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Reaction to Totalbiscuit's Hatred "Review"

Totalbiscuit just released a "WTF is" video on Hatred. Here's what I think of what I saw.

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?

Published May. 30th 2015
  • StayNoLonger
    Featured Contributor
    So people hate on a game where you are trying kill everyone on the outskirts of New York, then a where the aim is to void the Earth of all life is praised. Plague Inc. is surely worse than Hatred, no?
  • Rhys Bjornsen
    "I wanted Hatred to be an experience where would slaughter innocents and feel every death whittling away at my soul."

    I believe this was also the core of Extra Credit's opinion piece on this game: That it didn't even try to go beyond being a snuff porn fantasy.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    First: TB is adamant about his videos not being reviews; they are first impressions.

    Second: How did TB take the piss out of the game? There was never anything to take out of this game. From the minute it was revealed, it looked the same as it is now, a mindless, boring shooter. The ONLY reason it garnered attention was because media watchdogs decided it was worthy of attention and is a vile piece of interactivity.
    At the end of the day, the game has not changed from its initial reveal. Anyone could see what it was then. The only reason anyone expected anything more from it was because of the ridiculous media spotlight it gained.

    Games media (besides Jim Sterling) should cover actual vile behavior like "developers" posting games on Steam and Greenlight which are wholesale Unity asset packages or blatant theft of other products.
    Oh well. I can dream of that day.
  • Rhys Bjornsen
    "First: TB is adamant about his videos not being reviews; they are first impressions."

    It's a nice hedge, but 'first impressions' are reviews. As soon as you are voicing an opinion about something, you are reviewing it.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Well, I guess that means Duke Nukem has a ton more positive reviews because it had plenty positive previews in the press before it came out. Same for NeverDead. Shit, we've got to basically re-write half of the review scales on Metacritic.

    And my gosh, that makes my job SO MUCH EASIER. Now I don't have to actually analyze or think hard about games -- I can just throw out an opinion and it is just as valid as someone who has beaten the game five times. Hell, by the rules you suggest, I could even skip playing the game altogether. Yeah, like -- Final Fantasy 13 -- that game's got a pretty good cover art, I say we give it a 10 out of 10. I see nothing going wrong with this, at all.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Not really mate. I can tell you all day Uncharted is a terrible game series, but unless I give reasons, explanations, and actually tell you more, can you consider "Uncharted is bad" a review?
    An opinion does not equal a review. A review entails explanations and reasoning whereas an opinion can just be stated.
  • Rhys Bjornsen
    Maybe we're simply going to disagree on this one. But yes, if you want to go to this extreme: if simply you said "Uncharted is bad", I'd consider it a review - just not one I'd pay much attention to.

    TB on the other hand /is/ occasionally giving explanations for his opinion among his ramblings, and people are paying attention to him. And the fact that he has no desire to continue playing that game makes his 'first impressions' very much a verdict on the game.
  • Victor Ren
    Columnist
    Yeah when I first heard of this game, I though tit was a horrible idea. It seemed like some dumb-minded shooter with nothing to go for it and sadly it is. It does not bring anything with it, and you would think maybe playing as a psycho/murderer you could explore the mind of it, but no.

    This game will be one of those games, that the media will use to hurt the reputation of video games, and it will serve only that purpose..
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    Yeah Hatred looked spectacularly boring and it's a shame, because TB's right, this game doesn't seem like it deserves all the attention it's getting. Looks like another run of the mill game. Those physics though.

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