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Category: Opinions

hatred_01

Hatred is one of the most juvenile, pornographic, disturbing  games revealed in recent memory. It’s also one of the most interesti— no, wait, come back! Hear me out, sceptics.

To be clear, let me state upfront that I don’t like the premise of Hatred. I find it uncomfortable at best, downright vile at worst. The trailer’s choice of close-up victims is also worrying, given the dev’s alleged political views (more on this in a bit). And if Hatred existed in a vacuum, it’s relevance would be zero. The developers declare it’s a response to video games languishing under some imagined politically-correct critatorship, which seems absurd if you look at the release schedule for next quarter, or the following one, or forever.

Instead, its value lies in its role as a foil to other games, a mirror that reflects rote mechanics, shallow motivations and lazy rationale for the many in-game activities we engage. Similarly, Hatred stands in contrast to the thoughtful and benign approach the industry has taken in the kind of games it puts front and center of the public eye; while the medium is evolving, it still remains a highly commercial enterprise and one where hard-won PR with the general populace is rigorously defended.

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assassins_creed_unity_screenshot_3

I’m noticing a recent trend, and I’m none too happy about it – games being capped at 30fps. Is this even a “recent” trend?

I’m not sure. Maybe it’s been quietly sneaking up on me this whole time and I just haven’t noticed.

Regardless, I’m suitably worked up about it to write a column about how dumb this is, and I’ll even provide proof and stuff.

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I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Play Dota 2!” was what came from Chris Kemp’s mic. “But it’s not enough that you just play it”, he elaborated. “I need you to be competent at it.”

With those simple words, my course was set: I was to play Dota 2, against humans, and get a killing spree. Three kills in a row. How bad could it be?

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bright future ahead

For the first time in a long time, I feel enthusiastic about the immediate future of gaming – at least, that is, for the next year or so.

I’ve been pretty vocal on this site about my distaste for the dull, mass-produced AAA clones that are coming out of publishers these days, a whole lot of the same without much interest in originality or innovation.

But, I’m cautiously optimistic that there’s an actual shift happening right now.

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It is, without a doubt, the most anticipated multiplayer game of 2015. Everyone seems to want Evolve in their veins and not only has Turtle Rock Studios done a great job in keeping the hype in check and giving gamers the dirty details in the right way and at the right time, but they’ve also helped spur along the creation of a new genre: the Asymmetrical Multiplayer Co-op Tactical Shooter (which I coined myself and abbreviate as AMCOTS). Though other games have had their hand in producing games that adhere to the AMCOTS style of play, Evolve is one of the bigger AAA releases that is getting all the attention.

With bundles of nerves, the NAG Online Podcast Team sat down for a match on Friday evening after the rAge Expo 2014 closed for the day and later wrote our first impressions. Hit the jump for expert analysis, killer-flytraps, and exactly as much professionalism as you’d expect.

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Welcome to the NAG Online Podcast! This is our first rAge Expo edition, which we didn’t record at the expo but the week after, on Wednesday evening. If you’d like to listen in live to Chris’ ranting about pidgeons not being sexy or fowl-minded, or Rick laughing about how evil he is, or Delano introducing us to new games in his extremely large Steam library (not a euphemism) that we’ve never played before or Matthew talking about mallets being handed to politicians, you can follow these instructions on the NAG Forum thread about listening live to our podcast. Once rAge fever finally subsides, we’ll have this up on Thursday morning instead of Friday. Thankfully we no longer have audio sync issues, so that helps!

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gifted birds

I’m writing this column now, while the rage is still fresh. You see, I just “finished” Hatoful Boyfriend. But let me give you some backstory first, let me explain how I ended up in this existential nightmare.

It all began on Wednesday the 1st of October, on the NAG Online podcast. Rick de Klerk, known sadist and underwear enthusiast decided to issue me a challenge. Naturally, I assumed he was going to make me play some hilariously bad game or other such witty, light-hearted shenanigans.. But I was wrong. So so very wrong.

De Klerk locked my gaze with his cold, dead eyes and said, “Chris. I want you to f**k a pigeon.”

And now here I stand. A broken, defeated man with tears in my eyes and feathers in my crotch. What follows is the story of how I got to this point, but I must warn you – it doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

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Damn, rAge 2014 is over. It was one hell of a roller-coaster and definitely the gaming highlight of my year. I played a lot of great games, but as I sit bathed in the glow of my PC screen I realise that I didn’t play everything. Here’s a list of what escaped me, because I like lists.

rAge

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excited kid

Last year around this time, I wrote a column on tips for rAge, which was odd since I’d never been. Still, much of it held up in practise, and now I get to walk into the expo this year knowing more of what to expect.

So then, for this year’s rAge-themed column I’m simply going to talk about the five things I’m most excited about doing.

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In this eleventh episode of the NAG Online Podcast, we have a chat about some of the early rAge 2014 coverage we’ve put out, as well as discussing breast controllers, why Chris thinks Ripley’s daughter sucks as an Alien survivor, why Rick eventually came to love Tropico 3 and all the juicy, juicy details about Windows 10, Microsoft’s love letter to the people still on Windows 7. Join us for an hour and a half of fun!

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