deaths carry quite a punch. Despite being your character’s stated goal, unless you have a rare respawn token, his demise results in restarting an entire level. Which, to their credit, are large, sprawling spaces. In dying a few times on the first level, while struggling to fathom the controls (it’s Shift to sprint, but there’s no Space to jump, and he’ll only jump when you’re sprinting), I was able to run off in a completely different direction and find different things to do each time. Fair play to that.

But most flawed of all is the character you play. What appeared to be the intended premise behind the game was a regular guy losing his shit and going on a killing spree, before taking his own life. A thing that, while mercifully rare, does happen. In the real world, as a consequence of such an act the press works like billy-o to demonise the individual, to dehumanise him, in order to more easily parse the horror. It’s far easier if we can see a killer as “pure evil” rather than “horrendously broken”. If he’s made unhuman, then it can’t be wider society’s responsibility. (Instead of course blame must be allocated with the demon du jour, from rock music to video-nasties to, well, videogames.) So it makes beyond no sense for Hatred to present its character so demonically.

Huge, muscular, wearing long hair over his enormous brow, he’s designed and presented like Darksiders II’s Death. The similarity is striking. He murmurs his laugh-out-loud bad script (“I can smell innocent blood. It always tastes better”) in a deep, throaty drawl, talks of dark vengeances, of grand, humanity-destroying schemes. Incredibly, a game about a human fed up of humanity chooses to almost literally demonise its own character. It so widely misses everything that would have made such a game even notionally controversial, by accidentally making its game like every other.

That you’re killing innocent bystanders is mostly of little consequence when the game plays like a dreary riff on The Darkness. Let alone how banal such acts so often are in the peculiar world of videogames, in the shadow of GTA and its many clones. Gamers, in the majority, have adjusted their perceptions (for better or worse) to see the mowing down of pedestrians in a car in Mafia, or a bored killing spree in Saints Row, as an arcade action. As knocking over cardboard cut-outs. In delivering Hatred with so many clichés of broody-broody-dark-dark shooters, the same instinct kicks in. You’re not a senseless murderer, committing atrocious acts – you’re a placeholder monster making targets fall down. In doing so, all of Hatred’s attempts at controversy evaporate in a cloud of mundanity.

It’s odd to find myself looking fondly back at Postal. Like Hatred, Postal was never a good game. But it was at least conscious of how to deliver this motif. It recognised that it needed to at least mimic the ordinariness of the regular world, in order to have your acts seem so heinous. Hatred’s monochrome unrealness ensures nothing feels recognisable or familiar, and its absolute absence of humour or self-awareness makes it even more alien. At no point does it feel like what it’s meant to be.

That blandness is all-pervasive. The “Executions”, intended to be gruesome kills generating you extra health, are of course an idea much copied from the mediocre Punisher game of 2005. But rather than Volition’s genuinely stomach-turning deaths (oh gawd, the wood chipper), here the closest it gets to gross-out is stamping on a person’s head. Most of the time it’s a four second cutscene of our bloke shooting them at a different angle, or perhaps stabbing them in the eye. Perhaps that these feel so mild is a larger statement on violence in gaming, but wow, they feel so comparatively mild. It’s best to just switch the animations off in the options, to make things a smidgeon more playable.

Death is most likely to be caused by getting stuck on some furniture, or one of the hundreds of invisible barriers that randomly appear in buildings, or its bloody failing to jump through a window for six tries in a row. And even in stages with multiple missions, it’ll still start you over again from the very beginning should this happen. Killing 80 civilians for a third time, because the 20 cop killing section that follows keeps bugging out, becomes a tiresome chore.

But, to give the game its dues, on occasions it does manage to feel gross. In less frantic moments (the most frantic can bring the engine down to a stuttering slideshow) you’re running about, picking off fleeing bystanders as they scream for help, and yeah, it feels shit. That gets a degree more shit when Mr Growlypants, having executed a woman, mumbles, “Your life was worthless, you cunt.” In these few occasions, playing the game feels less like struggling through a terrible Alien Swarm clone, and lets in a glimmer of the tawdry unpleasantness they were aiming for. Then you’re back to the frenetic buggy mediocrity once again.

There are seven levels in total, but I haven’t made it past the fifth. I’ll tell you why. First, you have to kill 150 civilians in the sprawling urban area, which is seemingly half populated by police. Getting this far is tricky, especially if you don’t gather all the available respawns by completing “side quests” (killing people somewhere), but once reached, you’re then tasked with killing 40 soldiers. They’re heavily armed, and unlike in previous levels, they don’t swarm to a particular point, so you’re left having to find them and fight them in the open. Except the open is insta-death land. Because this game’s so badly put together that not only is a grenade thrown at you impossible to dodge, and an instant death, but if a car so much as taps you, you’re worm food. And cars will fly in from the side of the screen killing you before you can clock they’re there. Then of course the usual being shot at from all angles, and most of all, the hideousness of not being able to run in any straight line without being tripped by a bug. Death means starting all over again, and I’ve replayed this level maybe 20 times now, for the sake of seeing if anything more interesting happens later on. At this point, I’m calling it.

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing to be rescued from this. To be good, it would need to be reconfigured from the ground up, made to actually work as a twin-stick shooter, and then given one hell of a lot more to do within. For it to be a controversial, censor-defying piece of provocation, it needs an entirely new perspective. Set it in a high school, have it feature children as well as adult civilians, let it revel in the consequences of the destruction of ordinary lives… something, just something to let it have its own offensive voice. Rather than the nothingness result of a pseudo-demon character shooting at blank, dumb-ass AI dolls.

When a game’s highlights are its bugs (I especially enjoyed a SWAT van being violently propelled about a block away after tapping a stationary pick-up truck, and landing on top of a train), then you know you’re in deeply crappy territory.

Hatred fails in every way. It fails to be a fun, entertaining game. It fails to be a technically competent release. And most of all, it fails to be a controversial, shocking experience. It even fails at being bad in an interesting way. By the time you’re taking on levels requiring multiple stages, the thought of repeating the tedium all over again becomes untenable. After a miserable few hours, I’ve not completed the game, so goodness knows, perhaps some incredibly shocking thing happens toward the end. But it seems unlikely, and getting there would be no fun for anyone. If you were looking to rubberneck at the engineered controversy, there’s little to care about. If you were planning to buy it to show those feminazi SJWs a thing or two, you’re going to get stuck with a shitty game-shaped hole in your wallet. It is, beyond all the hype, just a crappy game.

242 Comments

  1. woodsey says:

    To be expected. Though I’ve defended it on the basis that it could, in theory, have some sense of wit or irony behind it and shouldn’t simply be written off (or worse, banned, as some have suggested), the chances of that happening always seemed slim.

    • pepperfez says:

      as some have suggested
      Who are these “some”? Because I have literally never seen a call for an actual ban (as distinct from not thinking a given store should sell it).

      • lordcooper says:

        Well germany banned it, so there’s that.

        • PsychoWedge says:

          uh, no, we didn’t. the game hasn’t even been given to the agency that could initiate the rather complex banning process.

          • lordcooper says:

            Then why isn’t it available to purchase on the German Steam store?

          • DeVadder says:

            Presumably a decision by Steam itself, maybe îndeed to avoid to having to hand it over to said agency eventually. Or to avoid provoking overzealous moral guardians into looking too closely at the Steam offer in general. Or there is no proper reason. Either way, it is demonstrable not banned and the decision of a store to not sell something is obviously not censoring.

          • PsychoWedge says:

            DC themselves told steam to not make the game available in Germany and Australia. They said so in an official statement. Why? Probably because like a lot of devs and publishers these guys too don’t know shit about the german youth protection system for movies, music and games.

            Not that I fault them for that btw. Many Germans don’t know a lot about it either. It always comes down to busswords and some general ideas about games being put on some list.

            There are actually only very, very few games banned in Germany. Maybe fifteen or so. I think R*’s Manhunts are among them. And definitely Commandos – Behind Enemy Lines from back in the late 90s and Wolfenstein 3D.

          • PsychoWedge says:

            I don’t know why I typed busswords there, when I mean buzzwords… xD

          • eljueta says:

            Not only wolfenstein 3D but also the new order has a censored Version with all nazi imagery substituted. I know this because i bought it elsewhere and couldn’t play it to my surprise when I came back to Germany.

          • Pop says:

            Busswords – They always come along in droves

          • PsychoWedge says:

            Banning and censoring are not the same. Also banning and putting a game on the Index (‘listing it’ would be the translation, I guess ) are not the same.

