Hatred Review

  • First Released Jun 1, 2015
  • PC

Hate leads to suffering.

Hatred is perfect fodder for “What other people think I do/What my parents think I do” memes--memes that would include tiny boxes for “What the media thinks Hatred is,” “What 14-year-olds think Hatred is,” “What the developers think Hatred is,” and so forth. But there's really only one box that matters, and that would be the one in the lower right: “What Hatred actually is.”

Here's what Hatred actually is: An isometric semi-open street-level shooter in which you kill designated numbers of progressively tougher adversaries before advancing to the next area. You have three main weapons--which you aim with an analog stick on your gamepad--as well as grenades, and the ability to duck. The basics are not terribly dissimilar from the first top-down iterations of Grand Theft Auto; Hatred is, ostensibly at least, an engine for quick, unthinking bursts of multidirectional fire, as opposed to, say, Hotline Miami’s trial-and-error kinetic problem solving. You can drive various vehicles, but they control like lead; fortunately, driving is optional, save for one stage near the end in which you control a SWAT van.

Something-something da police.
Something-something da police.

Hatred's stark, Sin City aesthetic is irreproachable, and the number of destructible objects is astonishing. In too many other respects, however, there is precious little to say about Hatred: the action is simple, levels lack painfully in variation and escalation of arms, and frequent linearity only exacerbates the tedium. You simply wander through suburban neighborhoods and other mundane locales, mowing down whomever might happen to stand between you and your assigned kill count. There is no thrilling five-star moment in which whirring helicopters or SEAL Team Six members show up; the game’s idea of variety is to introduce armored enemies who don't die after being shot just once. Hatred has you firing almost endlessly at the same six or seven types of victims for a few hours, and then it ends. Aesthetics aside, it is thoroughly unspectacular, and any primal enjoyment you may be having wears off by the third stage.

And so you have it. Hatred is a boring ‘80s-style arcade game with excellent visuals. There are dozens of better, cheaper games that do what Hatred does, which leaves one real reason why anyone might want to play it: Your primary targets are innocent, predominantly unarmed, uncharacterized civilians who run, scream, cry, beg for mercy, and endure brutal executions in order for you--the Antagonist--to remain alive. Unlike in Grand Theft Auto V or Saints Row, there's not even the flimsiest effort to provide a barrier of unreality. Bystanders are not simple victims of collateral damage: You are explicitly told to kill, “cleanse,” and “execute” the innocent. Problematically, Hatred isn’t fun to play. Its attempted power fantasy comes not from the exhilaration of superhumanity, but from the slaughter in and of itself, and unlike listening to a Slayer album or watching Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, this is not a passive experience. Best of luck to anyone who can answer the question of why Hatred is meant to be, in the developer's own words, “pure gaming pleasure.”

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. I'm hunting...everything.
Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. I'm hunting...everything.

Yet there's an irony to Hatred. It might almost be a game worth clutching pearls over if the Antagonist never opened his mouth. But he does. Often. And while he exhibits a detached malevolence with his early one-liners, as you progress, there's a pronounced air of Metalocalyptic silliness, as the Antagonist grumbles about tasting the blood of innocent and proclaims everything as “stinking," “worthless,” or “pathetic,” with the same whining conviction of children who don’t want to eat their vegetables. He growls about how the only thing he hates more than politics is politicians, expressing his rage with all the murderous intent of a petulant Oscar The Grouch. The goofiness climaxes in the game's final moments: the acting reaches for Tommy Wiseau-level arch camp, to the point where it seems impossible to imagine that developer Destructive Creations meant for its shrug-worthy Dethgame to truly matter. Hatred isn't going to make mass murderers of anyone, but it still wants to be every mass murderer's favorite game. The shift in tone from horrifying psychopathy to mustache-twirling supervillainy feels like an intentional joke by the developers, an attempt to make Hatred a new generation’s Postal or Hong Kong 97--and it might have been funny if the rest of the game's particulars weren't a semi-monthly real-life tragedy.

