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Haze Demo Impressions

May 7, 2008

Well I created a UK account on my PS3 finally so that I could download the Haze demo and try it out. Just a quick background story, Haze starts you off fighting for the Mantel Troops and you are fighting against the Rebel soldiers (no idea why anyone is fighting). The game will feature a single-player campaign which can also be played via 4-Player Online Co-Op. The focal point of the game is that the Mantel troops can inject a drug during battle called Nectar. This will temporarily make the enemy easy to see, steady and improve aim, improve your speed, and increase your melee attack. After the nectar wears off though there is a bit of a nectar crash and if you inject too much nectar, you can actually OD on it and go beserk. During the demo I had done this and started shooting enemy soldiers. Turns out the guys I shot while on a nectar high were my teammates (whoops). This made for very interesting gameplay. Now on to my thoughts.

Graphics

There are parts in the demo that look great, and there’s parts that don’t look so great. It’s weird b/c from afar, everything looks very static, but up close many environment objects have lots of detail not seen from afar. The character models are a bit bland and don’t have much animation. The color schemes work very well though and the areas look very vibrant.

Sound

Sound is one of Haze’s strong points. The demo showed off some great surround sound effects with birds chirping in the forest, troops yelling, etc. The voice acting is good at times, and so bad it’s good during others. Sound effects are pretty good overall.

Gameplay

The controls are your typical FPS controls and work well. Sixaxis was implemented very well by being used to toss grenades. Developers: Take Note: This is how Sixasxis should be implemented. I actually found Haze to be easy to jump right into. It felt natural, and guiltily enough, I had a lot of fun playing. The controls work very well and the demo ran very smooth with no hiccups.

Closing

Haze didn’t rock my socks off but it was nowhere near as bad as some early impressions I had read. The main thing I can take from this demo was that I had fun playing it. The use of nectar works extremely well and I enjoyed it. The gameplay was great but didn’t particularly offer anything revolutionary. The demo definitely peaked my interest in the game, and even though it’s no technical feat, I think it might be fun and enjoyable enough to warrant a purchase.

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