Hatred
Gameplay 7
Graphics 6
Sound 5

If all you want is mindless killing and senseless violence you will probably enjoy what Hatred has to offer. However, it is quite a repetitive title and without the controversy not really that special. The destructible environments are nice and causing chaos is quite fun, but the game is also rather short and lacking in depth.

Gameplay: Shoot everyone and blow up everything before repeating it again on the next level.

Graphics: The monochrome visuals are detailed and stylish, but make it hard to see what is going on at times.

Sound: Moody background music, but the protagonist sounds more cheesy than menacing

Summary 6.0 Above Average
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Hatred

Developer: Destructive Creations | Publisher: Destructive Creations | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Action | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

In any game that features civilians that can be killed there are inevitably a couple of casualties. Whether they are caught in the crossfire, stumble in front of your getaway vehicle or are simply in your way, killing innocents is nothing new in gaming. Hatred however shifts the focus squarely to the extermination of civilians by placing you in the boots of a complete sociopath.

The hate filled protagonist starts out in his small neighborhood on the outskirts of New York with the intention of going on a killing spree and not stopping until he has unleashed pure Armageddon. It’s not much of a story, but then again Hatred has never pretended to be anything more than a fest of blood and violence. At its core the game is a twin stick shooter with an overhead view where you hold down the trigger until nothing around you moves anymore. Initially killing civilians are as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but continue with your carnage and the police, SWAT and eventually military will show up to try and bring you down.

Levels are for the most part relatively large and open with a couple of side missions to perform while shooting up the place. Completing the side missions usually involves killing everyone at a certain location, but succeeding rewards you with a respawn point. These are quite valuable, especially on higher difficulty levels, seeing as getting killed requires you to restart the entire level. Respawn points can only be used once each though, so it pays to complete as many side missions as possible. I also recommend doing them as with only seven locations Hatred is not a very long game.

One of the things that make Hatred so controversial is the way in which your character replenishes his health. Instead of food or med packs he has to execute people in order to recover. This involves walking up to an injured person and pressing the “Q” button to trigger a gory animation. These range from stabbing people in the head or stomach to breaking their necks, stomping on their craniums or simply gunning them down. While the game is viewed from an isometric overhead perspective, the camera zooms in close for the executions. Although undeniably gory, the novelty soon wears off and unless you are very new to gaming these scenes are not very shocking. At least you can enable “safe executions” from the Options menu if you get tired of seeing them and just want to get on with the action.

Visually the game goes for a film noir kind of look where almost everything is in shades of black and gray. The monochrome graphics are punctuated by splashes of color, but since everything is so dark it can be a bit hard to see exactly what is going on. Holding down the “Alt” button highlights enemies and weapons, but I frequently ran into small objects such as fire hydrants while running around because I didn’t notice them. The camera can’t be zoomed or rotated at all manually, so while the visuals are quite detailed everything is always viewed from a distance. The game runs on the Unreal engine, which allows for some impressive fire effects and very destructible scenery. Easily the most entertaining part of the game is just blowing up the numerous explosive objects littered about or tossing around grenades and seeing everything crumble. You also get to drive a couple of vehicles and can use these to crash through walls if you wish.

In addition to shooting with a variety of weapons, such as pistols, shotguns, machine guns and even a rocket launcher, your character can also run, duck, jump and kick. The latter is especially useful for knocking down people in order to execute them. On the easiest setting you can pretty much stroll through levels and lay waste to everything in sight, but on harder settings you’ll need to duck behind cover and play a bit more strategically in order to survive. Levels include a small neighborhood, sewers, town center, train station and at one point you are even tasked with taking down an entire army base by yourself. It all culminates at a nuclear power plant where the protagonist gets to satisfy his appetite for destruction.

Hatred can be played using either a controller or keyboard and mouse combo, but both methods felt a little clumsy at times. The vehicle handling is also quite cumbersome, but nothing that can’t be overcome. Unsurprisingly the killing quickly becomes very repetitive, but players who like arcade style action will enjoy the carnage. The soundtrack is about what you would expect from a game with such a bleak tone, but at least never becomes repetitive. You’ll hear plenty of screams and people begging for mercy, while the protagonist spouts all kinds of dramatic sayings. Although delivered in a gravelly voice, many of his phrases sound a little corny instead of menacing.

There is mindless fun to be had in Hatred, but don’t just buy it because of the controversy that it has generated. The game is clearly inspired by titles such as Postal, but if you strip away all the outrage it is a very straightforward shooter. In fact, if you were shooting zombies instead of civilians, it would probably have been overlooked by most players. There is some replay value if you aim to get all the achievements or enjoy mindlessly causing havoc, but the erratic enemy AI and repetitive nature of the game makes it a bit hard to recommend at full price.

System Requirements

  • OS: x64 versions of Microsoft Windows Vista (SP2) with DirectX 11 update (KB971512-x64), 7 (SP1) and 8.1.
  • Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel® Core™ i5-750 or 3.2 GHz AMD Phenom™ II X4 955
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD5850 (1 GB VRAM)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated or dedicated DirectX 11 compatible soundcard
  • OS: Windows® 7 (SP1) / Windows® 8 / Windows® 8.1 / (64-bit only)
  • Processor: AMD Octa-Core / Intel Quad-Core processor running at 3.4 GHz (AMD FX X8 8350 or Intel Core i5 3570 or newer architectures are recommended)
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD/NVIDIA dedicated with at least 2048MB of dedicated VRAM and with at least DirectX 11 and Shader Model 5.0 support. AMD Radeon R9 285 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 and above are recommended graphic cards.
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Integrated or dedicated DirectX 11 compatible soundcard

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