When it comes to video games, there's a high bar if you're aiming to be the most offensive ever made. A new game called Hatred, though, with its straight-out-of-Columbine atmosphere, is making a pretty solid argument for the title of Most Execrable Exercise in Gaming.
Fiddling about on the internets, one happens across Badass Digest's take on the game, entitled simply, "Behold Hatred, The Worst Game." As aforesaid, that's a pretty lofty statement, given the history of video games as a medium.
Over the decades, games have offended in so many ways, from the racial stereotypes of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out to the over-the-top violence of the Mortal Kombat, Hotline Miami, and Grand Theft Auto series, as well as the poor satire of just about every other violent video game like Postal or Manhunt.
That's not even mentioning the sexism. Bring in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, RapeLay, or just Lara Croft's outfits, and you're bound to get women looking at you sideways.
There are even the games that are meant to be offensive, such as Super Columbine Massacre RPG! or Muslim Massacre. So what could Hatred have that stacks up against this rogues gallery of timewasters?
Well, see for yourself. Or don't. Actually, you might not want to.
Fair warning: This is a decidedly NSFW video due to graphic violence and general tastelessness.
If you took the smart route and skipped over the video, here's a quick recap. Hatred is an isometric shooter that zooms in up close for cinematic kills. It stars a trenchcoat-clad misanthrope using a horrifying arsenal to gun down and gut anybody in his way.
No, really, the point of the game is to massacre innocent civilians and law enforcement, all with the aim of "[spreading] Armageddon upon society."
What's worse is the narration sounds like something out of Dylan Klebold's reject pile. It sounds like the writings of some disturbed individual about to go out on a killing spree. This in the wake of near-monthly shooting sprees in the United States. And that's all on purpose. The creators of Hatred said that there was a purpose behind the aesthetic and atmosphere of the game.
The question you may ask is: why do they do this? 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. Something different, something that could give the player a pure, gaming pleasure. Herecomes our game, which takes no prisoners and makes no excuses. We say 'yes, it is a game about killing people' and the only reason of the antagonist doing that sick stuff is his deep-rooted hatred. Player has to ask himself what can push any human being to mass-murder. [sic]
"Epic Games isn't involved in this project," according to a statement obtained by Polygon. "Unreal Engine 4 is available to the general public for use 'for any lawful purpose,' and we explicitly don't exert any sort of creative control or censorship over projects."
Epic Games went the extra mile for Hatred, though, demanding that the makers of the game remove the trademarked Unreal Engine 4 Logo from not only the trailer, but any marketing materials associated with the product.
Jaroslaw Zielinski, the creative director for Destructive Creations, the company behind Hatred, said that the group complied with Epic's request and called the inclusion of the logo an "oversight."
So, what do you think? If you had the stomach to watch it and make it even 30 seconds in, is Hatred the most offensive game you've seen? Does the shameless adoption of mass killer language and aesthetic just go too far for you?
In a world where gamers are already viewed oddly for their devotion to a pastime wherein the goal is to shoot things in the face, is this helpful to the gamer community at all?
What about in a world where purported gamers threaten to carry off mass killings at speaking engagements for feminists they disagree with? The kind of killings simulated in Hatred's trailer? Is it acceptable now?