Destructive Creations Reveals Mass-Murderer Simulator ‘Hatred’Filed inside: News
It’s difficult to gauge how to feel about this one, I’m oddly torn.
Destructive Creations is a fresh studio based in Poland that’s decided to create what can arguably be a game created in very bad taste: Hatred.
In Hatred, the protagonist you control is a man who has been consumed by an all-encompassing rage at the world, and decides to take it out on anyone and everyone nearby in an isometric dual-stick shooter style. You’ll be executing folks, battling law enforcement, and scrounging more equipment from your victims to fuel your rampage as long as possible.
I shouldn’t have to explain why this game is going to come under fire when it inevitably begins to reach more and more people. It’d be easy to think that this might be a game built by a team of people who have found an outlet for some suppressed emotions here and there, but the team’s website touches on the subject rather quickly:
“The question you may ask is: why do they do this? These days, when a lot of games are heading to be polite, colorful, politically correct and trying to be some kind of higher art, rather than just an entertainment – we wanted to create something against trends. Something different, something that could give the player a pure, gaming pleasure. Herecomes our game, which takes no prisoners and makes no excuses. We say ‘yes, it is a game about killing people’ and the only reason of the antagonist doing that sick stuff is his deep-rooted hatred. Player has to ask himself what can push any human being to mass-murder.” (Source)
I must admit, I had a reaction when I first caught wind of this. Part of me wants to say that this is clearly an exercise in poor judgment, but most of the other parts in me quickly overrode that train of thought. Yes, people will be offended by this. But art can be offensive in many ways to many people. Is this an artistic game? Not in the most “traditional” sense, it definitely doesn’t fit in alongside Shadow of the Colossus or Journey, but you can’t rightly say it’s not art—it absolutely is. Doesn’t mean that Epic Games wasn’t quick to distance themselves from the project, as they told Polygon earlier today.
So let’s strip away the possible cultural faux pas for a second and look at the game purely from a gameplay perspective. What we know is it’s an isometric shooter that uses some high-end engines to make a pretty good looking game. It’s got a cool black-and-white aesthetic punctuated with strong reds, much like that old Wii game MadWorld. While MadWorld was more based on a dystopian future in which people were thrown into an arena to fight to the death, Hatred treads a much thinner line.
There are certainly ways this game might be presented that would resonate more with the non-gaming critical audience—especially if it was more of an exploration of the psychology behind mass-murder. However, as stated above, the game merely seeks to provide “pure, gaming pleasure”, even if it later says it might raise the question of why the protagonist is doing what he’s doing.
It’s also nothing new: Grand Theft Auto has no qualms allowing players to go on killing sprees and it certainly wasn’t spared from criticism for it (it was even celebrated, as long as an old British lady was doing the killing, but whatever). GTA might have been exempted from the harshest critics, as the game’s sole purpose was not widespread killings, however. By that token, though, games like Postal have been out for quite a while, and are a more exaggerated version of what Hatred appears to be: a man goes nuts after dealing with annoying scenarios and ends up killing everyone around him—albeit with guns silenced by sticking cats on them or by holding your pet wolverine against their faces.
Ultra-violence is nothing new in games, and has been widely disproven as a catalyst for increased aggression and predilection for killing their peers. I eagerly await to see the reaction to Hatred, and, to be honest, also look forward to trying it out when it releases Q2 next year.