But there’s an even greater irony at work here, in that having brutally killed thousands of innocents, survived police retaliation, and laid waste to everything good in the world, even while the Antagonist devours scenery behind the mic, you feel nothing. Hatred is too repetitive to be exciting, too dumb to be frightening, too basic for you to feel accomplished at its end, too dour to be violently cathartic, too self-serious to engender ironic amusement, and yet still too childish to matter. It will be given more credit than it’s worth--all a game like this can do is provide meager table scraps to a ravenous desire already deeply embedded in pre-existing monsters, and that's not a problem that treating Hatred as Videodrome made (new) flesh will cure. The fact that the final product fails even to be worth a primal psychotic scream of victory against society at large for the people it might encourage means it laughably fails even at being dangerous.

Meaning, essentially, it's a nothing of a game.

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The Good
Impressive visuals
Simple, functional isometric shooting
The Bad
Fails as satire, catharsis, statement, and fun
Virtually zero gameplay variation across levels
Novelty wears off in a matter of moments
Extremely short and one-note given the cost
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Justin Clark was able to get through Hatred's campaign in about 3 1/2 hours. And that's all he's got to say about that.
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Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

The gameplay is repetitive.

To elaborate, early in the playthrough, the player learns to clear out suburban buildings and then fend off the emergency response dudes who come afterwards. Then the player cleans out an industrial labyrinth, namely the sewers, while emergency response dudes romp about. Afterwards, the player moves on to a straight corridor crawl, clearing out more rooms.

This progression alone would have been sort of decent, but the earlier sequence repeats itself later; the player clears out a shopping complex and fend off the emergency response dudes, and eventually moves on to another industrial labyrinth that is a train station complex. (Sure, this scenario gives the player a vehicle with a heavy machine-gun - but it turns out that hunting down fools on foot is a lot easier than driving the clunky vehicle around.)

The emergency response dudes only incrementally improve in terms of gear. They don't become any smarter; here is an example of how dim they are. As for the civvies, more of them would be armed as the playthrough progresses, but the chumps who appear later are not any more formidable than the chumps who appeared earlier.

In my eyes, it's just Postal all over again - a relic of a bygone age being recycled in the form of this game today.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

There are so many wasted opportunities to make the protagonist more "likeable", or at least a bit easier to empathize with. His inclinations also seem inconsistent.

For one, when the game started, he introduced himself as simply a hateful person - no righteous cause, no sanctimonious shit. However, he refers to other people as "parasites" and "weak", implying that he has ideals of what constitutes "not-parasites" and the "strong". There is nothing else in the game which reinforces this implication, however.

He could be insinuating that "might makes right", but that's only for characters with actual ambition. He obviously doesn't have ambition, and I don't think that causing chaos and mayhem counts as having an ambition.

All these deficiencies give me the impression that the game has some shitty writing.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

There are other problems where the developers' artistic inclination had damaged the gameplay.

I get that the developers are trying to project a moody atmosphere with the use of monochrome, but it makes it difficult to spot enemies. The most which the player can do is spot any movement and shoot at it, but the movement may also be by wounded civilians whom the player character might have to execute to replenish health. Consequently, if the player's policy is to shoot anything that moves, the player can easily miss out on health-replenishment sources.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Barely a minute into someone else's playthrough, and I already have a bad impression of the developers.

For one, if there are tutorials to be had, at least the instructions should have been easily readable. I could have tolerated the slanting of the instruction text, but when the text appears on lit walls and the colour/luminance contrast becomes poor as a consequence, I had the thought that the developers don't really know as much about user-friendliness as they think that they do.

The keys cannot be easily re-bound either.

Avatar image for chad28_69

"Hatred is too repetitive to be exciting, too dumb to be frightening, too basic for you to feel accomplished at its end, too dour to be violently cathartic, too self-serious to engender ironic amusement, and yet still too childish to matter."

