Reaction to Totalbiscuit's Hatred "Review"
I've been looking forward to Hatred for ages. The concept of a title so deliberately amoral and violent fascinated me. I wanted to see how it turned out, even as everyone else seemed to want it nuked from orbit. As I watched it get lambasted by games journalists, kicked off of Steam Greenlight, banned from Twitch, and shunned by pretty much everyone else, I couldn't help but cheer it on as it refused to die. I never saw this a game that was begging for attention; I saw it as a bold artistic statement, one that would make people think about violence and explore the bounds of their own moral codes. I even managed to get an interview with Destructive Creations a few months ago back in my college magazine Gamezombie.tv.
But then I saw the gameplay footage on Totalbiscuit's Youtube channel, and boy does that guy know how to take the piss out of a game. What I saw bored me. And that makes me very sad.
This may sound odd to some of you, but I LOVE IT when games make me feel bad. To me, it's one thing if a game is able to make me happy and have fun. But if a game shocks me, horrifies me, or makes me feel guilt or loss or sorrow, that is something really special and worth treasuring. Killing Big Daddies in Bioshock and watching the Little Sisters cry over them still makes me feel awful to this day, and I love it. Watching people die in The Walking Dead makes me die a little myself, and I love that too. In the same way, I wanted Hatred to be an experience where would slaughter innocents and feel every death whittling away at my soul. That would have been momentous. That would have been worth talking about for years to come.
What I saw was just poorly animated dude in a trenchcoat gunning down a bunch of mindless NPCs.
The AI was not nearly intellegent enough to make the innocent bystanders convincing. The animations were not nearly visceral enough to be shocking. The armed response stupidly swarmed the protagonist with nothing resembling tactics or intelligence. Nothing about any of it felt real. And when it didn't feel real, it got boring to watch.
I don't care if a game is violent, obscene, horrific, shocking, or vile; the greatest sin a game can commit is that it bore me.
I breaks my heart that this game looks so mediocre. I'm still going to try it, but I'm not expecting the groundbreaking descent into madness that I was hoping for. If I'm lucky, I'll be allowed to review it. But if a game won't make me think about killing people nor let me have fun doing it, then what's the point?