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January 20, 2015 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Face-Stabbing and Cop-Killing: Inside 2015's Most Controversial Video Game [VICE]
"Destructive Creations' Hatred has drawn plenty of criticism for the fact that its main character, a big hairy man, seems intent on killing innocent civilians for no particular reason."

The ESRB has confirmed that it will be giving Destructive Creations' mass murder simulator Hatred an AO rating. [Polygon]

Not everyone agrees with this rating:
"Well, I'm not quite convinced why Hatred got AO rating while it lacks any sexual content, but it's still some kind of achievement to have the second game in history getting AO rating for violence and harsh language only. Even if this violence isn't really that bad and this harsh language isn't overused,"[Hatred Game Official Forum]
"I like playing violent video games—the really violent ones, the ones that sometimes even disturb my fellow gamers. Why? It's complicated, but they make me feel better."[Kotaku]
"Many of the best games of the past few years, from Tomb Raider to The Last of Us to Grand Theft Auto V are largely just murder simulators. Why is Hatred so different? Decrying a game like this looks a lot more like social signaling and trendy outrage than legitimate concern." [Forbes]
[Trailer] [May be considered NSFW]

[Previously] [Previously] [Previously]
posted by Fizz (60 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Isn't this the game where one of the creators turned out to be a literal Nazi sympathizer?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:58 AM on January 20, 2015


Isn't this the game where one of the creators turned out to be a literal Nazi sympathizer?

'CEO behind Hatred responds to accusations of neo-Nazi, anti-Islamic affiliation.' - - > [Polygon]
posted by Fizz at 8:00 AM on January 20, 2015


All games are about killing. Even checkers.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:08 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


They also became a bit of a GamerGate cause célèbre, mostly due to being gross and coming out at the right time. Not sure to what extent they've embraced that.
posted by Artw at 8:08 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also previously.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:11 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also the guy says he's not a nazi, he just get all hus news from a nazi Facebook page because he doesn't have time for TV? Um, wow dude.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


For me it is all about the one question in the interview with vice:
Does your lead character have a backstory? Why is he so angry?
No, he doesn't have any story – he is out of his mind and he hates the world. Just like any other psychopath, he only wants to watch the world burn.
I know that people play games for a variety of reasons, but one reason I personally play a game is for the story, because I want to see what happens next, but this sounds boring.

They are certainly allowed to make this game, just like I am certainly allowed to make the decision to not purchase it or support it because it looks like it would be a dull and monotonous kill-fest. Thanks but no thanks.
posted by Fizz at 8:18 AM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would mostly agree with Sticherbeast in the previous thread: It just sounds like an edgelord wankjam.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Pouring some much needed cold water on the AO rating:
Hatred got an ESRB rating because it’s free to get your digital game rated by the ESRB. More importantly, getting an ESRB rating is a matter of filling in a questionnaire. So Hatred would have got an AO rating precisely because they filled a questionnaire in the right kind of way to get it to throw up an AO rating. No-one has looked at Hatred and gone THIS GAME IS TOO SHOCKING, GIVE IT AN AO RATING RIGHT NOW.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:21 AM on January 20, 2015 [20 favorites]


Well, as long as they avoid vapid cliches borrowed from movies ...

he only wants to watch the world burn.

Erp, guess not.
posted by maxsparber at 8:21 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


But isn't the real difference that your game is built around indiscriminate slaughter, while other action games at least try to discourage it?
One might argue that "it's okay to kill bad people because we're good people and they deserve it" is a far more dangerous line than "it's fun to pretend to kill people." At least in this game you're forced to accept that your character is unethical. Given a choice between killing innocent people and killing faceless aliens and monsters, killing innocent people is a lot more likely to inspire introspection.

I'm not convinced any game (book, movie, ARG, etc) is capable of causing more harm than good. But, giving critics the benefit of the doubt and assuming our real lives are deeply influenced by the media we consume, playing a crazed serial killer sounds a lot less harmful than playing America's Army. Deciding to stab strangers in the face is a very rare event, compared to voting for those who back horribly destructive and unethical wars.
posted by eotvos at 8:22 AM on January 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


> All games are about killing. Even checkers.

Even Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups?

I am a grown-ass man, and I would rather play Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups than Hatred.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:23 AM on January 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


VICE: Hi Przemyslaw. Did you create Hatred expecting it to be controversial? And did that expectation ever influence your design decisions?
Przemysław Szczepaniak: From the start, the idea of Hatred was supposed to be like it is now. I mean, we somehow knew that the media and some people would find it disturbing and shocking, but we also felt that gamers need something like Hatred, because the market is filled with too many sterile and far too polite games.