            And there is no German censored version of Wolfenstein 3D. The game was just banned back in the day, meaning the government sent the police to confiscate all the copies they could find in shops and shit. You could still own it though.

            Anyway, this is completely different from The New Order where they made a German version and merely changed a lot of the language and cut out all swastikas. And of course they came up with the region lock that turns all steam copies of the game to this German version if played in/from Germany. Console players gave a fuck though, so of course this whole thing was rather stupid. xD

  2. nickclarkson says:

    So a 7 then? :)

    I can’t say I’m surprised at it being shit. Postal did this ‘genre’ years ago, and from the above sounds like it would still be a better purchase today than Hatred.

    • waltC says:

      Haters gonna’ hate hatred. (Sorry, couldn’t resist….;)) There is absolutely nothing negative to be said about hating hatred, it would appear–it’s a game that deserves to be hated. It’s apparently a game about being an ultimate loser in every conceivable way. Mainly, though…I think I would feel like a complete idiot/moron to let anyone know that I’d play, let alone buy, a game called “hatred”…!

      • Mint says:

        “They got a bit of attention from the credulous, but not much”

        This game was being talked about everywhere for weeks…

        • Marr says:

          The game’s announcement triggered a few wider discussions about the developers themselves, the history of things like Postal, and whether it would even show up against the general background of slaughter that we’ve already internalised as harmless cartoon fun. The only attention I recall Hatred getting for itself was “It’ll probably be boring and shit.”

      • nickclarkson says:

        You know, I really hate Hatred hater haters :p

  3. Dale Winton says:

    So it’s rubbish as we expected it would be.

  4. KillahMate says:

    This will come as a surprise to absolutely no one.

  5. Solidstate89 says:

    It’s got a nice physics engine though, from the TB review I watched.

    • frymaster says:

      the graphics style seemed pretty good there as well, though I note that was a video of an urban area and not e.g. a forest

      The video is worth watching just to giggle at the protagonist’s monologue at the beginning of the level. It is irredeemably crap

      • YohnTheViking says:

        Oh, you want to giggle at the crap dialogue? You should see the ending. (Spoiler warning, this is the ending of the game.)

        • wooster84 says:

          On the basis of that ending it looks like Hatred is basically the Metalocalypse/Xavier Renegade Angel crossover game that the world always wanted.

        • horus_lupercal says:

          hahahahahaha

          oh my, that dialogue and voice acting… the playable character sounds like he should be twirling a moustache and stroking a soft white kitty.

        • phelix says:

          That is just nonsensical.
          You can’t cause nuclear explosions with modern nuclear power plants (also LOL at the controls having an “overload” function built in), in fact everything is designed to do the opposite in a worst case scenario.

          The power plant worker doing what the guy asks him to also makes no sense. You are given the choice between dying and dying with thousands of others?

          • Yglorba says:

            In retrospect, that “explode and kill everyone” button was probably a poor choice.

          • dylnuge says:

            The entire time I watched it I was thinking “gah they got nuclear all wrong, nuclear reactors can meltdown but not explode like a bomb, meltdowns are pretty damn hard to cause, etc” Then I realized given that voice acting, the already atrocious concept/plot, and the login to the reactor controls being “Admin/666,” I’m not really sure why it’s the bad science that I have a problem with.

          • Unclepauly says:

            I would be totally on board with your line of thinking if this was a documentary.

        • Bimble says:

          If my nan sees that spoiler someone gonna die.

        • rabbit says:

          WHERE ARE THE REACTORS!!!!!!!!

      • ribby says:

        Aww you spoilt it for me!

    • gunny1993 says:

      Makes me excited for more Unreal 4

  6. PancakeWizard says:

    I never for one minute thought it would be good, not my thing, but I damn well thought it had a right to go to market. So in that sense, it’s all square.

    One thing though:

    “For it to be a controversial, censor-defying piece of provocation, it needs an entirely new perspective. “

    Maybe I’m misremembering the timeline of events, but wasn’t it the backlash to it in the press and social media that assumed this was what it was going to be, and then the devs ran with the publicity as ‘anti-censorship’ because they weren’t going to bow to the pressure? I’m not sure they ever claimed they were designing the game with pure provocation for shits and giggles in mind. The monochrome look and ominous soundtrack would suggest some thought beyond that kind of cynicism

    Regardless, I think the fact it just feels like killing AI-dolls pretty much proves that we don’t need to worry about such games and that the panic over them is a waste of time. Totalbiscuit did a recent video on game violence and I think his musings on what emotionally effects us and why are bang on: link to youtube.com

    Not mentioned in the video but one of my personal favourite moments where you are emotionally engaged in a unique way was Bioshock’s ‘would you kindly..’ reveal. It was such a great narrative and comment on interactivity.

    • Leb says:

      Dusted off my old account just to say this. Kind of disingenuous make comments on the PR surrounding this game when RPS itself is guilty of being one of the many media sites to drum up controversy on the contents of this game. No one would have even heard of it if the media didn’t give it so much coverage.

      • Leb says:

        disingenuous for RPS to make comments**

        • Premium User Badge

          John Walker says:

          Out of interest, when do you think we did that?

          • Supahewok says:

            The dude is wrong about RPS’s coverage, sure. Y’all’ve written exactly 3 articles, including this very review, the other two of which were about the game being pulled from and being restored to Greenlight, which were indeed very important news pieces.

            However, this statement: “A drearily tasteless and cheap (in all senses of the word) promotional campaign dared a mostly uninterested world to care that it was to feature a lone gunman slaughtering hundreds of innocent civilians. They got a bit of attention from the credulous, but not much, and now the finished isometric shooter appears with little noise,” IS disingenuous. I can, right now, google “Polygon Hatred” and come up with a whopping 9 articles on the first page alone, spread across the initial trailer to now. I can find 5 or 6 articles on Kotaku, and I know that the Escapist has had 2 columns on the subject this past week. And combine that with millions of views on the trailer, and (supposedly, since I don’t use Twitter I get this secondhand from Polygon) thousands of retweets or whatever, and you calim all of the is “a bit of attention… but not much” and “little noise?” Your head can’t be stuck far enough under a rock to have missed that this game has been the hottest topic since Gamergate that doesn’t have anything to do with Valve screwing up royally. So “disingenuous” really does apply here.

            That being said, I’m glad that RPS was smart enough to avoid giving a game like this media exposure while still giving a clear-cut and well considered review. That one statement annoyed me quite a bit, but the review itself was spot on, and I think RPS on the whole has been a class act on this whole subject.

      • ffordesoon says:

        Actually, RPS is one of the sites that didn’t give it any coverage until months after the infamous trailer – and the article in question was about the weirdness of Valve removing the game from Greenlight and then reinstating it with Gaben’s blessing. The implications of that decision were the main focus of the piece, not Hatred itself.

        If you were talking about, say, Polygon, on the other hand, you might have a point. I definitely agree that many sites were gullible enough to give Destructive Creations exactly what they wanted, but RPS was not among the sites which perpetuated the “this game looks horrible, here’s an embedded trailer” nonsense.

    • Yglorba says:

      My impression was that there were never very many people particularly concerned about Hatred. There were a handful of “ooooh look at this” articles, but just about everything attracts those.

      What I did see were huge, absolutely staggering numbers of people who seemed deeply and bizarrely convinced that fairly tepid reaction to the game was some sort of vast wave of prosecution; huge numbers of people seemed positively eager to giggle to themselves about how utterly offended their imaginary caricatures of their culture-war enemies would be over it. They were the people who gave the game so much attention — a childish sort of “oooh, isn’t this offensive? Aren’t we pissing off them by liking it?” combined with a fairly vapid tribal urge to Take A Stand even in the absence of any real controversy.

  7. Eight Rooks says:

    Good review, John. I detest that it exists, but I don’t think it should have been banned – though I would have been perfectly happy had every retailer in existence refused to carry it – it does not have a right to be sold. A solid, pretty well-written attempt to engage it on its own terms. Although

    So it makes beyond no sense for Hatred to present its character so demonically

    Really? They’re a bunch of metal fans with fascist/extreme nationalist sympathies and no discernible artistic talent, right? Seems fairly plausible they just think a guy in a trenchcoat murdering everyone is awesome.

    • r0ck03 says:

      It’s waaay too goofy to be detestable, imo. I almost think intentionally so.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      Actually there’s a fairly in depth interview with the CEO of the studio over on Gamasutra.
      link to gamasutra.com

      Personally going to give it a go and see how it compared to Postal or even classic twin stick shooters like Robotron.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Christ, that has one of the worst interviews I’ve ever read. Fox News could take lessons in softballing it from that guy. Yeah, why would anyone want to talk about the idea someone thinks it’s awesome to make a murder simulator for the hell of it – a bunch of developers happy to wear far-right nationalist symbols in their PR photos, no less – when you can discuss the revolutionary pay structure at their studio instead? wat is this I don’t even, as I believe the kids used to be fond of saying.

