UbiSoft and Free Radical Design have finally released the highly
anticipated first person shooter called Haze on the PlayStation 3
that is set in the year 2048 where governments have outsourced
military operations to Private Military Corporations.
this is a world where drugs play a huge part in military power and
your newly enlisted soldier is about to see that war is not black
and white. Your conflict begins in a war-torn country where you have
been sent to fight a vicious rebel faction called the Promise Hand. At
first glance, all is well, but things quickly begin to look a little
strange and the boundaries are
truly becoming blurred.
The title begins with the gamer being introduced to their squad as
they are initiated into the futuristic world of combat where your
the morals of military interference as the player embarks on their
mission in South America. There is also a twist in the storyline as
you progress which I will not spoil here but needless to say, it is
quite entertaining and does turn things around.
Although not an
original concept, what sets Haze apart from its competitors at the
moment is the inclusion of a bio-enhanced drug called Nectar which
allows you to become a super solider. By administrating this drug
into your body, your senses become heightened as does the damage you
do on your opponents and it limits the damage you receive. When
under the influence of this substance, your enemies can easily be
spotted in the lush jungles of Boa and to get an idea of this vision,
think of it as Predator vision.
Fortunately this power is limiting
and you can only have a set number of Nectar in your arsenal, so it
must be used wisely and sparing in some places. To become
genetically improved, the gamer only needs to push L2 on the
controller, however be careful in ensuring that you are not over
indulgent in this drug as it can cause some almost steroid enhanced
rage as you fire at everyone and anyone... team mates included.
health system follows the standard which automatically increases by
avoiding combat and assists in the playability of title and best of
all, the game is littered with checkpoints, ensuring that if you do
happen to stumble upon misfortune, you will not lose too much time.
The title also contains four difficult levels and with that said,
gamers who try this on the hardest difficulty are in for a difficult
time. The AI of the title is a little bit of a hit and miss
situation and are not as advanced as some of the other games on the
market at the moment.
Even so, depending on the difficulty of the
title, they do give the gamer a run for their money, however I was
hoping that they would be a little more attuned to their
surroundings. The squad based mechanics of the title are a little un-inspirational as your team mates basically run around like crazed
madman and do need your assistance from time to time.
of Haze are quite varied and do remind my of Farcry (perhaps because
of the jungle inspired gameplay) where the players must complete a
set number of objectives such as destroying bridges or even using
vehicles to progress the storyline.
For those wanting multiplayer excitement, the title contains an
interesting split screen mode and also a 16-player online mode that
contains your traditional Deathmatch and Team Assault modes of play.
While playing online, players can either play the Mantel or the
Promise Hand with some interesting game objectives and is actually
quite entertaining, maybe a little more than single player.
Graphically, Haze looks quite impressive on the PS3 with extremely
detailed gaming environments and is probably the most impressive
looking jungle scenes since the original Farcry title. The
characters are also well animated and contain some great facial
features who all move with a real-world grace. The weapon effects
are quite impressive as are the in-game cinemas. When taking Nectar,
your screen slightly blurs, ensuring that the player knows that they
are under the influence of Nectar which is a neat little effect.
The voice acting of Haze has its moments, however much of the time
it seems a little forced and contrived with your team mates lacking
all moral compasses and could be considered "jocks" with their
comments, shouts and grunting.
The title contains a great
soundtrack that suits the genre perfectly and does change at certain
moments in the game. As to sound effects, the game contain a
plethora of them and the weapon sound effects are quite impressive
and sound great through a surround sound setup.
In conclusion, Haze is an apt first person shooter in a market that
is already swollen with these games. I must admit that my
expectations of Haze were considerably higher but the gameplay seems
a little lacking and at times a little annoying. The cutscenes in
the game sometimes continue almost indefinitely and I could find no
way to skip some of them as they were a little tedious.
storyline started slow, got quite engaging through the middle of the
game and then became a little slow again at the end but at the end
of the day, Haze still delivers as a first person shooter, even
though certain sections (e.g. AI and cutscenes) can be frustratingly
annoying at times. An interesting first person shooter that slightly
misses the mark..