You say on your website that "a lot of games are heading to be polite, colourful, politically correct and trying to be some kind of higher art". Which particular games are you thinking of?
It's not that hard to interpret this statement in a proper way, looking especially at the present indie game development scene.

I realise that you don't want to single anybody out, but it's difficult to make sense of this claim if you don't give specific examples. Can you at least talk about the types of game that you think are too politically correct? Do you think your statement applies to all game genres equally?
There are no particular games. I'm speaking of all genres equally. But, of course, there are modern titles we respect.
This guy is obviously trying very, very hard not to offend people who define themselves by being offensive. It's a bit poetic almost.
posted by Clueless in Crocodilopolis at 8:27 AM on January 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also the guy says he's not a nazi, he just get all hus news from a nazi Facebook page because he doesn't have time for TV? Um, wow dude.

Now, now - I can totally understand that. I don't have time to shop so I just wear white sheets (with a red & white cross embroidered on the front for a little flair) and this cone-shaped hat that also covers my face. I don't have time to drive so I ride my horse everywhere, and I don't have time to turn on a light so I just burn a T-shaped piece of wood when I want to do a crossword puzzle.
posted by item at 8:27 AM on January 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


Zielinski has liked the group on Facebook, but says that is in no way an endorsement of their activities.

"As for me supposedly 'supporting' Polska Liga Obrony on Facebook," Zielinski wrote Polygon in a Facebook conversation today, "I've liked this page, because it's source of an information what is going on right now in the middle-east and Europe (and a lot of evil shit is going on — those are REAL problems, not our game). Some things media would not show, nor tell. So: no, I'm not any kind of 'supporter.'"
So either he's a hate-group supporter doing a bad job recovering from being caught out, or he's the very definition of a useful idiot. And he's hardly the only person on the dev team who's been linked to this kind of stuff.

And the ultimate response? Why, it was all trolling, apparently:
“Many can call us 'attention whores' - well, we try to get world's attention to our product and as you can see - it worked perfectly,” Zielinski said.
The very best case scenario is still that the game is now likely to be read as a neo-Nazi and supremacist fantasy, whether it was consciously designed as one or not. It hardly matters whether the dev team exemplify explicitly supremacist prejudice or proudly entitled ignorance.

As was said above, they're certainly allowed to make and sell the game...but they don't get to dictate the response to it.
posted by kewb at 8:28 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not surprising this game is going to be pure edgy edge edge. And it's sad. They had a chance to do something really subversive and flip the whole anti-hero and video game violence tropes on their head.

Put the trailer out as is. Advertise the game is a simple mass shooting simulator. Pretend to be all edgy in order to build those set of expectations. And then when someone plays the game, it really is shooty bits for an hour or two. When the player has killed X number of victims, and the current victim is pleading for her life, the in-game camera pulls back to reveal it's a boy holding a controller and staring at a virtual computer screen with all the carnage on it. And his mum is calling him to dinner. And the rest of the game plays out from there.

Just one idea. There's a lot of ways this could have been a golden opportunity.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:29 AM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've been playing a lot of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and although it's one of the best games I've played in a while, it feels more like a mass murder simulator than most other games I have played, including a lot of other games where the main thing you do over and over again is kill people. There's something just viscerally different feeling about a game where you press a button to more brutally stab someone to death so that their allies will run away in terror, at which point you can chase down and murder some of them as they flee. The only reason the main character is supposed to feel like the good guy rather than a rampaging psychopath is that the enemies are all orcs (uruk-hai technically) who are not nice, but that just seems like a weirdly racist justification for mass killing if applied to anything other than a made-up fantasy setting.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:29 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


burnmp3s,

Not all Rangers.
posted by Fizz at 8:31 AM on January 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


"murder simulator" is such a ridiculous term. Are we going to start calling paintball "real life murder simulator" or call water guns "murder simulation tools"?
posted by I-baLL at 8:40 AM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. "

Gangsta rap came and went, most of it was forgettable. Other than hipsters and idiots burning down centuries old Viking churches, death metal has never moved an inch beyond metal fans. No one went to see Hostel 2 in the theaters, and Hostel 3 was direct-to-dvd.

This video game will likely suffer the same. I mean, if Vice is already all over it, you've made it to the oh nevermind.
posted by four panels at 8:42 AM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


All games are about killing. Even checkers.

