Hatred is a top down shooter game developed and published by Destructive Creations. The game was famously removed from the Steam Greenlight page due to the extremely violent content, but was later brought back with an apology from Gabe Newell. The game was fully released in June 2015.
The game got a lot of bad press before its release again due to its supposed highly graphically violent content. There were calls for the game to be banned from Steam and banned from streaming services such as Twitch.tv. After the release of the game, it turned out that it was not as bad as first though. Whilst the game does have dark tones which could be off putting to some but that is the case with a lot of video games nowadays.
Game play in Hatred is fairly simple. Taking on the characteristics as other top down shooters, where you move around with WASD, shooting and aiming is done with the mouse. The tutorial is fairly informative, and does a good job at easing you into the hair raising gun scenes that you will be heading into. The missions in Hatred all have very clear and simple goals. Kill a certain amount of innocent civilians and also survive against the waves of cops and military personal that will be thrown at you. The early missions are very easy, you only have to kill a small amount of people, and the armed targets which you come up against are just regular cops, but as you progress through the game, you soon start infiltrating fully guarded army bases and nuclear power plants, as you can imagine these are all fairly heavily guarded, and you have to deal with a near constant stream of bad guys. Whilst you have a pretty large health pool, the only way in which you can regenerate your health is by executing someone who is trying to escape you; this replenishes your health to max. There is a good amount of guns to be found in Hatred too; from regular pistols, right up to rocket launchers, you can only carry three weapons at a time though.
Hatred has a very unique looking graphical style. The majority of the game is in black and white, with the odd inclusion of colour every now and again. This does make the game not look as graphically pleasing as others, but it still has a very interesting style which I enjoyed very much. It fits the mood of the game perfectly. The game’s main character is voice acted in the cut scenes in between missions, as well as the odd snippet of dialogue in game too, and these are done at a mediocre standard, they are certainly not the best, but by all means, not the worst. It is definitely better than not having any voice acting at all.
This is a hard game, I struggled even on medium difficulty settings, and the later levels of the story mode are insanely difficulty to progress at times, just because of the sheer amount of enemies that get thrown at you at any moment. As soon as you clear one squad of cops, they send in another four or five as backup. You either have to be very quick at dealing with them, or have a good hit and run technique. The only way I found it possible to pass some stages, was to simply spam grenades, the deal catastrophic amounts of damage and am really fun to use.
Each of the game’s levels are very large, not only do you have the main objective of slaughtering countless civilians and escaping, but the levels also include a minimum of three side objectives for you to complete, these can range from simply killing a politician during a rally, or maybe burning down some shops on the high street. These add a little something extra that takes you away from the sometimes repetitive job of the mindless killing.
Hatred is fairly short game, with only 7 levels I was slightly let down with the amount of content in the story mode. I managed to complete the game in just over two hours. There is a survival mode which may end up being your cup of tea, but for me this just smells of repetitiveness after five minutes of playing. I would have liked to have seen at least another 7 levels out of the story mode.
I had no major technical problems whilst playing. I did notice a slight stutter to game play when the screen is full of cops and army men shooting at you from all around - my frame rate did drop below 50 fps which was a little annoying, but was able to overlook since I was more focused on not dying. The game does feel a little wonky to control to begin with, but you soon get used to the controls.
To sum up, whilst Hatred definitely did not deserve all of the bad press it got prior to its release; the game does have a dark side to it, but no more than say the likes of GTA which is critically acclaimed. The game play is of a high standard which I thoroughly enjoyed – however the game is let down mostly due to the shortness and lack of content to play. The price of £14, 99 is a bit much for a game which I finished in two hours, so this is definitely going to be a game to pick up when it is on sale for less than £7.