A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hatred is about a sociopath who despises humanity and goes on a violent rampage to kill as many people as possible. Using a number of weapons, such as shotguns, bombs, and flamethrowers, your objective is to murder innocent people and law-enforcement officials. You are rewarded for the number of executions you commit, while victims scream, cry, and beg for mercy as you kill them.
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What's it about?
Created by the aptly named Destructive Creations, HATRED is an angled top-down shooter for Windows PC. Instead of being the hero and saving the world, you're a cold-blooded villain roaming suburban New York and New Jersey. Full of hatred for humanity, your goal is to murder as many people as possible -- including law-enforcement officials and innocent civilians -- using guns, bombs, a flamethrower, and other weapons. The dark action shooter utilizes a "dual-stick" control mechanic, so one hand (on a game controller or keyboard) moves the protagonist (antagonist?) on seven somewhat nonlinear and free-roaming levels, while the other hand aims and fires the weapons to inflict as much death and destruction as possible. The developer says they wanted to create an unadulterated game that went against political correctness and innocent civilians and "makes no excuses."
Is it any good?
No, this game isn't good at all. It's not even because of the morally reprehensible actions and assigned "kill count" -- after all, some inappropriate games such as the Grand Theft Auto series can actually be engaging and entertaining for mature players -- but Hatred fails because of its basic, short gameplay and myriad technical problems that mar the overall experience. In fact, the game won't even work with some PCs, confirmed by the developer: "[T]he game won't launch on 32-bit systems"; "the game won't launch without Service Pack 1 for Windows 7"; and "We are aware of serious problems with AMD processors or ATI graphics cards." So, why release the game?
Along with the simple multidirectional shooting mechanic, the game includes some optional controllable vehicles -- though they're not very easy to maneuver through the streets -- and gameplay is as repetitive as the level design. Tougher enemies appear more than halfway throughout the game, but they don’t really add much (more grenades might come in handy here). Even though it's based on the powerful and versatile Unreal Engine 4 engine, Hatred is visually mediocre. Purposely, the game is dark -- even black-and-white on some levels -- and whatever added detail the characters and environments have isn't very noticeable. Or maybe it's the fact most levels look more or less the same? In short, steer clear of Hatred. It's painfully clear the developer was more concerned about provoking a reaction than creating a good game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in video games such as Hatred. Why do games like this exist? Are they made purely for entertainment's sake? Since many customer reviews are positive, why do you think there's an appetite for this kind of stuff?
Discuss your feelings, particularly anger. How do you handle being angry? Do you always succeed in handling your emotions? Are there ways you can be more expressive in a positive way?
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