        • RobF says:

          Ahh, that is a tremendously shit interview.

          “The name itself and core mechanics were developed during the prototyping process.”

          Phew. Glad we got that sorted.

          • brulleks says:

            Well, to be fair, having read this WIT and watched that end cutscene above, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the core mechanics had been designed after the game was finished.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            Could be, for some reason I had the impression they thought up the game after a trenchcoated guy gunned down the development team.

        • Deadly Habit says:

          Because Gamasutra is a site for developers and the business side, not “omg outrage!” Besides all those claims I’m assuming you’re making from a Polygon article have been addressed beforehand.
          I know it’s shocking that a site for developers focuses on studio structure and the development process…

          • RobF says:

            Eh. Naw. It’s not proper Gama content. It’s some random dude putting a random interview up using Gama’s blog system.

            There is no way this would pass the normal Gama staff writer’s filter. No way at all.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            It’s a contributor post but was vetted to front page coverage by the staff and not just amongst the normal blog content. I’d say that it passes their metric for proper Gama content.

          • RobF says:

            In that case I’m a fine writer of proper Gama content, multiple times over. Yay me! I’ll give ’em a prod later for a payday and we’ll see how it goes.

            I’m not sure what Gamasutra you’re talking about that doesn’t deal in the social issues surrounding games, the politics surrounding games or any of that but it’s not the Gamasutra I’ve read and contributed to over the years. You could possibly level that at GI.biz sometimes but never Gama. Gama has, as long as I’ve been reading it dealt with the drama, politics, social issues and ran some quite wonderful pieces that lean towards the more leftfield and esoteric. It was, let’s not forget, a Gama piece that got the knickers in a twist of a load of gamers who took “gamers don’t have to be the entirety of your audience” to mean some sort of literal call for their murders or something ridiculously overblown and unnecessary.

            The only reason this interview deals with wage/studio structure has nothing to do with its placement on Gama and everything to do with this is what the dude who conducted the interview thought was the smart or interesting thing to do. Trying to lend it more importance than it has, more credibility than that, is pushing it in the extreme.

          • Machinations says:

            @RobF

            “For making an article saying that gamers dont need to be the entirety of your audience”

            But thats not what the article said, is it?
            The article said “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.”

            Gamers are over. We are surprised at the backlash? Egads, the western education system is in more trouble than we realized.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Having frequented a forum, a lifetime ago, that was also frequented by some BMNS brats (that’s Black Metal National Socialist, for everyone lucky enough to not have spent their time talking to them). Mostly minors, sometimes on the cusp of adulthood and, extremely rarely, over 20. Surprisingly educated, some were able to quote at least two dozen nazi books to back up their hilarious claims. Friends of friends met a few and they were uniformly your stereotypical skinny nerds shunned by the cool kids.

      They would probably think the guy from this game is mega cool. Because they would probably want to look like that and, for a change, manage to strike fear into someone in person, instead of giggly fits. Which is why they were on forums in the first place, I’d venture to guess.

      • Da5e says:

        NSBM. And yeah, they’re all hilarious, but some of the music is good (the vocalist from Infernal War worked on the script of this game, but their album Redesekration is amazing if you’re into fast, aggressive stuff). Generalising them as weedy nerd teenagers is a dangerous move, there’s C18-style networks of these nutters all over the place. I was in a band for a while with a guy who was, I later found, incredibly active in that scene, and they seemed very well-organised. The kids on forums are pretty much useful idiots to that scene.

        They are all rotters, I’m not defending them…!

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      Seems fairly plausible they just think a guy in a trenchcoat murdering everyone is awesome.

      DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!

      • udat says:

        Hah! Wasn’t expecting a Lego Movie reference in the Hatred review thread! +1

  8. Keiggo says:

    That’s a shame, I prefer good games to games that are not good games.

  9. RedViv says:

    To quote the good Colonel Joe Moore:

    MEDIOOOCREE

  10. Dawngreeter says:

    I at least thought it was going to be a new Soldner. Because, let’s be honest, people with a stated agenda such as theirs can’t in any way possibly be talented, or even competent, developers. I thought maybe I’d be surprised and they’d turn out to be competent. I also thought that it was far more likely we’d all be laughing at the terrible bugs. How sad that it’s neither.

    Perhaps, in its own way, it’s a fair statement. A demonic, black metal looking dude mowing down civilians manages to be nothing but boring and utterly predictable. Hello, gamergate.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      The irony being that if it wasn’t for so much outrage from the gaming press at this title existing it wouldn’t have gotten the notoriety and publicity it currently has (nor the amount of sales). So congrats on giving a huge signal boost for free on something they wanted censored or banned, it’s like a marketing department’s dream.

      • Dawngreeter says:

        I believe the UFO kid got a lot more publicity than them, and UFO kid isn’t exactly famous. I mean, clearly, no one gave a damn about this game one way or another, once the initial 15 minutes passed.

      • Premium User Badge

        John Walker says:

        I’m pretty sure we’ve only mentioned it before to say it’s off and then on Steam. Sorry.

        • Deadly Habit says:

          Wasn’t meant as a jab at RPS, but rather some other sites who shall remain un-named who seemed to view this as the coming of the antichrist in gaming yet wrote loads of articles garnishing the title and trailers etc more attention.

      • Muzman says:

        I thought it was because Steam deleted it or the trailer or whatever it was.

        At any rate if the state of gaming press readers is such that people can’t write a couple of opinion pieces, whether they’re over sensitive or not, without the whole thing going up in flames for a couple of days, the problem is somewhat stranger and more insidious.

        • pepperfez says:

          The Gog.com forums are absolutely amazing on this. Dozens of threads demanding an explanation for the anti-consumer conspiracy of not selling this shitty game, speculating on CDP’s fear of Polish (presumably anti-violence?) death squads should they sell it…gamers are the worst.

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            Thats…. wow someone just has to make a game about Polish Pacifist Death Squads, please!

  11. drewski says:

    You have to give them credit, though – without the grotesque, controversial marketing and publicity campaign, it doesn’t sound like this would have even made it out of Greenlight. Just another mediocre obscurity being thoroughly ignored.

    • RedViv says:

      Turns out being a darling to a group of maybe 3000 whiny garbagegoblins might not save this one too.

      • Xotes says:

        >3000 garbagegoblins

        Ahahahahaha, that’s adorable. Keep on believing that, friendo. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

        Also, work on your insults. Garbage goblins? Are you five?

        • Nevard says:

          Garbagegoblins is a lot more fun an insult than patronising use of the word “friendo” at the very least.

          • Distec says:

            Maybe they’re both dumb.

            But it’s cool, we can keep pretending that the one and only thing propping this up was a small subset of disgruntled gamer shitboys. That’s totally how it’s ended up on Steam’s Top Seller list.

        • elderman says:

          they”kiddo”, “Are you five?”

          And what if RedViv were indeed a precocious five-year-old, at least very young? Would you still be proud of your ‘witty’ retort? There are certainly people a lot younger than you browsing RPS. Is this school-yard ‘nyah-nyah’ style the model of adult disagreement you normally show children? That goes for you, too, RedViv.

          I actually think it’d be interesting for some of the younger RPS readers to speak up and say what the controversy surrounding this game looks like to them. My guess is we’d be surprised. I can’t say they should, though, people are treating each other like this.

        • drewski says:

          I rather like the alliteration of “garbage goblins”. Fun to say, and it neatly and concisely conveys meaning.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        4,398 ± 1,754 owners as of this moment. link to steamspy.com
        Also Garbagegoblin is now my word of the week. :)

        • drewski says:

          5,895 ± 2,037 now, with a mean and median playtime of…13 minutes.

          Shows how little you need to get to the top of the Steam charts in a non-sale, non-big release time.

          • April March says:

            I don’t know if I can make fun of that when that’s higher than the average playtime of my games. By about 13 minutes.

    • pepperfez says:

      Underestimating the thoughtfulness or decency of the Hardcore Gamer demographic is, luckily for inept reactionary developers, actually impossible.

    • Distec says:

      I question that. The only reason it was removed to begin with because somebody at Valve thought it was too objectionable. If it weren’t for that and the backlash, I would have expected to pass the gates eventually.

      I say that because regardless of its content and depravity, it looks like a far more professional product than 90% of the other titles holed up in there.