This review is WAY WAY too biased to be relevant, too worried about making pretty witty comments about the game to actually review it.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@chad28_69: I would like to see you point to an "unbiased" review. :\

Also, the gameplay in Hatred is really very simple. There's not much of it to write about anyway.

Avatar image for Holopaw

nice game

Avatar image for wakingmongoose

I can't believe this shit GameSpot gave this a 3 seriously blackwater sucked but could not give blackwater a 4 and this piece of crap it deserves a 2 AT MOST play something better like skyrim or the elder scrolls oblivion. also who would want to play this violent bloodbath your just shooting regular everyday people this game should be in a landfill with ET the game oh wait far away from ET the game this came might contaminate ET the game which at least is not murdering a granny coming home from walmart!

Avatar image for tegumentoso

good to know... i was skeptic about this game since its first trailer... i think that games like this, and postal are just baits for the news, and can only cast a bad shadow on all the videogame creativity. I am almost relieved that this is not a funny game, that would have been very controversial

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@nypll666: I doubt the veracity of your claim.

Also, Justin Clark is a freelancer. He's not even a GameSpot staffer.

Avatar image for Diablo-B

This is actually a good game to get on a steam sale if you like a shoot-em up game. Its no where a bad or EVIL as the media makes it out to be. Its not any worse then the game play from manhunt that came out years ago.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@Diablo-B: At least Manhunt was more sophisticated. This game's gameplay is just shitty simple.

Avatar image for Elemental_Jack

I like when people bring up manhunt. You ever played manhunt? You are killing gang members that if you try walking past they kill you. There is a bit of a difference between that game and one where you walk into a grocery shop and open fire.

I am not going to get in the argument that this game will corrupt our youth or anything like that. Just saying this game has bad taste. Go for shock value only because that's easy. Making a game that doesn't get boring after 4mins of gameplay is hard.

Avatar image for Diablo-B

@Elemental_Jack: The game play for most shoot-em up games is repetitive. But as far as games in that genre go you get a good value if you get it on sale. As far as the violence goes it is the same as other games the only difference is that you are now the traditional "bad" guy instead of the "good" guy. This surely is not a master piece but after playing this I remember having stronger guy reactions from Manhunt and the original dead space then I had playing this. Don't worry it wont crush your souls.

Avatar image for deathblow3

@Diablo-B: idk manhunt was violent, but what you have to understand is violence is measured by whom its against. example the same thing you do to a criminal on a rampage is not the same as a father of 4 citizen walking down the street. in the case of the criminal you are a hero in the case of the father your a murderer. so in manhunt it more acceptable because everyone you fight is a killer. plus the story isn't just run around with lame controls and murderer random normal people.

Avatar image for advocacy

Come on, nobody actually expected this game to be any good.

Avatar image for GregoryBastards

The game looks and plays only if they went for a more engaging story line......publicity can only carry you so far....

Avatar image for BSC14

It's a stupid pointless piece of trash. People complain that it's just not being treated fairly but maybe it's just junk living off of hype and shock value. What if you had the same exact game with a different concept...whould it get great reviews then? No, you would have never even heard of it. It got what it deserves....better than imo.

Avatar image for chad28_69

@BSC14: lady gaga lives of shock value too.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@chad28_69: Why even bring up a bizarre celebrity to compare with a video game? :\

Avatar image for stevo302

@BSC14: Such a thing can't exist. Concept defines the game. If a concept is different, it's a different game.

What you're talking about is Theme.

Avatar image for erabous

@BSC14: If you had the exact same game, but it had a different concept you'd have a completly different game.

