This week I wrote a column about Hatred, the upcoming game where you go on a killing spree and try to slaughter as many innocent people as you can. I’ve been thinking about this game for months, and I actually had more to say about it than could fit in a single column. (And I didn’t think it warranted two columns in a row.) So go read the article, then come back here and read the rest of my thoughts on the game.
For context: I have my Playstation right next to my PC, so every time I took a break from writing the column I’d pick up the controller and play a little more GTA V, where I was trying to see how long Trevor could survive with a five-star wanted level. I killed dozens of civilians and hundreds of cops during the course of writing this column, and it was pretty fun. Then I watched a few segments of the Hatred trailer and got sick again.
|A degenerate, degenerate strategy: I’m always looking for spots where you can hold off the police for a long time. I think the Ammu-Nation in Pillbox Hill (the one with the shooting range) is the best you could possibly hope for. You’ve got cover, you’ve got protection from helicopters, you’ve got a single choke point for the AI to funnel through, and you’ve got a vending machine to refill your health. Once you master blind-fire headshots with a shotgun (lining guys up and headshotting them without using a cursor) you can hold them off forever.
Getting away is still pretty tricky, though.
In GTA, it’s not your goal to kill the police. (Although sometimes they are in the way of your goal.) More importantly, the police aren’t sympathetic public servants. They’re brutal, corrupt jackasses who will shoot you in the face for denting one of their cruisers and who scream stuff like, “Killing makes my dick hard!” in a firefight. In the Hatred trailer, we only see police officers as victims being sadistically murdered as they try to stop you from killing civilians. So even though both games have killing people as a gameplay element, the framing, tone, context, and focus are completely different.
It’s like nudity: One picture of bare breasts is obviously pornography and another is obviously fine art, and there’s a whole lot of grey area between the two. But the fact that the line is blurry doesn’t mean the two things are the same. Context is everything.
There’s one other thing about this game, which is that I’ve seen people claim that it’s “satire”. I’ve watched the trailer a couple of times now, and I haven’t detected even a whiff of satire. Satire is more than simply presenting a thing. If this was satire, it might sound like this:
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