Let’s talk about Hatred. One of the most controversial and shocking games in existence. Now, controversy in the gaming industry is hardly news nowadays. Indeed, the gaming industry has been getting a lot of bad rep over the years because of the games that are released. And the message that they convey. But more on that a bit later.
Right at the start of this post, let’s first focus on the game itself. And later on, the controversy that followed.
What’s Hatred All About?
First and foremost, Hatred is an indie game published and developed by Destructive Creations. And yes. As you can probably tell, we do have it on sale, here at IndieGala. And what a sale it is. Seriously, check it out here and who knows. Gave it a shot. This is a once in a lifetime offer.
But what about the game itself? Hatred is an isometric shoot ’em up video game in which the main character is actually a baddie. In other words, you are that baddie. Moreover, the protagonist is a mass-murdering villain. He “hates this world, and the human worms feasting on its carcass”. And embarks on a “genocide crusade” against the entire human race. He’s also disgusted by human society and general existence. So the Antagonist (he doesn’t have a name) decides to start a “one-way trip” spree of killings in New York City. What ensues is mayhem and plenty of violence.
Hatred And The Blame Of Video Games For Inciting Violence
It’s a tale as old as… well video games. Since the inception of video games. Politicians, religious figures and people of power, in general, are first to blame today’s violence and killing on video games. Violent video games much like Hatred. They’re first to condemn the gnarly and excessive violence in video games, and tie it to everything from mass shootings, aggressive behavior in children. And all the way to the spike in the crime rate. And it’s simply not true. But that’s what happened with Hatred.
The Controversy Around Hatred
And let’s not forget. The Hatred controversy started even before the game’s publication. The first trailer stirred some decent controversy long before the game was even published. Then there was the removal (albeit briefly) of the game from Steam Greenlight. Then the game was given an AO rating, and right after that Twitch banned the broadcast of the content from AO games. And that included Hatred too. Among the other AO games. Such as Manhunt 2, Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Director’s Cut. Oh and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored. Yup, I’ve written a couple of posts about the sleazy Mr. Larry and you’re more than welcomed to read them here.
What Does The Man Behind Hatred Has To Say About It
And yes. You can bet your ass, that the studio made the exact game that they always wanted to make. Indeed. I dig up an older interview with Przemysław Szczepaniak, the creator of Hatred (for Vice). Here’s what he had to say about it. These are his words, verbatim.
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. A little bit of dirt and a murky atmosphere never hurt anyone. As you have seen lately, gamers have rushed in to support this project, with amazing numbers of Greenlight votes. So if there is a need for such games, we feel that we did the game concept well.
But all in all, Hatred is not the first game that caught flack for the use and portrayal of excessive violence (killing especially). Postal, Carmageddon, Mortal Kombat, GTA and even Death Race were singled out long before Hatred. There will likely be more. But I’m here about the movies as well. Not just the games.
Which movies would go here in this Hatred post?
Well, I chose the theme of misanthropic mass-killer as the main theme in this post. And some of the picks involve serial killers but yeah. I don’t really dive into their motives or backgrounds. Some of them are born as misanthropic mass-killers, while some of them become later in life. So, with that in mind… Let’s begin, shall we?
Natural Born Killers
I don’t think the media, nor the public really got Oliver Stone’s message with this movie. Dare I say, the satire in the subliminal message? And much like the game itself, Natural Born Killers received a huge backlash because of the „glorification of the graphic violence“. But in many ways, the movie was a trailblazer for what’s to come. The media’s habit to make celebrities of criminals and the subsequent glorification of their behavior.
But this movie is so much more than that. For instance, it’s about the impact of abuse on the human psyche. Oh, and the ramifications of the past trauma in adulthood. Not to mention it’s a fantastic movie with incredible performances from almost everyone. From Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis (whom I’ve met backstage at her concert). To Robert Downey Jr and Tom Sizemore. Great direction from Oliver Stone too and a great story from Quentin Tarantino.
For me, it’s a must-watch from Joel Schumacher’s career. And probably one of his finest movies. Not to mention, it’s Michael Douglas’s favorite performance to date. And he’s William “D-Fens” Foster in Falling Down. A down on his luck man that is just trying to get to his daughter’s birthday. But what will happen on his way there, will test his temper, his convictions and his future. What I loved about this movie is the slow yet steady buildup of his anger. And I loved that this movie showed us how little it takes for any of us to snap and reach the breaking point. Not to mention, how apt the sardonic observations on everyday life are in this movie. A must watch.
Henry- A Portrait Of A Serial Killer
This is the oldest movie on this list, but also one of the most disturbing ones. I must admit, this was a heavy and disturbing movie for me, so I watched it with pauses. But I can’t really fault Michael Rooker and his incredible chilling performance. He’s truly incredible here as the titular character. A serial killer who seemingly operates with impunity, but Tom Towles (in the role of Otis) is also pitch-perfect. Henry lacks compassion, human decency and moral compass, and he’s probably the most vicious killer on this list. It’s also a must-watch if you can stomach it, of course.
You’ve all heard about Patrick Bateman I presume? And you’ve probably seen Christian Bale in this iconic movie by now. But Patrick deserves to be on this list. He’s yappy that moonlights as a serial killer, and preys on just about anyone. His colleagues, prostitutes and finally on random people. But aside from Patrick’s demented state, American Psycho is a nice satire on the 80’s opulence and superficial consumerism. An era of decadence and excess. And yes, much like with every movie on this list, American Psycho got heavy criticism for the use of violence. But it’s a great movie nonetheless. More than 2 decades after the premiere.
Punisher: War Zone
Indeed, there are plenty of projects with Frank Castle (movie and TV projects), but I chose War Zone here. First of all, it’s a reboot, and secondly, it’s the third feature film adaptation of The Punisher. And last but not least, I really like Ray Stevenson’s portrayal of Frank. Yes, it’s violent and yes it has over-the-top shootouts, crazy villains and the story is pretty dark. Hey, even Roger Ebert called it one of the best-made bad movies I’ve seen.” He added that the film’s only flaw is “that it’s disgusting.”. But it just has to be on this list. However, I’d love to know which Punisher flick is your favorite? Or is it the acclaimed TV show? Let me know in the comment section.