      • drewski says:

        The “zomg hatiest game ever come love us gamergate look at us not listening to SJWs” campaign from the developers came waaaaaaay before it got banned by the guy from Valve.

        • Distec says:

          And how much coverage was it getting prior to being pulled?

          • jrodman says:

            I think your point that steam reacting to its tripe helped it along is valid.
            However, that wouldn’t have been possible without the objectionable angle.

  12. christmas duck says:

    Any thoughts on the AO rating John? Is it at all warranted? Can’t help but wonder what the lack of (bored and frustrated) Twitch streams caused by that decision is going to do in favour of the games sales.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      It only exists because you’re ostensibly killing innocents rather than ‘baddies”. Beyond that, no, there’s nothing here to merit it.

      • RobF says:

        Also, about AO ratings. You just fill in a questionnaire asking for the rating you want. I can’t stress this enough, you -ask- for an AO rating, they’re not magically given for digital titles. You don’t even -need- a rating to be carried on any PC game stores! It’s all a sham.

        Worst case scenario, they’d have filled it in with an aim to getting an AO, they might have been asked for a video to back this up and someone would have quickly watched that and gone “if you like” and rubber stamped it.

        • christmas duck says:

          I had heard about the rating not being required for a digital release, but wasn’t aware of how easy it was to influence the rating, does make sense though – it’s no concern to the rating board if they over rate a game, least of all if the devs want it so. It’s like securing your badly shot boring horror film a place of the video nasties list,

      • christmas duck says:

        Thanks

      • MattM says:

        The violence in CIv V was pretty un-graphic, but I probably killed billions of innocents with my love of nuclear war. Rating systems are weird in the U.S.

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          Pshaw whose heathen foreigners aren’t innocent and neither are their mutant three armed children.

    • christmas duck says:

      Also, thank you for mentioning the terrible use of black and white in the game, I watched the Polygon video review and could barely tell what was going on.

  13. Muzman says:

    When I saw the trailer I said to myself “Oh it’s some update of Postal, kinda”. When I saw the game itself my reaction was more “Oh it IS Postal”.
    Update an isometric massacre game by making a (faux)isometric massacre game?
    You can blow up walls I guess now, so that’s something.

  14. Mman says:

    The funniest part of this for me was reading that the game has a sewer level, because when I think of 3edgy5me games saying “fuck you” to standard design I think sewer levels.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      That stood out to me too. I can’t imagine much action would take place in a location like that.

  15. RobF says:

    Making a videogame about killing everyone when videogames, generally, are full of games about killing everyone is about as far from edgy and controversial as it was ever possible to be.

    If they really wanted to be transgressive, they could have made a game about flower arranging or something but y’know, that’d involve having some imagination.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That’s why I never understood the backlash against this game. We slaughter people in games all the time, but merely changing the context somehow makes this horrible. In GTA I can choose to go on a murder rampage killing civilians, but because the game doesn’t specifically focus on that aspect it gets a pass (but let’s face it, for a lot of people, going on rampages is what truly makes the game fun). Although to be fair, back in the day, GTA got some bad press, but by and large everybody has completely forgotten about any controversy by now.

      Setting aside the mediocrity of Hatred for a moment, perhaps the game wouldn’t have been so terribly viewed if there was a meta game of sorts with repercussions. Like in GTA, sure you can go on a rampage, but the cops are going to come at you with increasing force. Maybe if Hatred had that sort of system people wouldn’t have cared as much since consequences for actions would be displayed. I still have a feeling that people would have been “outraged” anyway because somehow making the whole focus of the game civilians is worse than other games that would let me commit the same atrocities.

      • pepperfez says:

        I don’t think there was a backlash against the game so much as against the marketing, which emphasized how “anti-politically correct” it was at a time when being “anti-politically correct” in gaming meant relentlessly terrorizing women and progressives. That the developers seemed so eager to court the malfunctioning septic tanks ruining games put them squarely in “Fuck off forever” territory.

        • TobleroneRoloCombo says:

          And in the end, the final result appears to be that the bunch of people who started liking this game simply due to this controversy (there was even the usual fare of “I’ll be buying Hatred as soon as it comes out because I support free speech” comments) have to endure a rather dull and tedious game.

          A few will be turned off by the dull and buggy gameplay, a few will delude themselves into thinking it’s still a good game due to the hype (we see this a lot with massively-hyped games, even if the hype here is much more niche) and the rest will be annoyed that the game’s ‘edgiest’ moments weren’t anything new, and that this game didn’t ignite a massive controversy upon its release that they’d wanted.

          But really, since this is a Greenlight game, and Steam have been taking steps to supervise such games, (and this game was recently pulled back onto Steam, and thus more attention would be focused to it compared to the usual shovelware) would Steam have even allowed the many gross suggestions (especially the ones that involve using the likenesses of real people without consent) that its fans had been hoping for?

          • jrodman says:

            Normally I find people enjoying games that are terrible in many respects somehow enheartening. It’s sad that in this scenario I have trouble finding the joy in it.

      • Yglorba says:

        There wasn’t a backlash. There was, like, one Polygon article, plus a few “isn’t this bizarre?” articles here and there. The tone of most of these articles was more rubbernecking at a train wreck than anything else.

  16. Freud says:

    So you hated it?

  17. ffordesoon says:

    Yep. Called it the moment the trailer showed off gameplay footage. Any game with a marketing campaign based entirely on drumming up an artificial controversy is almost invariably shit. Did BMX XXX teach us nothing?

    Postal was a load of wank, but it was at least a load of wank with a (largely terrible) sense of humor and a point of view. This is Postal for people who sincerely believe Drowning Pool is the best band ever.

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      Did BMX XXX teach us nothing?

      It taught me ride my BMX while wearing a bra, which sadly led to me getting banned from all council-run facilities.

  18. Urthman says:

    Gotta admit it warms my heart to know that anyone buying this game on principle is getting a truly terrible game. I hope they feel compelled to play it on principle as well.

  19. XhomeB says:

    John hates it… So, a good game then? Nothing groundbreaking or “controversial”, but it’s bound to find its fanbase, just like the first Postal.

  20. X.Mr.X says:

    What i find funny is i have it and know many that do and we don’t seem to have a prob with the game and u know why this is filled with guys saying (good and i knew it )if u dislike the game so much why are u here?LOL but moving on i see more haters here then anything and i know why >>>u need some one to tell you how (BAD) it is but what i see is every one on my list that got this game and have not gotten off lol i came here on a wim just to see and i find it funny that all u say its bad or go along with it but have not played it hmm dos not sound right dos it but then humans have a need to judge well some do ;)

    • Wowbagger says:

      Thank you captain punctuation, that was a good point well made.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I adore this comment. It’s even better than I imagined it would be.

    • horus_lupercal says:

      I wish RPS did ‘picked’ comments as this masterpiece should be enshrined so future linguists could puzzle out the authors intent.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        It’s a form of windtalking. The enemy can’t possibly decipher the encoded message without a windtalker of their own.

    • FrumiousBandersnatch says:

      has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

    • X.Mr.X says:

      TY TY the more you reply the more peps that see it. TY

      • Dawngreeter says:

        Oh, I hope *everyone* sees this.

        • Premium User Badge

          Skabooga says:

          I’m am seriously cracking up at my desk right now.

        • TheRealHankHill says:

          Keep being elitists on a gaming website, mmm

          • jrodman says:

            Elistists am keeping for gaming the site to use web communicate to message all people for better than others because this make to win step with other things when time can do for to win over everyone

    • Kala says:

      …what?

      I was with you until “what I find funny” but then it was unclear exactly what you do find funny, as you trailed off into an incomprehensible ramble…

    • Thurgret says:

      Translation, though it doesn’t even help with certain sections:

      I find it funny that I have it, as do acquaintances of mine, and am not aware of any problems with the game. If you dislike the game – a good game, as I expected – then why comment on it? It’s very funny. However, I nothing but people who are here solely to pour disdain on the game for the sake of it, and I know why: you need someone to inform you about the current state of affairs, which is bad, while everyone I know that purchased this game has not stopped playing. It’s very funny. I visited this website on a whim just to observe it, and I find it funny that everybody here claims that it’s bad, or otherwise agrees that it is bad, despite not having played it. Upon further consideration, this does not sound right, and I ask you to consider that further, and feel that it stems from an inherent need for certain people to be judgemental.

      • Kala says:

        …why comment on a game you disliked? Wow.
        Why have reviews at all, right? I mean, if you’re not going to slavishly fanboy pander at all times, what is the point?