*opens mouth to mention Kerbal Space Program, remembers the Alamo Jeb, closes mouth*
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:47 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


All games are about killing. Even checkers.

Even if that were true, there's a smidgen of difference between the abstracted movement of characterless pieces and lovingly over-simulated ultraviolence.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2015


sexyrobot: "All games are about killing. Even checkers."

Come on, all those people were perfectly happy to be rolled up into a glorious Katamari to become a star forever-

('_') (o.o) (OДO)
posted by RobotHero at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2015 [13 favorites]


> "murder simulator" is such a ridiculous term.

Seems to be the selling point in this case, though:
Does your lead character have a backstory? Why is he so angry?
No, he doesn't have any story – he is out of his mind and he hates the world. Just like any other psychopath, he only wants to watch the world burn.
The various pros for the game offered in that interview ("our game is different because you're killing humans instead of zombies, and the humans will behave interestingly") are absurd in the face of the contemporary gaming landscape. In a world where GTA is a blockbuster franchise, you can't sincerely claim to be doing something radical by allowing the player to mow down civilians -- the only radical thing you can even sorta claim is that random murder the point of the game rather than a fun option.

The distinction of the game is entirely down to the narrative framing of "large man in trenchcoat thrusts his rage upon the world, visual spectacle made of his victims."
posted by postcommunism at 8:56 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can also frame Civilization as a "genocide simulator" that rewards the player for annihilating entire peoples.

Hatred, though, just seems way too stupid for me to die on this particular hill.
posted by indubitable at 8:58 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


"murder simulator" is such a ridiculous term. Are we going to start calling paintball "real life murder simulator" or call water guns "murder simulation tools"?

Sure; why not?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:01 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wasn't this the plot for Postal back in the day? You had to kill a certain percentage of the town before you could go to the next level. No backstory, just straight up murder, albeit with an attempt at a darkly humorous style. (I only played the demo and it has been close to 20 years, so I could be wrong.)

So he remade Postal and took out any attempt at humor. I am not impressed.

(Now if they made a game where you play a serial killer and try to make sure that you do not get caught while being forced to slavishly follow some compulsion that forced you into the murder, that might be interesting. Not something I would buy, but playing a spree killer? Why would anyone bother?)
posted by Hactar at 9:02 AM on January 20, 2015


I'm objecting to the "simulator" part of the term. Calling it a "simulator" is ridiculous. Forza is a driving simulator. It accurately simulates the physics of driving a car. Flight simulators, to a degree, accurately simulate flying a plane. A video game is in no way a "murder simulator."
posted by I-baLL at 9:04 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Somehow I'm reminded of the Onion article Marilyn Manson Now Going Door-To-Door Trying To Shock People.
posted by Pyry at 9:08 AM on January 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


Now if they made a game where you play a serial killer and try to make sure that you do not get caught while being forced to slavishly follow some compulsion that forced you into the murder, that might be interesting.

Bloodrizer, of Kittens Game fame, was working on something like this a few years back. In that game, you had to kill people to decrease your "compulsion meter"; otherwise you'd go berserk and... start killing people without restraint, I guess? Unfortunately (fortunately?), the game doesn't seem to be available anymore.
posted by daniel_charms at 9:21 AM on January 20, 2015


Now if they made a game where you play a serial killer and try to make sure that you do not get caught while being forced to slavishly follow some compulsion that forced you into the murder, that might be interesting.

This is pretty much a valid way to play Skyrim
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:24 AM on January 20, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's been a while since I played Postal, and I wouldn't particularly defend it as a "good" or "innocent" game, but as I recall there was at least some self-awareness, humour and irony in their presentation.

Basically, in at least one of the games, the actual 'missions' or 'quests' were mundane things like picking something up from the post office, or buying some milk from the store. You might then find yourself waiting in a queue or trying to complete some impossibly tedious task. You also had a dozen different options for outrageously murdering/defiling everything and everything around you. What happened next, i.e. inevitable carnage, was thus theoretically in the hands of the player - if they become violent its 'their fault' for deviating from the allotted, peaceful missions.

I might be misremembering, but assuming that's basically right then I think it's easy to see how that is, or could be, called satire or at least to have some satirical elements.

