You’ve most likely heard of Hatred if you have anything to do with the gaming circles. News of the so-called hyper violent top-down shooter couldn’t have arrived at a worse time. This is because Hatred places you as a mass-murderer. Given a multitude of weapons, your only aim is to kill and massacre everything in some sort of holy crusade. When news broke about this, there were several mass school shootings and murders , so this glorification of violence to this degree has struck quite a few nerves. Understandably, the game thrived because of the controversy, as did GTA in it’s fledgling years, but Hatred took it a step further. By claiming that they have creative freedom, they appealed to a lot of the hardcore free-speech members of the internet gaming community but was it really necessary? My opinion, not really. Its a bit insulting to say such a thing when you know your games only aim is to kill innocent people without an ounce of sympathy with an extremist. Without any justifiable story behind the character or why you pursue the actions, the game is simply senseless. It doesn’t help that the achievements are rewarded for killing people, more specifically cops with certain achievements rewarding you for over 1000 kills.
The so called story is that our nameless lead hates the world. Everyone else is evil and inherently bad and the world must be cleansed. With little quips and quotes eerily reminiscent of an extremist, its a god given crusade. I hate it. Over top-down shooters have a form of narrative no matter how simple. This is really just killing people for the shit of it. Is it ground breaking for gaming? No. Its not innovative and its not creative. Levels are lacklustre, the art style is fitting but requires polish and the system is slugish. With a recommended settings such as 8GB of RAM and a multitude of others, the game is slow. It assaults the system with specs that are exuberant of what it should really be. Its poor optimization means that the framerate plummets and the game lags behind. My gaming laptop is nothing short of expensive and powerful for what it is but to have an issue running a top-down shooter is absurd.
As I mentioned above, the level design isn’t great. Repetitive corridors, streets and homes with a few explosive barrels indicate what to shoot and general movement through them is hampered when you keep getting stuck on trees or in doorways. Everything looks very copy and paste and the art works makes the game a nightmare to play.The black and white often blends the aiming cursor meaning its almost impossible to see at the best of times. Not including the fact that its general movement speed is awful. Our lead is a combination between She-Hulk and Medusa with long black hair that flails around frantically at walking pace and gets even worse when running faster than Usain Bolt and a voice that grates more than Steve Buscemi’s teeth. Other than that. The guns and general action were quite good but the AI is atrocious. Planned to make it easier to kill? I don’t know but when you have simple civilians wandering around without a care while you murder the rest of the population, you would think running away would be the basic reaction. Nope, they run at you and nudge you along gently in their efforts. Then finally the set pieces. I never realised how poorly constructed American homes were. Everything falls apart on a blocky fashion, as if the walls are only made of plywood from a single round of buckshot.
As a shooter, Hatred could have been a great game. With a few tweaks and a major overhaul of its premise, it may have been far more enjoyable. I agree with the argument for freedom of creation but just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. The creators should really take a step back and look at what they’ve done. They have caused a big stir and put themselves on the map for the time being but as an independent group, funding will run dry and its employees may struggle to get work when they’re associated with this project that they all seem to be so proud of.
Overall the game is a bit of a disappointment. I wasn’t expecting the release trailer to show the complete introduction to the game and I was really hoping for something that had an interesting story to coincide with its dark premise and at least give some sort of reasoning or next level philosophy. Instead I was caught up in they hype for a generic shoot-em up that used shock to sell a game that is glitchy, poorly optimized, slow and unnecessary.Because its on release and there has been about 3 updates since I came off yesterday, I can’t attack its optimization solely so the game gets 5/10. Its no Hotline Miami and its certainly not worthy of its fame, much like Kim…
Want a game for your next-gen console at £40 that isn’t finished? Well this is you game! Rush to your local retailer and purchase this game with a story shorter than that thing you call a penis, next-gen graphics from 2002’s Gamecube, a 16GB install, a frame rate that drops as often as an alcoholic in a vineyard and glitches enough to make EA’s UFC proud. Having seen nothing about Sniper Elite III at EGX until a few months back, I was fairly excited. X-ray kill-cams and an intuitive mechanic for snipers sold me on V2 and returning with “Improved works” and some new extras just seemed like a much stronger game. It may simply stand that the Xbox One version of the game is supremely glitchy but that’s no excuse for a game that cost £40 and just appeared out of nowhere one day without much warning.
