Haze Hands-On

  • Posted March 19th, 2008 at 05:38 EDT by

(continued from previous page) ...some areas that are quite dark, it can be hard to pick up where you’re being shot from. Injecting some Nectar and surveying your surroundings will help you quickly locate any guerrillas baying for your jacked-up blood.

The nectar also has the effect of ‘highlighting’ your shots in a way, whether its because of the small spurt of blood from the impact on the backdrop of the luminous yellow or just making the spurt more bold we didn’t quite ascertain. Either way it makes shooting ranged opponents much easier, as you can tell whether or not you’re actually hitting them, and where.

To balance out the benefits you get from the nectar, you only get so many doses of it at the start of the level, and each dose runs out after so long. However, killing enemies gives you a ‘boost’ in your nectar, so chaining kills makes your dose last a whole lot longer. This helps drastically when you’re trying to defend a position from waves of guerrillas, as you can last with a minimal amount of Nectar use.

To add to the balancing, you can overdose on the stuff if you try to inject yourself with too much at one time. This causes the player to initially start swaying wildly, and if any friends are in sight, your gun will start shooting on its own to replicate loss of control. At times like this, you cannot tell friend from foe, as everyone is just a black silhouette. Eventually you will recover, and the nectar meter will go down to show how much time you have left until you do. Overdosing is fairly annoying when it happens, so you soon learn the limits of using your nectar in the best way.

There was a brief driving section where you manned a jeep not unlike the Hellbender of Unreal Tournament fame. Two of your teammates could sit on either side of the jeep and fire out, while a third can operate the mounted turret on the rear. The section was a bit like one of the many driving bits in Halo, although dismounting during fights was far easier than trying to run your foe over. This, in some ways, is better as it keeps the action a little fresher.

Graphically, the game looked fairly good, although character eyes would stay firmly in place, giving them a creepy, glazed expression most of the time. Still, it ran smoothly without any noticeable slow down, even with grenades and guns going off around the place. The cutscenes were well animated even with the unmoving eyes of evil, although some of the character dialogue felt like they were trying to copy some of the machoism from Gears of War. However, this seems like it's probably part of the plot and part of the effect the Nectar has on the soldiers.

Overall, for an unfinished product, Haze was an enjoyable experience. Going around blasting luminous people with the magnum was a great joy, although on the flipside, the rest of the experience felt like most other shooters out there. As it’s not finished, some of these niggles may be ironed out, but either way, it’ll be interesting to see how all this carries over into the multiplayer, especially as multiplayer tends to make or break a lot of FPS games.

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  • Related game: Haze

    Release date (US):
    May 20th, 2008
    Developer:
    Free Radical
    Genre:
    Shooter - First Person
    Rank:
    19 of 2,669 Games
    Up 0 places (in last 7 days)

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