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whatshot HAZE PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.8
Sound 8.7
Value 8.6
Distributor: UbiSoft
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
June 2008
Reviewer:
Jason Wright

8.6


HAZE
 

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.

 

Unfortunately 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.



 

Features:

  • Impeccable FPS credentials: from the developers of the critically-acclaimed TimeSplitters series and the publishers of Far Cry and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Free Radical and Ubisoft have proven their ability to create innovative platform-defining FPS titles.

  • Become a Mantel Trooper and fight the merciless guerrillas of the Promise Hand with the most advanced gear, the fastest vehicles, the deadliest weapons – and Nectar, Mantel’s battlefield-optimized performance-enhancing medication.

  • Boost your fighting abilities with Nectar, empowering Mantel troopers with fighting abilities such as Nectar Focus, Nectar Foresight, Nectar Perception and Melee Blast. Using these skills, troopers are able to detect and avoid imminent danger as well as deliver powerful attacks in close quarters.

  • Mature and compelling storyline. A tightly integrated storyline makes Haze an immersive narrative experience as well as a cutting-edge shooter.

  • Cutting edge gaming technology featuring the Disparity Rendering System shaping the players’ views of the world on and off Nectar. Haze also features an entirely streamed experience with no loading times between levels.

  • State of the art multiplayer modes. Fire up your console for online battles and choose from a variety of online modes including furious 4 player co-op action!


The title begins with the gamer being introduced to their squad as they are initiated into the futuristic world of combat where your character questions 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.

 

The 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.

 

The missions 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.

 

The 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..





 

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