      • Kala says:

        (thanks for the translation, btw, but I think I preferred it when I didn’t understand it)

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      I love the way that RPS comment threads will spawn gems like this from time to time. horus is right, there really should be an archive.

    • simontifik says:

      “dos not sound right dos”

      Try editing AUTOEXEC.BAT and add:
      SET BLASTER=A220 15 D1 H5 P330 T6

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I think he meant I instead of 1 so that it is:

        SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6

        (Address 220h, Interrupt 5, DMA 1, HighDMA 5, (MIDI) Port 330, Type of card=6)

        Its usually Interrupt 5 or 7. 7 used to be used originally, but that was also the LPT / Printer port, so that 5 was a good recommendation)

    • Barberetti says:

      I knew one of the devs would turn up sooner or later.

    • Sin Vega says:

      I was just going to say that.

    • lokimotive says:

      “What i find funny is i have it”. That is pretty funny.

    • Cloudiest Nights says:

      I don’t know, I kinda find your reasoning ‘pointless’.

    • Frantics says:

      Nice to see some positivity instead of everyone just ganging up to talk shit about something they probably haven’t even played and definitely won’t treat with a fully open mind. I think it’s a fun game for a quick blast, excellent physics. Seems a bit short and limited though, wish they’d just ditched the whole civilian killing thing and added more weapons, stages and enemies and a survival mode a bit like crimsonland. I’ve pretty much just ignored civs so far though and don’t like the thought that I’ll be literally forced to kill em later. Don’t really think it’s going for anything intellectual or thought provoking and I don’t want it to. More like it’s just being purposely ridiculous. The writing seems tongue in cheek to me. It’s a lot better when you assume the devs are hugely takin the piss. Not a great game but not nearly as bad as most people make out is my impression so far.

      Everyone replying to this dude: Honestly that’s unpleasant to sit their (that’ll make you grammar nazis shudder ;)) ganging up on the internet being so snide and dismissive. Someone doesn’t use Proper Grammar or maybe has English as a second language, so what? I could understand him perfectly well. Just seems so off to mock someone like that because of how they talk and what they like and because your side has the numbers advantage here on the internet with no face to face contact. I hate gang up situations and the logical content or worth of a statement isn’t found in meaningless stuff like how posh the words and grammar are. People can also say stuff that isn’t clever and that’s cool with me. Leftover Victorian snobbery ftw. \o/

  21. ribby says:

    John by condemning it quite so vehemently you’re really just helping them out. It would have been better to say that it’s just a mediocre, not very good game rather than indulging in (what seems like) hyperbole. Just saying. But I suppose if you do feel like it was utterly shite then meh.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      I’m confused by what you’re saying here. Are you suggesting I should have been dishonest about how badly made it is?

      What do you perceive to be hyperbole? Calling it bland and buggy? If anything, I’ve suggested ways it should have been more controversial in order to merit hyperbole.

      • X.Mr.X says:

        No hes saying we saw this coming from you. as in its got hype so lets bash it like others and look smart.

        • ribby says:

          I’m quite tired so maybe I’m not sure what I mean. It’s just that I’d heard of this game vaguely and I found halfway through that your article was making me more interested in it rather than less. Not enough to actually look into it any further I’ll admit.

          Eh.. Ignore me… I haven’t had enough sleep.

    • thaquoth says:

      Have we read two different articles? Isn’t this exactly what John did in his review?

      I’m confused.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    When a game’s highlights are its bugs […] then you know you’re in deeply crappy territory.

    Hmm, I wouldn’t say that’s always the case. I can’t come up with names off the top of my head, but I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered some good or even great games with even greater glitches. It really just comes down to how awesome the glitches are.

  23. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Disappointed that this garbage has pushed the excellently written TW3 WIT out of the header.

  24. Tasloi says:

    Considering it’s already heading the Top Sellers list on Steam they should probably send a thank-you note to the collective (games) media. That’s what i’d be doing.

    • AngusPrune says:

      I’m sure the devs are intensely grateful. I wonder if any of the ban this sick filth brigade will have the common decency to apologise for what they’ve done and swear never to do it again.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        That would imply they’ve learned something…
        Spent about an hour playing it so far, not noticed any glaring bugs yet, but it’s a so so game. Pretty much a modern Postal 1 which is what I expected. Fun in sprees, couldn’t see beating it all in one sit down though.
        The execution cutscenes get a bit old as well.

      • pepperfez says:

        the ban this sick filth brigade
        I’m sure both of those anonymous forum posters are overwhelmed with contrition.

  25. Laurentius says:

    hooray, so it’s crap/medicore as most game on steam and anyone with a bit of an insight could predict, also as edgy as writing word “fuck” in school toilet. But who made it to the headlines ? Gaming press, that’s who! Stoking moral panic, in abhorrent alarmist fashion, in order to jump on the moral high horse to be holier then thou in typical self-hate reflected on imagined audience. Game jounalism people, I truly belive that you are talented enough to find more satisfying line of work elsewhere becasue these outburst of self-loathing as Hatred incident are so stupid that they are pretty much crime aginst humanity.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Exactly. This is feeding the trolls, spectacularly.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Let us know where you work, so we can all come over and call you stupid and bad at your job because of something someone else did somewhere else.

      • Sin Vega says:

        I think you’ve been at RPS too long, John. That’s exactly what most jobs involve.

      • Jediben says:

        “Hello there.” said every member of the Metropolitan police force, managers of the NHS and every employee of London Underground.

    • wu wei says:

      And if the gaming press hadn’t covered it forums would be filled with “ZOMG SJW CONSPIRACY” garbage.

      Well, more full. Fullerer. Or something.

      • Laurentius says:

        Don’t be a smartass and think. Hatred was given enormous exposure on sites that don’t give a damn about PC games. Since this Hatred trailer there were tons of far more interesting PC games and a few brilliant ones as that never got any mentions, let alone opinion pieces, reviews , trailer analysis etc. Just even look at RPS and weep b/c that’s the world we live in. Since release Hatred’s got the same coverage as Kerbal Space Program and Invisible inc., that is one WIT.

        • wu wei says:

          If you think I’m being a “smartass”, then you must have had your head up your’s for the past 10 months.

          • Distec says:

            Nah man. I see your posts from time to time. You definitely are a smartass.

  26. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Wee bit sad/baffled (saffled?) that this got a WIT, yet Axiom Verge still hasn’t.

    • Laurentius says:

      I know right ? Some games get no love from RPS, it happend with Oddworld-New ‘n’ Tasty as well.

  27. Oakreef says:

    It bugs me an undue amount to see this game continuously called isometric. By definition isometric projections are orthographic. If Hatred was isometric it would mean that objects didn’t scale to be smaller when further away front the camera. Isometric is not a viewing angle!

    • jrodman says:

      While I sort of agree, I think you are laudibly self-aware by describing this as “undue”. :-)

  28. ovtwoatiug says:

    Thank you for review! And thanks to all the haters!

    But for me and many other people it is an awesome game. Sorry, not everyone is going to cry over “cheesy dialogue”, postal this postal that, gta this gta that. In fact I didn’t buy latest crap from R* in favor of this game. And I don’t regret it

  29. jonahcutter says:

    It ain’t that bad, but it ain’t that great. It plays better than this review makes it out (but I doubt some would be surprised by that). It actually does push you to hit-and-run tactics as you’re pretty fragile if surrounded. So it’s not just purely mindless mowing down of any and all targets. You’re not the Terminator. It might benefit from something of a standard cover-system or bit of bullet-time, to give you an equalizer during hectic spots.

    It’s really no more sociopathic than any other open-world experience where you can mass murder ai civvies and cops. At least in this game there’s no simply resetting your wanted level by hiding in an alley and all is forgotten. It’s win (kill ’em all) or go home (die). In that sense a little more “honest” of an experience, I suppose. It’s not without some… thing. But it is repetitive. YMMV of course.

    It would probably be a good bit of skeezy fun for a bargain bin wank, but I wouldn’t mind by $20 back right now.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Not sure why they even bothered reviewing this game tbh. When written media have gone as far as to try and paint the developers as neo-nazis everything they say about this game is suspect. The review pretty much backs that up. It’s obvious he was never going to say a single good thing about it regardless of the final product.

      • Premium User Badge

        John Walker says:

        You know what? As tiresomely predictable as this claim is, it’s still deeply grating. I love to imagine a world where someone like your good self *asks* me how I approached the game, rather than declares his telepathic certainty. Even though you didn’t, I’ll tell you anyway.