If you’re looking for a story that engages you in an action packed adventure with colourful lead character and a dark villain to boot, Don’t play this. Both of these feel non-existent. Considering you only meet the villain in the final mission and kill him a little later, it feels really unjustified to pave the way for an insane Nazi, only to cut him down without any enforcement of what he is doing that is anything other than following orders. Our lead man whose name is never mentioned in game but is Karl Fairburne is practically faceless. With the emotional range of Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, the only difference is that Karl talks to himself like a madman…
The redeeming factor for Sniper Elite is the X-ray cameras. Trying to get good shots for the recording (Will be up on the Black Ribbon Youtube channel soon!) was great fun. A yelp of happiness spewed from my mouth once I finally managed to achieve a testie shot on some poor bugger. Playing on the ‘normal’ rating was fairly simply to do as long as you didn’t go getting sighted and make a lot of noise. Bullet drop was the only gimmick that affected that particular setting of difficulty with several others ramming up the difficulty for those with the patience not to draw everyone out and play whack-a-mole with dozens of Nazi craniums.
As a pre-order bonus, I was ‘rewarded’ with DLC. The trend sweeping over the industry to stick DLC straight after the game is released has to be the worst idea in history. So you couldn’t just place it in the game to warrant the money I’ve just spent on something that’s only positive part is shooting AXIS forces in slow-mo, in the nuts and just general violence? I would continue to rave on about the game being screwed. So badly screwed that I had to replay a mission from the begin just so I could get a recording that didn’t feature a tank locating me 12ft underground. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shooting people and it’s just a mind-numbing experience which anyone can enjoy while investing the same brainpower as a breastfeeding baby. 6/10 is where I have to place this. With no characters, a story which was already written in for them, just dumbed down and it’s fuck-ups are infuriating to battle with. DO NOT WASTE £40 on it. Wait until it’s cheaper! Then you may enjoy it.
After the previous Far Cry, I didn’t really care for the series and we can still see many of those
annoyances coming through in this follow-up. I played 10 minutes of Far Cry 2 and then dumped it as it was so annoying, so I came into this one with little expectations apart from the raves reviews that came out around the time of its release.
Altogether, I did enjoy playing the game. There were flaws that would appear, simply to piss me off but some I managed to ignore. The sandbox world of Rook Island is amazing, the quality of the landscaping is brilliant and is one hell of a sight when you are using the gliders to travel. The thick jungles hide vicious creatures that want to use you as a new toy, which is bloody scary when you don’t know where they are coming from! However the land can be annoying, when you cannot climb a slope over a certain degree or drive your 4×4 up it you wonder why you bother trying. Alongside this one of the missions detailed for you to jump from a bridge and use your wing suit to fly away, I happened to miss the chance to pull the chute, hitting the water and escaped off the map completely so my character drowned as he couldn’t get back into the map world.
Story wise, the game is really simple. You go out with all of your rich friends and brothers to then get stuck on Rook Island after you went off course while skydiving. Rook Island is inhabited by mercenaries, pirates and general innocents. You end up causing a lot of shit towards the mercs and pirates while you rescue your friends. The campaign is approximately 12 hours long and can get really far fetched. With the introduction of magic items about half way in, it seemed stupid when the game was positioned in a fashion that’s more like a survival game and doesn’t reflect the true gritty style. Alongside the whole magic tattoo stuff which was really odd but is part of some cultures and does look pretty
badass. The characters are really frustrating, your older brother who dies at the start was probably the most bearable seeing he was only about for 5 minutes. The rest of them are just douche bags, especially the stoner. Character development is little, if any. Jason (you) is also very boring. You see none of the stress he would go through, but you see him go from innocent teen to a mass murderer with a machete and an SMG with an ability to sponge bullets and damage from everything apart from a 10ft drop! His change was to drastic and never really made you engage with him.
Weapons in the game are fairly varied and the use of the bow is great fun. The bow and a scene at some rice fields really showcase the ability of it but also blow you back to the most recent instalment of Rambo! With the huge size of the map, you will have enemies all around you and you constantly need to maintain a supply of weapons and ammo which is fairly cheap and easy to come across. Once the campaign is done, you have the whole world to play in. Liberating the island is a big task but good fun when you go in like a ninja cutting the alarm and single handedly popping all the enemies off from a mile off with a nice sniper round to the cranium. Then you have the ones just just play up and enemies find you from an impossible angle which would get on my tits.
Finally the bosses. Vass and Hoyt. Using Vass on the front cover was a mistake, he appears a few times until you get to kill him, all being for a few minutes and then disappears. Bigged up as a huge psycho nut job, you would expect to see him more often and truly see this, but you don’t. You get little samples and then it’s over. Hoyt was much the same as Vass but you could see what he was planning for you from the moment you first met (as long as you actually looked around his place properly). His plans were so evident that they could have cut to the chase instead of making Jason look like an idiot. Finally we have the boss fights which just suck. You suddenly hallucinate, kill everyone in the room and are put through quick time events to kill Vass and Hoyt. It lacked any substance to really grip you and stress you out.
Overall the game was alright, I haven’t covered everything as I’m still hungover but I believe this game deserves a 7/10. If only they could sort a few little bits out and I would be happy, such as the AI’s and driving.