There haven’t been many third party exclusives for the Playstation 3 thus far, which definitely pails in comparison to what we saw from third party developers on the Playstation 2. I believe there is still this feeling out process for the PS3 that both consumers and developers are still beginning to understand, and once we see one or two AAA third party exclusives that sell well, I believe the floodgates may open. One of Sony’s touted hopes in this category is a game called Haze, an exclusive PS3 title that hopes to give you another reason to jump on Sony’s new platform. Does Haze do the trick? Read our full review to find out!
You could tell that Ubisoft was really pushing Haze in recent months, with things like Korn (the rock band) doing an original song just for the game, and the hype that surrounded this PS3 exclusive I for one was more intrigued then ever to see how the game turned out. At the end of the day hype is really only worth how much a game can capitalize on it, and the question now remains, how good is Haze?
Free Radical Design has been known for doing some great games in the past, and I think when we all heard they were working on Haze that this was going to be a big time game. Let’s start with the story which I am not going to discuss with specifics but rather just go over the fact that this story is convoluted, its poorly developed, and its pretty unoriginal. I think my biggest issue with the game is the main character who just never seems to be a good fit for the story. The character just doesn’t feel like he fits in, there is this feeling like he never gets his way and just quite plainly isn’t a likable character.
When a character isn’t likable its hard to really enjoy the experience all that much. Some of the best games of all time like for exam Metal Gear Solid and The Legend of Zelda worked because you really wanted your character to do well, but in Haze I just never cared at all. WIth that being said, could the gameplay make up for what is lacking in the story? The short answer is no.
The gameplay in Haze is really driven by this “nector” which from what I could tell is just a drug that heightens the senses of your character. The game makes this possible by really highlighting your enemies and making them standout over the other characters which is actually a neat feature, its overused a bit but its a good feature. I am not sure the nector is implemented all that well either, for whatever reason it seems to make the game a bit easy, no matter what the difficulty level. It’s not like in Max Payne where it becomes part of the game, it just doesn’t feel like the nector ever fits in the experience.
The game’s multiplayer options are much, much better. Not only do you have split screen cooperative play but you also have online cooperative play which is really fantastic and makes a lot of the issues from the single player experience non-existent. The co-op really seems to gel nicely, and although there are still some moments of bad AI it really does help complete an experience that otherwise struggled.
Haze also has some online play although its not overly expansive. The game includes both a regular and team deathmatch as well as team assault. The first two modes are self-explanatory although the third mode is basically an objective based mode thats rather generic. In the end the online co-op is strong, but when playing against your buddies online, there are much better first person shooters out there.
Bland is the word I would use to describe the visuals of Haze. What was once touted as a PS3 exclusive that was going to be a third party title to show of the PS3 really didn’t happen with Haze. More then anything you would expect a game like Haze to have a truly great artistic sense, it just seemed like that type of game. Unfortunately the game doesn’t manage to really do any of this with all that much glamour and the frame rate in the game is often appalling, not what I would consider a great example of the PS3’s power.
I have to say that the initial trailers and media leading up to the release of Haze really showed that of a strong title, but the final version of Haze really landed flat both in the visuals and gameplay. I think as a developer you have to understand in a completely filled genre like the FPS you really have to have something special to make it stand out above the rest. With Haze you get a middle of the road game that has good online and split screen cooperative play, decent single player, and average online play, not necessarily the recipe for success.
For all the harsh words towards Haze, I do need to step back and at least explain that this isn’t the worst experience on the consoles. This is just a game that was set to have high expectations and unfortunately was unable to capitalize on these high hopes and came out with a pretty down the middle experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.