        As with all games I review, I went in without an expectation of whether I’ll enjoy it or not, because I hadn’t played it yet. Despite your imaginary articles that have never appeared here, I thought the hue and cry about this game to be nonsense. The trailer was foul, as it was designed to be, and the developers went out of their way to appear revolting, but none of that necessarily has any impact on the game. I can think of plenty of developers I’d not want to share a bowl of ice cream with, who make perfectly decent games.

        In fact, I’ll be completely honest with you. I did go in with a slight hope when playing Hatred: I rather wanted it to be good, so when we wrote a positive review of the game it would bemuse the unpleasant few. When it turned out to be a deeply boring and extremely buggy mess, I was gutted, as it meant I wouldn’t enjoy that ensuing surprise.

        In fact, so surprised was I by how bland and generic it is, I found myself thinking of ways they could have made something more interesting, more deserving of media hysteria, and rather wished it had been at least that. And then wrote them in the review. For you to ignore.

        So, we didn’t write any articles condemning the game, we didn’t paint the developers as anything, and we didn’t write a review based on anything other than the content of the game.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Honestly, this is not how your review comes across.
          The very first sentence you are attacking the people who have been defending the right of this game to exist against people who seek to censor it, branding them as “naive and simplistic”.
          Straight away you are showing bias against those who support the game. It’s an instant indication that you were looking to hate this game regardless.

          If that is not the case, well maybe that wasn’t the best way to open the review, given that you have been outspoken on social justice issues in the past and the social justice sphere of games media has undoubtedly been the group of people with the biggest issue with the game, it can only come across that your opinion was pre-formed and you were always going to slam it, once you open by branding supporters of the game as simplistic, essentially calling them all idiots.

          • EsKa says:

            “Honestly, this is not how your review comes across to me.”

            Fixed that for you, because that’s only your very subjective opinion on his subjective review. So subjective an opinion that you have to pick in completely unrelated articles, and even websites to make your “point”.

            Seriously, as a dual stick shooter it’s pretty bad. Sub-par and floaty gamepad control is enough to make it bad alone with this kind of game. But the lack of feed-back when being shot, the limited weapon/target variety, and the fact that you get stuck on debris all the time makes it truly terrible. No mentioning how unreliable the healing mechanic is despite being an integral part of the game. Heck, put some health packs, and use those executions for points, combos, powerups or something else actually fun.

            Also you don’t know what censorship means. If a store doesn’t accept my game for some reason, I won’t cry and call it censorship. Well given how well it worked for them, I probably should :p

          • Premium User Badge

            John Walker says:

            And still you ignore the next sentence. Surely it’s getting a bit awkward at this point?

            There were idiots on both sides, arguing idiotically about a game they hadn’t played. None of this has any impact on the game which I reviewed, in clear, simple words, explaining why the game isn’t very good. None of those explanations referred to the fuss about the game. In fact, as I just said (and correctly predicted you’d ignore!), the review only suggests ways it *should* have courted controversy.

            Good gracious, I even make a ludicrously clear statement *after* the single line you apparently read that says, “I’m not here to review the clumsily engineered politics behind its development, but the game itself.”

            So, let’s all sit down, breathe out, and agree that in fact it was you who arrived with preconceptions about this review, that despite not being demonstrated, you decided to bemoan anyway.

            PS. Still looking forward to your examples of where we “consistently keep banging on” about the game.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            @Eska, I’m not talking about Steam, I’m talking about all of the people that were writing on their websites, blogs, where ever “This game shouldn’t exist”, “This game should be banned”.
            Steam momentarily dropping the game from Greenlight was mainly an overreaction by them based on the amount of uproar people created over that initial trailer. They thankfully quickly went back on that once they realised how ridiculous it was.

          • Kala says:

            Not at all. Here’s a brief and very rough breakdown of what was covered in this review (a tl;dr, as I suspect you didn’t…):

            * very buggy
            * bad controls
            * bad AI
            *art design hinders gameplay (black and white can be striking, but hard to distinguish scenery or objects)
            * levels are large and sprawling, and you can find different things each time
            * boring/repetitive character design
            * violence doesn’t live up to the hype; mostly mundane in action (though can occasionally be gross in tone)

            None of the above looks to me like someone who is hating on a game merely because they have a grudge against it from the outset, or are pro-censorship or whatever else your accusations are. Yes, it’s critical, but about the mechanics and design of the game itself; not a comment on the politics of the developers.

            (oh, and he did have one good thing to say about it: see levels).

          • EsKa says:

            @smoky: So we are in agreement after all

            1) Some random people on random websites asked to ban the game from stores.
            2) No one in RPS staff ever did, and especially not the author.
            3) Yet, you still decided to attack said staff on the ground that unrelated people asked for a ban.

            Glad we cleared things up :)

            Cheers.

            ps: also “sewer level”.

          • Jediben says:

            I’ve played it now, and the biggest crime I commits is the unwavering devotion to black and white. It is so hard to see what is going on, and so hard to see the output of your bullet-to-body escapades that it really hinders any enjoyment you might hope to gain from the promise of viscera.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          I actually felt this sympathy / sympathetic hope for it to manage to be something halfway enjoyable came across quite well and I rather approved of this while reading, because it shows you sincerely want games to not just do well, but be about something / try for something.

  30. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    “Obviously Hatred has engineered itself, with the support of a jejune voluntary army, a degree of infamy.”

    Yep, that jejune voluntary army is called games media who blew this game all out of proportion with their clickbaity whining about the game.I know you are choosing to blame other people, but this is the truth.
    If the likes of, mostly, Polygon as well as others such as yourselves didn’t consistently keep banging on about how bad this game was, it would barely have registered. Well done!!

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      No, the “credulous” I refer to in the *next sentence* (sigh) is the games media, and indeed games sellers, who made more noise.

      Do please point out where we “consistently keep banging on” about this game.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Throughout games media there has been article, after article about how awful this game is. There has been attempts to slander the developers in order to further give the game negative press, to pain games media as the “credulous” party after actions such as that is laughable.
        If you think people building up this game came from a desire to promote something horrible, rather than a push back against the attempts of some to censor media through mock outrage, you are sadly mistaken.

        • Premium User Badge

          John Walker says:

          Yes, I just said that some in the games press have written credulous articles about this game. I’m glad you agree.

          Do please point out where we “consistently keep banging on” about this game.

          (Here’s an article where I say that while the trailer is foul, the game has every right to exist, and it’s wrong for Steam to have pulled it. And indeed condemn other sites for making a fuss about it. Best ignore it.)

        • wu wei says:

          Seriously: fuck all of you sociopaths with your hand-waving away of other people’s opinions by claiming that they’re “mock” anything. At least those with basic human empathy actually accept that you genuinely hold your narrow-minded position, you could at least do them the courtesy of returning the favour.

          • Kala says:

            It’s pretty ridiculous, when you have the options of a) someone thinks something because of x unfounded accusation or b) someone things something because of the reasons they’ve carefully outlined above

            … that someone is going to pick a).

            Surely it’s just baiting at that point.

      • Jenks says:

        “Do please point out where we “consistently keep banging on” about this game.”

        When you say “we,” do you mean RPS or gamejournopros? I feel like you are defending the former but most are talking about the latter.

  31. ribby says:

    Just wondering- How come there hasn’t been anything about the Episode 2 of Tales for the Borderlands? Given that both GoT and Life is Strange are getting lots of mentions?

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Unfortunately with a limited number of us on the site, and people having been away a lot in the last couple of months, a few games have slipped through the cracks. I imagine we’ll catch up on the release of ep 3.

  32. Zwebbie says:

    Considering that just a few days ago we saw an article mocking the idea of objective reviews, I think this review is surprisingly objective — that is, it takes little if any issue with the idea of a game that has you enact senseless murder sprees, and instead condemns it on the basis of bugs, graphics and game design. It doesn’t judge the intent of the game, but only asks whether that intent is fulfilled.

    I can’t decide whether that’s a good thing or not. That can be very valuable, since you know for yourself what you’re comfortable with, so there’s no need for a reviewer to shove his or her opinion down your throat. It’s the philosophy Roger Ebert used to review his movies (although I think he’d not have been fond of Hatred regardless). On the other hand, I’m reminded of Campster’s Errant Signal video on Duke Nukem forever and how criticism for a game that makes jokes about rape focused instead on its blurry textures and outdated mechanics. He argued that we ought to have the audacity to break free from the standard of objective reviewing and instead discuss problematic themes and how they affect us.

    Perhaps this is a good and even objective review for a game that could better use a piece of cultural criticism. I should like to have something vile as Hatred panned even if it were technically competent, gorgeous and even fun.