Avatar image for neowarrior793

the problem is this game has been given too much attention, the negatives have been blown up like it should be treated as an AAA game. its a small indie game with great visuals, the games 70% better then most green-light games that are copy past most of the time. When you take it out of that bloated expectation and remove the controversial-ness then its simply a good way to kill time (pun intended) as advertised. Ok its not the best game around but take 5 minutes to look at some green-light games and this is a diamond in comparison. there's being critical and then these being realistic and lets face it the games no wear near a 3 considering its currently 5 as an average rating. even metacritic rating is a 5 (currently) CLEARLY GS staff have gone a bit far on the negatives.

Avatar image for HBM

All I can hear is, a studio not paying Gamespot for a decent review, is slated due to the killing of 'innocents' within a game and 'mindless killing'....

Yet Gamespot deemed GTA V to be awesome! (It is... but still...) Go figure....

Avatar image for deathblow3

@HBM: lets just be real the game isn't that good and stop blaming GS for saying so. every game they score super low i seem to hate as well ORC, RE6 ogt them super cheap and could finish them RE6 is almost playable but man is the game cheap and broken we won't talk about ORC.

Avatar image for deathblow3

@HBM: your comparing this game to gta? its not remotely even close.... ok maybe to Trevor's story but not Mike's or Franklin's. but GTA's everything is better and more of it. this stupid games is run kill this person then run kill this person yes we know they don't have guns but???? lol, ok that's just the first level but then you put alright controls and average ever thing else and you got nothing also Arkham Knights game doesn't get the greatest score either.

Avatar image for Aleksa8

GTA5 never explicitly tells you to kill anyone innocent.

Plus, that's not what the reviewer has a problem with.

Avatar image for xneonic

Someone had to review this game... My hat is off to you, Justin, for doing the task right.

Avatar image for Gamer_4_Fun

Steam reviews are pretty positive. Tried and i think the mechanics are fun and definitely a mindless fun game.

Avatar image for Elemental_Jack

Most the reviews are positive because people don't want to admit they spent $20 on a shit game.

I also would call shooting fish in a barrel mindless fun. More like just mindless.

Avatar image for chad28_69

@Elemental_Jack: have you ever been to steam? that is the stupidest sentence i read in a while.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

@chad28_69: I have. The bulk of the userbase on Steam are idiots. Besides, they let a lot of bad games get through Greenlight (e.g. Air Control), and also let a lot of half-assed ones persist on Early Access until they got pulled when they get bad media coverage elsewhere (e.g. Stomping Land).

If you think Steam is great, you are the stupid one.

Avatar image for elessarGObonzo

so all i read is: it is like a lot of other fun games but because i'm killing innocents it isn't fun

Avatar image for Zevvion

@elessarGObonzo: You read it wrong. It isn't fun in the slightest. And who says the fact that you're killing innocent people is an invalid reason to dislike someone? Go ahead and make a game about raping men, women and children with competent gameplay mechanics. I can already tell you I will dislike it, because that shit just doesn't resonate with me. It's perfectly valid to dislike this because it makes you feel bad inside.

Avatar image for MigGui

@elessarGObonzo: it's pretty clear it isn't fun for a lot more reasons than killing innocents. like lack of challenge, lack of scenery change, size and pricing, lack of fun... you can kill innocents in gta, but in doing so, there's a reward with cops coming for you, which brings on tension, thrill, challenge. this is like shooting unmoving targets just to see them bleed fake virtual blood.

Avatar image for Porphyriaa

Does this surprise anyone? From the beginning we have known that literally all you do in hatred is kill random innocent people. There's nothing else to the game and they never claimed there to be. This shouldn't even be considered a game, It's just an outlet for mentally disturbed teens.

Avatar image for cryder

@Porphyriaa: The game is way too simple, reptitive, and overall pretty bad, but how can you claim that this game is any more wrong than LITERALLY ANY OTHER isometric shooter where you kill waves upon waves of targets? The so-called violence in this game isn't even that bad, they are all fairly tame and boring animations. It's simply abhorrent that people can in good minds think this game shouldn't exist or that it's somehow any worse than other games we already have.

