Hatred is a twin-stick shooter that has gotten a ton of attention in recent weeks and months. Personally, I’m keen to play it because I enjoy twin-stick shooters and I really like the design behind Hatred. However, I know plenty of people are outraged by the genocide simulator. I reached out to the studios and got email answers to all our questions.
First up was the most important question that I think everyone has been debating – why are they making Hatred? According to Przemyslaw Szczepaniak, the Business Development Specialist, it’s about the gaming industry.
The general condition of games and the gaming industry did that. As a team, we all agreed that most of games we know became far too “arty”, too colorful and polite. They tend to lead gamer by the hand to a point, that he may even feel stupid. We really missed the times when games gave players something more than just graphics and schematic gameplay. We didn’t want to take part in what is happening now in the industry, so we decided to create our own project that will oppose what we don’t like about gaming now.
This also informed the choice of going for the black and white aesthetic. They believe gamers enjoy a darker atmosphere. Plus, it’s a unique design choice for a twin-stick shooter – most are more focused on bright colors and awesome particle effects (think Resogun) while Hatred takes a darker approach. Even the finishers (those gory murder scenes we’ve seen up close and personal) play a role in the game; it a crucial part of the gameplay. Some NPC will die in agony at which point the player can walk towards them and trigger the finisher cut-scene; by doing so, the Antagonist actually heals himself.
By working on such a dark project, I wondered if that isn’t affecting the development team. It’s got to be tough working on a murder simulator all day, right?
Hahaha 🙂 No, it didn’t rub us off or anything like that. I mean come on, we don’t live in dark caves, we don’t carry AK-47 on a way home, and we don’t eat raw cats livers for breakfast 😉 Hatred production is no different than making any other game really. It is a hard work but in the same time a pleasure too. We have our schedule, tasks system, a lot of testing, etc – it’s nothing unusual. And since we’re all friends, it is much easier for us to communicate and work together. The only thing that distinguishes our work is the excitement that we are making our own project and that it that has been featured in all possible media, and has achieved so much already even though it’s an AO rated game!
I keep giggling at the idea of cat liver, but I also just like the response from the team. They know the game is perceived as this dark, terrifying project, but it’s still just making a game within a close-knit studio. Of course I had to know more about the game itself.
Hatred will have around ten types of weapons. Starting with a pistol, AK-47 and shotgun, players can eventually also get flamethrowers and explosives. There will be seven open locations to roam through; after finishing one stage, the story will move you to another. While you may be able to use better weapons or armour as you progress, there will be no leveling up or super powers; they are going for as much realism as possible in that regard.
It will be the player herself who becomes a better murderous mass-shooter. Without a storyline or explanation as to why the character is doing this, the studio is hoping to force gamers to think about it for themselves. It makes the whole experience more interesting and raises more questions about the antagonist’s behavior.
While the rating hasn’t affected the development of the game significantly, it may affect distribution down the line. Depending on PC sales results, Hatred might be ported to Mac and Linux. While the same could go for consoles, it depends on if publishers would be willing to release the game on various platforms considering the content and rating.
Personally, I think the game may have a deeper meaning, but I know others see it as a pure genocide simulator; a shocking game made for that singular purpose. I had to ask if the team was building it with a deeper philosophy in mind, or if it was all about the fun murderous gameplay:
I think that you’ve already partially answered this question yourself 🙂 It really depends on your approach to the game. If you hate it, you will say it’s the worst nightmare genocide simulator. While a regular gamer who simply likes shooting games of that kind, will say that this is an original twin stick shooter and it looks promising. Finally others may look for a deeper story within Antagonist’s mind. We as developers, have more like gamers’ approach. We made this game for pure fun, to make something we like in gaming, to produce a game we always dreamed about as developers and gamers.
I really like this approach from the team, though I understand the controversy surrounding the game.
Despite making a game that’s egregiously, gratuitously about death and murder, the developers seem really well balanced and determined to make the game fun to play, which really is what it’s all about.
Of course the controversy surrounding the title will continue – as it probably should – but as an Adults Only rated game, it should hopefully only land in the hands of those mature enough to grapple with its content and enjoy the gameplay as it’s intended.
Last Updated: February 19, 2015