    • pepperfez says:

      To be maximally pedantic, this review still isn’t objective. “It’s not any fun” is just as subjective a statement as “It’s grotesque and lazily offensive,” which is important to keep in mind in the current climate where defenders of braindead glop like Hatred will incessantly claim that the former is the only objective review while the latter is vile subjective unethics.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      As pepperfez says, it’s certainly not an objective review. It’s my opinions about multiple aspects of the game.

      But that aside, I think I make the nature of the game very clear, and devote a big section to talking about why it in fact fails to simulate a spree murder of civilians. You already know how you feel about a game featuring this, and you don’t need me to tell you. I can instead report on whether it does a good job of it or not, and then tell you my feelings about that. As I said, in the quieter moments, the horror of it becomes more apparent, and I found it very unpleasant. But most of the time, it did such a bad job of what it was setting out to be, it had no emotional effect on me at all.

      • Zwebbie says:

        Thanks for the reply! I understand and completely agree with pepperfez’ point, but I think what the people clamouring for ‘objective’ reviews want is this sort of thing, where you don’t tell them about things people know how they feel about. RPS sure hasn’t been shy in the past talked about breasts and bums in Blizzard games (and others), even though everyone already knows what they feel about a game featuring them; that’s why they’re WOTs instead of reviews, right? It just seemed that this piece was relatively a-political on a site that has never eschewed the political, but perhaps I’m just remembering only the debacles!

        • Nevard says:

          I don’t think this review is notably any less political than any of their others, it just doesn’t happen to mention any things you’d rather not critically consider.

  33. Havalynii says:

    “In the real world, as a consequence of such an act the press works like billy-o to demonise the individual, to dehumanise him, in order to more easily parse the horror. It’s far easier if we can see a killer as “pure evil” rather than ‘horrendously broken’.”

    That’s an ironic analysis based on what I’ve seen in the media, which is a constant attempt to explain away monstrous people doing monstrous things by seeking to show that they were ostracized, misunderstood, or somehow or other that environment and lack of nurture are the only possible explanations for these individuals.

    • jrodman says:

      Our own politics filter so much of our understanding.

      (I’m not exempting anyone here, including most certainly myself.)

    • Marr says:

      Probably varies greatly depending on where you live. Murdoch’s UK newspapers always go straight in with ‘Evil’ and ‘Monstrous’, and have no interest in explaining anything away, or explaining in general. They stop just short of claiming demonic possession.

    • Marr says:

      Amusingly, a major reason that monstrous people do monstrous things is that the media will reliably reward them with fame.

  34. kwyjibo says:

    Shouldn’t have given this game the time of day. The whole thing is a marketing exercise trolling the internet for some reddit controversy.

  35. InfamousPotato says:

    Bad game, but good review.

    It really is a shame that Hatred is… well, this. I’m not sure how a game like this could be better. To be honest, I’d think that it’s in poor taste no matter how they did it (Well, I guess I might think it’s worthwhile if they explored why someone would feel moved to end their life and so many others, but I can’t see a shooter quite doing that).

    Also, I wanna say thanks to RPS for not giving this game undeserved coverage. It seems like the developers were intent on offending people and stirring up controversy so as to drum up free press without earning it by making a worthwhile game, and I appreciate that RPS didn’t give in (the only other RPS articles on the game being its removal and restoration from steam, which, in my opinion, deserved attention).

  36. Premium User Badge

    edna says:

    Just wanted to pitch in and say thanks for the review. I don’t see how John could have written it in a more even-handed way. A relatively poor game that will find a niche audience but which most of us can pass over without wondering what we have missed.

    If it wasn’t for the controversy that it (successfully) created around its base premise, it probably wouldn’t have sold much at all. Nor attracted so many comments on the WIT. But that’s what marketing is for and in this case they seem to have played their hand rather well.

  37. Jamesworkshop says:

    so the game was even cheaper than it looked

    I never quite got why it was called hatred, hate is specific and defined, the game seems to lack the conviction, just killing anything that moves has no real meaning, it doesn’t given an impression of having any position or opinion, it just seems hollow and void.

  38. Distec says:

    Game receives a fuckton of exposure from the sphere of video games journalism. Various voices get on their moralizing horse to tell everybody how sick this is, how it’s different from Postal, how the creators are Nazis, and you just know they’re going to have a level where you kill minorities. Game gets greenlit and hits number one on Steam. Reviews are generally unimpressed and nobody’s even really shocked by the violence on display, despite all the hubbub a few months ago.

    Must be those godawful Gamerg- I’m sorry, “jejune” audiences! This is rich. Real rich. It might taste excellent on my pancakes tomorrow.

  39. Chirez says:

    It’s been pointed out by a great many people already that most of those commenting here are entirely unsurprised that the game is mediocre. I’m wondering why that is. Why is it so easy to predict that a game which is dedicating itself to shock value is going to turn out a bit cack?

    Perhaps it’s just that most games are mediocre, so your odds are good from the get go, but I can’t help speculating that the mind which desires to be offensive is rarely simultaneously creative. I suppose the obvious reference is Punk, but even then only a very few Punk bands were ever really original.

    • Yglorba says:

      Honestly, it was pretty obvious from the description and early screenshots that the game was just a terrible Alien Swarm clone.

  40. Stardog says:

    Much butthurt in this review.

    In the very first paragraph you’re trying to tell yourself that people were “uninterested” in this game and that it didn’t get much attention. Really? It made constant headlines for months.

    You were so uninterested that you wrote 2000 words on it compared to your usual 500-900.

    • MattM says:

      I think the conversation about the game’s subject matter can attract a reviewers interest and words even if the final game doesn’t really generate much engagement. I’m glad this game got released on steam because I want developers to have the choice to make ugly negative things without being effectively banned but after watching a few gameplay videos I don’t really see much to make me want to play this specific game.

  41. Chrysomore says:

    Disappearing behind trees, egregious explosions, and psychotic cruelty.
    They’ve basically made a really shit game version of How Not To Be Seen, haven’t they?

  42. Deviija says:

    So the garbage game is garbage. Not surprised at all. And I’m glad RPS gave the trash next to little coverage over the long haul as well.

  43. shadybearfaced says:

    So, am I the only one who still actually wants to play Hatred even after reading this and watching TB’s video?

    All I expected from it was basically Postal 1.5 with a destruction engine, and it seems like it’s kinda that but a bit shittier and less playable. If it’s at least almost as enjoyable as Postal 1, I’ll still buy it. It’s not like I expected to take the story or character or “dark matter” theme seriously at all after the first time I saw the original trailer, and I’m kind of shocked that other people apparently wanted backstory or sympathy for the characters or whatever. I really just wish Hatred dude was well-written like Postal 1’s Postal Dude.

    So, er, I guess the door’s that way?

    • shadybearfaced says:

      Ehhhh… But now that I think about it this game’s $20 and Witcher 3 is $60 so if I didn’t buy Hatred and replayed Postal 1 instead…….

  44. MadTinkerer says:

    “That blandness is all-pervasive.”

    Which is why I couldn’t believe, in spite of all the evidence, that they were making the game they were saying they were making. But they were. And it seems it is exactly as boring and un-notable as I predicted it would be, for the reasons I said it would be.

    There are ways to make massacring “innocent people” into a fun and entertaining experience. There are two proven ways to do it right:

    1) Absolutely revel in it to the point of absurdity, like in the early GTAs, Postal 2, the Saint’s Row games, and Carmageddon.

    2) Tut tut, and with a wink inform the player that murdering all those people is certainly not the point of the game, like in the semi serious GTAs, Half Life, Lemmings, Skyrim, Sim City, and so on.

    Playing it straight is utterly, utterly guaranteed to make the game forgettable. Like the games I can’t even remember that have done it similarly, that I’m vaguely aware do exist. When the Steam sale rolls around I will be reminded of Hatred’s existence, and I will remember it only long enough to realize that it is a dull and unremarkable game with absolutely no reason for me to spend any money on it when I could instead buy games that are, at the very least, tragically flawed but interesting. And then I will forget about it again.

  45. rockpapershotgunsucks says:

    So you like isometric point and click games to infinity and beyond, but you don’t like Hatred?

    I don’t like Hatred either, but you guys make a game and release it! RPS is full of a bunch of whiners

    • wu wei says:

      You don’t really get how criticism works, do you?

      Or hypocrisy, even; unless you have a game review blog, shouldn’t you shut up about RPS’ reviews?

    • Kala says:

      “you guys make a game and release it!”

      Yes, let’s have all game reviewers make the games, and all the devs reviewing games. Let’s just switch things up a bit! Have a crazy mixed up upside down world.