And although Hatred does serve to highlight-by-similarity the sheer amount of violence and killing that goes on even in supposedly well-made and 'respectable' games these days -- a trend I very much wish we could move further past, without resorting to Jack-Thompson-esque solutions -- Hatred would seem to lack even Postal's glimmer of cleverness, and just be about venting nasty feelings in nasty ways and getting praise from nasty people for it. Bleh.
posted by Drexen at 9:28 AM on January 20, 2015


prize bull octorok, stop looking at me like that. I had to kill him because he never left his cheese wheel unguarded.
posted by aw_yiss at 9:28 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm objecting to the "simulator" part of the term. Calling it a "simulator" is ridiculous. Forza is a driving simulator. It accurately simulates the physics of driving a car. Flight simulators, to a degree, accurately simulate flying a plane. A video game is in no way a "murder simulator."

It's not that this pedantic objection is incorrect, but rather that the phrase, at least in Polygon's use of it, refers to Jack Thompson's calling Grand Theft Auto III a murder simulator about fifteen years ago, which was wrong fifteen years ago because Grand Theft Auto III doesn't simulate murder, but the phrase now clearly denotes a certain kind of provocatively violent video game that seeks to stoke the same kind of moral panic as Grand Theft Auto III did.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


The thing is, this cheap, adolescent, cynical PR stunt of a game will probably appeal to enough "hardcore gamers" to make it profitable. Marilyn Manson, indeed: it's specifically engineered to be (lazily, unproductively) controversial, in order to appeal to those (i.e., dumb kids) who enjoy shocking the easily shocked (i.e., parents, clergy, and the alarmist press) – the usual players in any moral panic.

If the developer wanted to even pretend to be doing something creative or interesting, they could have made a game about killing cops where the avatar's motivation is something other than being a psychopath – say, a long history of injustice committed against the avatar's community by said cops.

At least that's controversial because it raises challenging questions: at what point is a community justified in responding to police violence with violence? Do we place responsibility for systemic police violence on "bad apples", or is the whole damn system really guilty as hell? What does it mean that media almost always portrays cops as "the good guys", and anyone the cops choose to wield violence against as "the bad guys" – and what does it reveal when we invert that trope?

That's at least the kernel of an interesting game.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


On the plus side, having seem GamerGaters endlessly likening themselves to Bane, it's nice that someone has a long enough memory to rip off Heath Ledger's Joker instead.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2015


So does the killer in Hatred encounter any kind of resistance? Do the cops get on his trail? Does someone offer any defense? Does someone he attacks pull out a weapon and fight back?
posted by Billiken at 10:09 AM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm objecting to the "simulator" part of the term. Calling it a "simulator" is ridiculous. Forza is a driving simulator. It accurately simulates the physics of driving a car. Flight simulators, to a degree, accurately simulate flying a plane. A video game is in no way a "murder simulator."

Most modern games simulate reality to some extent though. GTA simulates being a criminal/murderer to roughly the same extent that an acrade racing game like Burnout simultes real car physics. With racing games there's a distinction between more of a true simulation in some games versus others because there is more of a spectrum within the genre, whereas nobody has made an extremely realistic but boring criminal simulator. I do object to the common anti-video game trope that games instruct players how to actually commit crimes in real life such as being able to shoot a gun accurately, because that's about as likely as becoming skilled at being a quarterback by playing Madden.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:31 AM on January 20, 2015


Now I want a game that's like a reverse murder mystery. You commit one murder and then you spend the rest of the game trying to keep your story straight every time the A.I. shows up and says "just one more thing..."



Clueless in Crocodilopolis: "This guy is obviously trying very, very hard not to offend people who define themselves by being offensive. It's a bit poetic almost."

Yeah, that's kind of marvelous.
There are no particular games. I'm speaking of all genres equally. But, of course, there are modern titles we respect.
Like seriously, if this was Phil Fish he would have rattled off ten games and gone, "good, sucks, good, sucks, sucks, sucks, very good, sucks, good, sucks." But this milquetoast is going to lead the fight against political correctness gone mad? Please.



Has everyone played Lost Constellation? You should play Lost Constellation. (GG disclosure: I Kickstarted another game made by people who are friends with the people who made Lost Constellation, so I'm obviously totes biased.)
posted by RobotHero at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


RobotHero: "Now I want a game that's like a reverse murder mystery. You commit one murder and then you spend the rest of the game trying to keep your story straight every time the A.I. shows up and says "just one more thing...""

Oh man, this is an amazing idea.
posted by boo_radley at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2015 [9 favorites]


... lightweights. Last time I picked up Prototype, I could also eat the policemen.
posted by mordax at 10:44 AM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Would it be effective satire to make a "Murder Clicker" game?

