Hatred Trailer: As Controversial As It Gets
Destructive Creations' debut trailer for Hatred not only tightrope-walks the taboo, it throws gallons of gasoline into the fires of controversy, hoping that its flames will be seen by all regardless of whether or not someone gets burned in the process.
As the outside world is viewing the gaming community through the horribly misrepresenting and narrow lens of the GamerGate controversy, Destructive Creations' trailer for Hatred is there to throw up its middle fingers in the hopes that it get gets seen by all. Hatred is about a Nathan Explosion-looking guy with a cliche gruff voice going postal on his entire town, killing every innocent person and cop that he can with the game's twin-stick shooting mechanics. Given the multiple school and mass shootings that have occurred over the past 15 years, Hatred's trailer goes far beyond the "norms" of video game controversy (such as mindless gore, GTA-esque escapades and the objectification of women) and into a realm most people would consider truly offensive. Even though it runs on Unreal Engine 4, Polygon reports that Epic Games has requested Poland-based developer Destructive Creations to remove its logo and name from all of Hatred's promotional material, including this trailer. Destructive Creations complied and re-released the video sans Epic Games' logo.
A representative from Destructive Creations claimed that the studio is unsure whether or not GOG and Steam would even launch Hatred on their gaming clients and told GameSpot the following:
"These days, when a lot of games are heading to be polite, colorful, politically correct, and trying to be some kind of higher art, rather than just an entertainment--we wanted to create something against trends."
It is a bit hard to remain objective considering how close to home Hatred's material will undoubtedly hit the public. In particular, we worry about those uninformed, closed-minded people who are looking to movies and video games as the main influences on mass shootings (and not subpar parenting or a lack of a loving upbringing) -- those are the people who rally to like-minded senators to try and get gaming standards changed and censored/restricted in the long run. If Hatred's main character looked more like an angry, teenage boy than a metal rock star, people would be up-in-arms even more about it all. It seems that Destructive Creations is pushing Hatred as a shock value game where negative comments and controversy still counts as it gaining attention and promotion in the long run. Either that or the studio is taking a "we'll make a game that no one has the guts to do"-style of approach.
While this certainly doesn't excuse Hatred's subject matter nor do we want to be seen as advocates of this type of behavior, think of how many people have played Grand Theft Auto in similar ways -- remove every GTA's criminal story and its mafioso quests, and you essentially have a game where a lot of players perform the same actions that Hatred specifically caters.
If you change Hatred's trailer quality to 240p and mute its audio, most gamers would think they're looking at a weird version of Dead Nation or a similar twin-stick shooter. But change out Dead Nation's zombies for people looking scared, program them to run away instead of chase, mix in some audio of people screaming for their lives and the game is interpreted in a completely different manner.
Hatred is the gaming counterpart to that 'Rampage' movie from a few years ago, but with even less of a plot, unless Destructive Creations actually flushes out the game's backstory. On one hand, how many people will say that this game encourages similar behavior -- it will be like Jack Thompson's anti-GTA crusade all over again, but with more of a direct example for people to use against gaming as a whole. At the same time, how many people will believe that this game actually releases such aggressions from the player, allowing those with similar urges to simply vent?
We're not psychologists. We're obviously not advocates for carnage in the real world. While we think this is horrible timing for a game this controversial to appear and is the perfect fuel to use against the community, we're just trying to legitimately think of why this game exists, beyond being a shock value cash-grab.
But if you try to understand it...and we mean really try to understand it -- nevermind.