      …Or we could have the people who’re good at making games make them, and the people who’re good at writing about games write about them. Up to you, of course.

      (Not that someone who reviews games can’t also make them, ofc, or doesn’t have an insight. See Jim Rossignol’s Sir, You’re Being Hunted. But it’s just such a weird point of view you have, that someone should have to make games in order to review them. They aren’t reviewing the process; they’re reviewing the product).

    • Tukuturi says:

      You must be new here. RPS has made games.
      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • Tukuturi says:

        Also Jim Rossignol made a little thing called Sir, You Are Being Hunted that’s worth checking out. Also, Porpentine, who makes quite a lot of great games had a column here for a while. Also Robert Yang, who not only designs games but teaches game design at NYU, has written a fair bit of stuff for RPS over the years. I’d say they have some street cred in the game design department around here, quite a bit more than the Hatred devs actually.

        • rockpapershotgunsucks says:

          Still failing to address my point of “Once its foibles are understood, you can then get on with pointing the cursor at the human shapes and clicking at them until they’re dead.” like it’s some kind of new and unheard of ridiculous gameplay mechanic. I will admit, it’s shit and I don’t like it but it’s a lot less overdone than “FIRST PERSON SHOOTER” or “TEXT ONLY” games

          But that’s alright, that’s what you hypocritical “critics” do so well! Take your stuffed badger and shove it

          • Tukuturi says:

            I think the over-explanation of the stale mechanic was the joke there.

          • wu wei says:

            Generally, if you want people to address a point you raise it in an earlier comment.

            BTW, where can we find the FPS & text adventure you’ve obviously written (because you wouldn’t criticise something you haven’t made, would you?).

          • rockpapershotgunsucks says:

            All I have to say is A Mind Forever Voyaging. Up yours niggers

          • wu wei says:

            Non-sequiturs, always the best way to “win” an argument.

  46. IamMEYHEMIK says:

    Seriously… so mach anti-commentary…

    how many have actually bought the game, and how many are the sheep following the last comment.

    Pathetic.

    Its a game… if this game fills the time between this and that, then its a success.

    So many “oh I wont get this game”, and yet most will go and buy the next COD because its so great. sheep.

    Yes I did buy hatred, and I guess they could’ve added some oldies and kids… maybe a few animals like dogs and baby seals, that would’ve made the game AWESOME, but no-one asked me what i’d include.

    If your looking for originality these days, just stop. There hasn’t been any in years. Even movies are rehashing the old. Theres so many sequels and rehashing going on. If its not a sequel or a rehash, its a clone of something that was done already.

    Originality gets clouded by big money companies and shelved as a bad idea
    Off-the-top-of-my-head.. SOLDNER… the game was an awesome idea, overshadowed and eventually ignored. Shelved because BF2 was coming out. BF2 has a destruction system that allowed the player to take out certain key points like bridges, SOLDNER you could destroy the world. buildings cars tanks trees… whatever.

    Hatred was 1year in the making. released ontime (rare) and its FUN. Both to look at and to play.

    HERE WE GO, the noise is deafening…. “WTF is this guy serious”… buy it and lets argue… I hope they add kids, oldies, disabled people, pets and the odd lost baby brown seal ( cause clubbin is satisfying), if you think that I am part of the key consumer target, great … THANKS… . Clearly you weren’t.. so stop complaining.

    as for the control scheme… and controller not working… WHO CARES.
    SO, my razer sabertooth can have a rest… its a PC game, you wouldn’t play COD or Bioshock or Surgeon simulator on a PC with a controller…

    I personally hope it goes to android/IOS so I can slay bots/people/cardboard-cutouts (whatever) on my way to work… if it satiates the need to wipeout the idiots at the local train station… isn’t that a good thing.

    Just as funny is the amount of people whining about graphics… what are you running, your grannies abacus.. Probably the same people whining that THE ORDER on PS4 was a flop too…. and it looks FLIPPIN UNREAL.

    I personally give props to the dev. good job, nah GREAT JOB.
    @DEVS… how about making a game about being a disgruntled student and taking out the local school.

    Americans will be furious… but in Australia, guns aren’t a problem.

    • Philomelle says:

      That is some furious buyer’s remorse going on.

    • Hanban says:

      “Its a game… if this game fills the time between this and that, then its a success.”

      I feel like this doesn’t have to just be a comment on gaming, but perhaps on life itself. Isn’t everything we do just a filler in between now and our impending death? Isn’t THAT what Hatred is trying to tell us with its blandness?

    • Kala says:

      “Its a game… if this game fills the time between this and that, then its a success.”

      My bar is raised a little higher. I have to enjoy the time spent between this and that. THEN it’s a success.

    • Tukuturi says:

      If you actually feel a “need to wipeout the idiots at the local train station,” I urge you to seek help. If nothing else, at least talk to your family and/or friends about these feelings. If you are just being hyperbolic for shock value, carry on I guess.

      • shadybearfaced says:

        Oh, come on. Are you really gonna try and tell everyone that it’s not perfectly normal to have the urge to shoot up public places, as if not everybody occasionally feels that way?

        ……

        So, erm, can you recommend me a therapist?

        (In all seriousness, I thought it was kinda normal to every now and then fantasize shooting up a public place in a “I-would-never-ever-actually-do-that-IRL” kind of way. I thought that’s why Postal and Postal 2 exist.)

    • ffordesoon says:

      “Its a game… if this game fills the time between this and that, then its a success.”

      That statement might be the saddest thing I have ever read on this website.

  47. LuNatic says:

    Eh, not surprising.

    If you can’t sell on substance, sell on style.
    If you can’t sell on style sell on shock.
    If you can’t sell on shock, scream and bitch about how the man is censoring you until everyone looks to see what all the noise is about.

    • Distec says:

      When you are removed from a distribution platform for arbitrary reasons, and that platform has a virtual monopoly, then it effectively is censorship.

      Some of the comments from people here are utterly disappointing. Some of you are real quick to stick your tongue out at the developers for *gasp* having a PR campaign based on controversy, but completely gloss over how that would have been for shit if outlets and critics weren’t entirely complicit in enabling it. That’s especially true when the discourse was reaching for accusations of Nazism and handwringing about deplorable content they just assumed would be in the game. Hatred may be crap, but it is quite clear that all the stink about was out of proportion. If you want to lay blame at somebody’s feet for how this turned out, a good touchstone was probably when it got removed from Greenlight in the first place.

      It’s also weird seeing people swear to 100% subjectivity, but then walk away from this piece saying “I had no interest in playing this, but I’m glad it confirmed my preconceived notions about this game being shit. Just as I expected!” There’s a notable lack of self-awareness. And the argument that anybody who argued for this game’s Steam release is somehow naive really warrants more explanation, otherwise I guess “fuck you” is the only apt response.

      • LuNatic says:

        Not quite sure how you got all that out of my post. My main point is that the designers were lazy.

        This game breaks no new ground. There is no repressed message that seems to be out there. There isn’t even much of a game.

        It just seems to be a callous and shallow attempt to create a storm in a teacup, and then cash in on it.

        • Distec says:

          Only the first part is really directed at you, and just on the “censorship” bit. From my view, the devs themselves did not have to do much kicking and screaming themselves; the mere act of their Greenlight removal was enough get multiple wheels moving on their own.

          The rest is me blindly firing at the general state of the comments here, but I was too lazy to make a second post.

      • LuNatic says:

        Errr, make that needs to be out there, not seems to be out there.

      • April March says:

        It’s also weird seeing people swear to 100% subjectivity, but then walk away from this piece saying “I had no interest in playing this, but I’m glad it confirmed my preconceived notions about this game being shit. Just as I expected!”

        Wait, why is that weird? I hear about a game. I think that it might be bad. I see a WIT of it on RPS, which is a site I trust. I read it, on the hope that my preconceptions might be wrong. The WIT says that the game is bad, for the reasons I imagined it would be bad. I decide my preconceptions were correct and mantain my previous opinion. I may still change my mind on this subject if I hear praise on the game from elsewhere.

  48. X.Mr.X says:

    I see this sight removed my apposing view props on that hypocrisy.

    • Marr says:

      “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted. Complaining about it won’t change anything. We encourage you to disagree with us. However, we will not tolerate spitefulness or rudeness.”

  49. X.Mr.X says:

    I like the game i am going to play it if you don’t like it don’t play it see we all happy.well not all thos QQ out there but who cares about them really only there moms.

  50. Tukuturi says:

    Thanks for slogging through this so I don’t have to, John. I really do appreciate that.