Just a big ol' button in the middle of the screen, and every time you push it a sign pops up saying "You just killed somebody", and a counter down at the bottom of the number of people you killed.

You could market it as "a purer distillation of murder", and use it as a basis for accusing these guys of being "decadent" and "weaklings who need aesthetics" or other such blither-blather.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Would it be effective satire to make a "Murder Clicker" game?

Last time someone attempted satire with a clicker game, it went a little too well
posted by lumpenprole at 12:07 PM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


"murder simulator" is such a ridiculous term. Are we going to start calling paintball "real life murder simulator" or call water guns "murder simulation tools"?

In The Last of Us, gaming's current Citizen Kane, you slink in behind unsuspecting men and bludgeon them to death with bits of rock and glass. There's blood, and screaming, and wet meaty sound effects. It's as accurate and visceral a simulation of the act of killing a human being as they can possibly make it. And they've put vast, unstinting effort into making it so.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:59 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I want a game that's like a reverse murder mystery. You commit one murder and then you spend the rest of the game trying to keep your story straight every time the A.I. shows up and says "just one more thing..."

Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy (by David 'Heavy Rain' Cage) was actually exactly this for the first six or so hours and it was brilliant. It goes completely batshit loco at that point, which I rather enjoyed but a lot of people didn't: YMMV, but the first section is genuinely tense and brilliant.

The game opens on your character doing a murder, and not knowing why, then cuts back and forth between your efforts to cover it up and the imminent threat of discovery. Then later on you play the two cops investigating your own cover up. It's pretty neat and is available for basically zero dollars from GoG.com
posted by Sebmojo at 1:08 PM on January 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm not convinced any game (book, movie, ARG, etc) is capable of causing more harm than good.

Clearly you have never played Jumanji.
posted by dephlogisticated at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy (by David 'Heavy Rain' Cage) was actually exactly this for the first six or so hours and it was brilliant. It goes completely batshit loco at that point, which I rather enjoyed but a lot of people didn't: YMMV, but the first section is genuinely tense and brilliant

If you're OK with just playing Indigo Prophecy up to the point the protagonist leaves his apartment, it's a tense and innovative game with a novel control system. Sadly, if you keep playing it becomes an increasingly garbled series of QTEs and stealth levels.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:40 PM on January 20, 2015


All games are about killing. Even checkers.

Chess: The losing king usually commits suicide before the inevitable success of the conspiracy to murder him.
Pac-Man: Even a dot-eating vegetarian turns into a homicidal maniac when he gets a power pill.
Euchre: The word "trump" is an Old English verb meaning "beat to death with a spade".
Monopoly: On running out of money, players are exiled from the board and left to starve, homeless.
Euro Truck Simulator: Unskilled drivers taking control of transport trucks in foreign countries where the traffic rules are unfamiliar is a sure recipe for many deaths.
Rock-Paper-Scissors: Graphic depictions of violence, as scissors tear into the flesh of paper before being smashed by rock.
Cricket: Deadly white robots trying to conquer the galaxy.
posted by sfenders at 2:59 PM on January 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


All games have been about killing since around 2003, when the phrase "killed it" became popular.
"Man, I totally killed it at Dance Dance Revolution!"

(See also "I totally bloodthirstily murdered Tetris the other day")
posted by Bugbread at 4:25 PM on January 20, 2015


When the player has killed X number of victims, and the current victim is pleading for her life, the in-game camera pulls back to reveal it's a boy holding a controller and staring at a virtual computer screen with all the carnage on it. And his mum is calling him to dinner. And the rest of the game plays out from there.

A while back I had an idea for a movie that could never get made. The opening 10 minutes is one of the most spectacular action/chase scenes ever filmed. Pure spectacle, explosions, blood and Bay-hem.

When that scene is over the movie becomes an ensemble drama following the friends and families of the innocent bystanders who were maimed or killed during the action scene. Two hours of that.

Maybe something similar could be done with Hatred. Maybe it could be a sorrowful, character-centric drama using the Telltale Games play style.
posted by brundlefly at 5:09 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Q: Does your lead character have a backstory? Why is he so angry?
A: No, he doesn't have any story – he is out of his mind and he hates the world. Just like any other psychopath, he only wants to watch the world burn."

