Developer: Free Radical Design
N Amer - 11/20/2007
E3 2007 Preview
Haze from Ubisoft is one of those games that debuts with a strong trailer, but mysteriously grows very quiet. This was the case at last year’s E3, as the title had a cool trailer on display at Ubisoft’s booth, but was oddly silent throughout the year. However, at this year’s E3 event, the title was on display with some demoed gameplay to boot. Haze will offer some new elements to the sci-fi FPS formula, have a deep story, an interesting South American setting, and should be one to check out later this year if you’re a PS3 owner.
Haze takes place in the year 2048. The global peacekeepers that be have been replaced by a weapons tech manufacturer known as Mantel. Mantel polices the world with their brand of supersoldier running on a substance known as Nectar. Nectar is a combat-performance enhancing drug that lets you move faster and see your enemies a lot more clearly on the battlefield. However, while on a mission in South America, you begin to develop nagging doubts about what you are doing and quickly become a member of the rebels operating in the area, fighting Mantel and their warriors.
The game presents FPS action with an interesting twist. The use of Nectar is a nice touch, but it isn’t without its flaws. While you can use it as a Mantel soldier and experience its upgrades first hand, it is also something that you can overdose on, a weakness that your enemies (and later you) will be able to exploit. When a Mantel solider overdoses, they turn red and begin shooting anything that moves, including their allies. While they’ll often be quickly put down by their squad if they’re outnumbered, throwing a Nectar grenade into a crowd of them is a quick and easy way to disperse them. Conversely, if you are a Mantel soldier and you get an overdose of the good stuff, then you won’t be able to make out friend from foe, nor will you have control over your firing abilities.
While Nectar is a plus (and sometimes a minus) for Mantel fighters, the Rebels have an interesting trick up their sleeves. If you find yourself under fire while playing as a Rebel, you have the ability to play dead, giving you some time to recover as well as get the drop on unsuspecting enemies. You can also steal their weapons right out of their hands and turn them on them. All of these elements factor heavily into the game’s multiplayer dynamic, which allows you to choose between the Rebels and Mantel at the beginning of the match.
As mentioned earlier, the game’s setting is in futuristic South America, meaning that you’ll be able to play through a gamut of environments, from the jungle, to cities and industrial areas.
After some mystery, Haze is shaping up pretty nicely and should be a pretty competent shooter when it ships. Look for it to ship exclusively on the PS3 this year.