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“Haze” Demo Impressions

The shooting game genre is jam-packed nowadays, so to stand out amongst the crowd, any new entry needs a unique mechanic or appeal. What makes “Haze so different? Drugs. Players can inject themselves with “Nectar” to improve their fighting abilities. If you take too much Nectar however, you’ll overdose, causing the screen to blur red and your character to move and shoot without your control. But in a practical sense, these drugs don’t affect you in cools ways like drugs do in Bioshock (shooting electricity from your palms, for example). We’re talking the boring and predictable effects – improved speed, strength, and accuracy. And it’s not like you’ll really need the help of that little yellow drug to defeat the brain-dead AI, who can hardly scratch your ridiculously overpowered suit if they get a chance to try.

When my equally dumb teammates were wounded before I got to shoot out their Nectar tanks and watch them spaz out, I didn’t feel any sense of wanting to save them. Those ‘roid-freaks reminded me of the douche-bag jocks with huge egos I used to hate at school. During the cutscenes, I just wanted them to stop talking, but it was several long, painful minutes before my wish came true.

The graphics are, dare I say it, hazy. Weird lighting blurs the scenery and makes the levels hard to navigate during heated moments… then again, the levels are always hard to navigate thanks to confusing paths that make finding your next checkpoint needlessly difficult.

Is Haze all bad? Well, the controls are good and the gameplay is at least functional, and it was cool that even on the demo, there was 4-player online co-op for the campaign, with multiple people on one console able to go online together. However, most of the fun I had with that was when JoeWillBeatJohn and I betrayed our team members and laughed as the host repeatedly restarted the level. For PS3 owners looking for another shooter, you might just want to wait for Resistance 2 or SOCOM: Confrontation later this year instead of shelling out $60 on Haze.

By Josh60502

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