Stopped right there. If this person honestly believes there are people who do bad things without motivation, cause, or reason, then he has absolutely no insight whatsoever into humanity that I could learn from.
posted by GoblinHoney at 6:35 PM on January 20, 2015


brundlefly: You're about 20 years too late; there was already a Law & Order episode which used your post-catharsis theme for a plot.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:53 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stopped right there. If this person honestly believes there are people who do bad things without motivation, cause, or reason, then he has absolutely no insight whatsoever into humanity that I could learn from.

I don't think he wants anyone to learn anything? It's just a dude murderin' some folks coz he feels the notion.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:15 PM on January 20, 2015


Ignoring this sort of dumb, attention grubbing smack (especially when its creators start climbing up on their high horses when people start giving them exactly the sort of attention they were praying for) has been working out super good for me. Imma get back to that.
posted by nanojath at 7:31 PM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


GoblinHoney: "then he has absolutely no insight whatsoever into humanity"

Woah, dude. Sounds like you're looking for games that are "trying to be some kind of higher art" there, which are a dime-a-dozen these days. He's just trying to make a game where you kill a lot of people, because they're so hard to find.


And nanojath has a point. That's why I mentioned Lost Constellation. Anyone else got good games to recommend that aren't this hogwash?
posted by RobotHero at 7:35 PM on January 20, 2015


He can produce it. It has a rating that will limit its audience, which is sensible considering the subject matter appears to have been deliberately constructed to earn the rating. He obviously has issues. The game looks ugly and unnecessary. It will be played and then forgotten.

I spent years hunting for clever exploration of themes outside on the mainstream in horror movies, hoping that their natural base state of transgression would liberate the writers and directors to produce something new. Number of horror films that achieved this: very few. Number of indie films that managed to achieve this, by choosing how to move beyond trope and cliche rather than focussing on acts of moral transgression: far mores

There are games that can be produced that will ask real questions about gaming. There are games that have been produced that require us to question ourselves and our role in the game. This is highly unlikely to be one of them. You can load up Deus Ex and set up this scenario if you want and then make a giant tower out of soda dispensers and basketballs, exploding MIBs to make a giant red fountain of sports paraphernalia while you're at it. That could make a statement.

I'm amazed he didn't change his name to Obsidian Von Dark Black Muttermörder while he was at it. Yawn.
posted by nfalkner at 8:07 PM on January 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a game that uses an entertaining version of the persuasion mechanic from Elder Scrolls: The One Before the Latest One in order to gain trust or insinuate yourself into situations or positions, and then kill a carefully selected target. Yes, an actual serial killer simulator, that's what I want.

I think what I really want is more Hannibal.
posted by Mister_A at 8:57 PM on January 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's a great idea brundlefly.

Aeon Flux did something similar. Heroine rushes into a facility, kills all the guards without pause and goes off. And the episode gives a glimpse of the guards' life stories and backgrounds. Making the deaths of the faceless, disposable henchmen something to mourn.

If Hatred is moddable, a variation of your idea would be a great mod. Target a dead body and find a paragraph or two describing the victim's life. Give the player a sense of what he's destroying. Make the hover text not appear until the victim is dead, so the player doesn't know what he's ending until they're gone.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:00 AM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I remember correctly, the Invisibles had a whole issue dedicated to the life story of a security guard who was killed by King Mob in the first issue.
posted by I-baLL at 9:36 PM on January 24, 2015


Yep - "Best Man Fall", if memory serves.

So, slight tangent, but this is making me think of the role of "barks" - situationally-driven scripted utterances by NPC characters in video games. These are primarily intended to give the player information about the game - which could be backstory, but is often situational: giving the player an idea of where the enemy is located, or information about its alert level.

(One of the most elegant barks is "Outbreak, outbreak!" in Half-Life 2. The player is never told that this is an in-universe code for "I am the last soldier left of my unit", but once they work it out it acts as an invitation to do something showy and exciting to take out that last soldier, in the knowledge that they are not in danger of crossfire, flanking or sniping.)

Sometimes, barks and NPC dialog is used for unusual purposes - my favorite example being No-One Lives Forever, where enemy grunts can be listened to having long, involved discussions. These are there to be funny, and also to spoof the idea of the disposable FPS NPC and the robotic NPC bark (Fisher!) However, they also build empathy, and destabilise the purely adversarial relationship of the player and the world.

Obviously, that's not what Hatred is going for - it's designed by people without empathy, for a market of people without empathy. It's sort of reassuring, though, that we're discussing ways of inserting humanity into it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:01 AM on January 25, 2015


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