It has a singular purpose in terms of gameplay and it does that one thing well enough, and also has pretty environmental destruction. Well deserving of a 3 and fairly deserving of a 4 on a 10 rating scale.

Avatar image for waterhornet

@Porphyriaa: why is it just for mentally disturbed teens? I'm positive the vast majority of people who played this game are upstanding and fully functioning members of the human race. Study after study has found that video games do not cause violent behavior and new research is showing that video games tends to lower feelings of aggression. So, even though the game from a technical standpoint sucks, games like Hatred may help keep people from losing their poo and taking a real life gun and killing a real life person. I really hope we can enact gun control after all the shootings that have taken place recently. Let people get it out in the virtual world so they are less inclined to do something in real life, with very real and serious consequences.

Avatar image for deathblow3

@waterhornet@Porphyriaa: nothing you have said is base in proven fact either way. and if you need to run around shooting people as the beg for their lives you are a sick person with no heart.

Avatar image for waterhornet


you literally have the entirety of the collective human conscious at you fingertips. You're already sitting at the computer so why not do a little research. I'll get you started though: << LINK REMOVED >>

From there you can follow the citations to additional scholarly works that attempt to study violence in video games and its effect on humans. What this research suggests is that you must be aggressive by nature to be positively affected by violent video games. Simply put, you must already be "disturbed" as a matter of your personality to be pushed into feeling more aggressive after playing a video game that depicts violence. "Normal" people aren't suddenly turned into raging homicidal lunatics after playing Mortal Kombat or other bloody games. Those people who, some would argue, are already a threat can be pushed into feeling more aggressive but keep in mind that also doesn't constitute a need to hurt people to find release for that. Many would argue that if someone is going to hurt or kill innocent people they will do it regardless of the perceived intervention of video game violence. Basically, if you're going to mow down a group of random people you will act upon this thought/delusion even in the absence of violent video game content.

I'm a perfectly well-adjusted contributing member of society and I play games that are nothing but gratuitous violence. Sometimes I set a goal to run over s many pedestrians as I can in the GTA series AND laugh while I'm doing it, but that doesn't mean I'm going to drive my actual car down the sidewalk and take out as many of my neighbors as I can before the cops catch me. I'd wager that you too play violent video can't crucify one person for doing it when you, most likely, do it yourself. In summation, what happens in video games is not real life and if you can't tell the difference between fiction and reality then there's a much deeper mental condition at work there.

Avatar image for deathblow3

@waterhornet@deathblow3: lol the funny thing about sicko's is they dont know it. hint hint :) get a little help. just because there are repercussions in real life that keep you from doing things you see in media doesn't mean your not in need of help.

Avatar image for bruta

borefest trash

Avatar image for DomZeal

Watched some walkthrough video, seems all the fun parts are in the trailer.

Avatar image for VampySS

What a surprise - princess Clark deleted my comment. Fucktard.

Avatar image for VampySS

I could've written this review, word for word, way before this game was released. Actually I did do a summary of how the GS review of Hatred will look. And that's the problem!

Surely, the game is bad, but you can't expect the same quality from Destructive Creations as you do from Rock Star. If you do, and I've seen a lot of that here, you're retarded in the medical sense of the term.

Finally, if this game was about love, flowers and / or other gay stuff, Justin Bieber.. uhm.. Clark would've given it what it deserved - a 5. But since he's probably a princess (he's the protegee of Kevin VonBeard, what did you expect) he gave it a three.

Avatar image for MasterTae

I played this game for 10 mins. Its boring as hell.

Hatred More Info

  • First Released Jun 1, 2015
    • Linux
    • PC
    Hatred is a violent twin-stick shooter, in which you take the role of The Antagonist fighting against all of humanity.
    Average Rating124 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Hatred
    Developed by:
    Destructive Creations
    Published by:
    Destructive Creations
    2D, Action, Fixed-Screen, Shooter
    Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
    Adults Only
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language