So, this Hatred game has gotten some attention over the last few months. It’s the first non-hentai AO-rated game in ages, there was a whole problem with it on Steam Greenlight, and this week it finally came out. I have no doubt it’s a dark, gruesome game with the savage killing of innocents and a relentlessly nihilistic outlook — but it has a darker secret: it’s a lame and incredibly dated idea that does nothing new.Developer Destructive Creations made the game as a response to trends like political correctness and making games as art, so, you play a guy called The Crusader who kills everyone. There’s civilian-killing, cop-killing, and many other varieties of killing, all from an isometric perspective.That sounds a lot like the first Postal game. Postal was made by Running With Scissors, and it came out 18 years ago. In fact, everything about Hatred has this “edgy” attitude that reminds me of my days of wearing all black and glaring at people in high school. It’s steeped in this late-90s mentality that seems both awkward and quaint. Even the idea of fighting political correctness, a term popularized by decades-long conservative commentator and convicted felon Dinesh D’souza, feels so Clinton-era. Even from a purely gaming perspective, we’ve had nearly two decades of advancements in games being dark, weird, and messed up.Sure, Hatred hits home. It’s gross and uncomfortable, but that’s not because it’s violent. It’s because it’s weirdly personal. It’s isometric violence in modern-day real-life, with people screaming and running from you. That’s it. You’re a weird guy in a trench coat with Nathan Explosion hair who has guns and kills people. It’s the sort of thing you could do in any Grand Theft Auto game if you wanted to distract yourself with gruesome violence for a few minutes. Take away the sympathetic nature of the victims, and you have a game that’s not really that hardcore. Ooooh, it’s bloody. Yawn.Hold Hatred up against any game from the last 10 years that’s tried to be really dark, and it falls apart. Look at Bloodborne, the spiritual Dark Souls sequel that’s become a PlayStation 4 system-seller. It’s not just violent, it’s nightmarishly violent and gruesome. It starts with a hazy walk through a sick town filled with half-mad villagers you need to slaughter as they turn into monsters, and from there takes the most fascinating and thorough descent into surreal Lovecraftian horror I’ve ever seen in a game. I won’t spoil how far down it goes, but to get the “good” (secret/true) ending, you need to do something to a baby. It’s dark. And yes, I know you don’t need to do the baby thing if you time the clinic thing right, but it still counts, and wow, out of context that sentence is horrifying.Dante’s Inferno by Visceral Games looked like a God of War ripoff with a hilariously misguided core concept built around Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. That’s because it was, but it was also super-metal and really dark — as in, you have to kill droves of unbaptized babies with knives for hands.But hey, that’s just horrific violence, and both of those games take place in imaginative settings, right? What about games that simply let you slaughter everyone around you in modern-day New York? Enter Prototype, an open-world “superhero” game and the thematic doppelgänger to Infamous. You play Alex Mercer, a mutated super-monster who walks like a man, and you need to find out what’s going on while Manhattan is quarantined over a mutant virus outbreak. One of the core gameplay mechanics is absorbing people. You can absorb anyone, and New York is filled with civilians wandering around. In fact, you can run from enemies by turning into a civilian and disappearing into a crowd — you just have to eat a civilian first. If you’re low on health, you can eat an entire crowd of screaming, panicking people as if they’re Junior Mints. The game never judges you on it, because instead of Infamous’ binary morality system, Prototype simply casts you as an “unlikable antihero” and runs with it.And of course there’s “No Russian,” the level in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 where, undercover, you have to follow terrorists around an airport as they slaughter everyone (and possibly slaughter people, yourself). This used the whole mass murder of innocents concept to much better effect by acknowledging it at all.The best use of violence as commentary, however, goes to the stellar Spec-Ops: The Line. It’s the video game equivalent of Apocalypse Now, both as a brilliant, harrowing work and as an adaptation of Heart of Darkness. I won’t spoil it, but there’s massacring.The biggest controversy around Hatred is that it has feceived so much attention — not that it does anything new in its horribleness. Killing crowds of innocent people looks a lot more realistic and disturbing with 2015 graphics than with 1997 graphics, but at heart it might as well be called Postal HD.My criticism of the concept of the game shouldn’t be seen as any call to have it banned or censored. If a game is bad, either in idea or in execution, let it come out and flop. If a game is great in idea or execution, let it come out. Even if something is tasteless, there is no good reason to censor it. We are diminished far more by the silencing of voices than the tolerance of them.