No, it’s not a game about an epic, endless fraternity initiation – It’s a Playstation 3 exclusive first person shooter game set in 2048, showing war in the hands of private military corporations. As a new recruit named Shane, you learn this multifaceted companies use a drug, named Nectar (doses given by pressing L2) to make the perfect soldier. Echoes of the film Predator are unavoidable when the enhanced vision kicks in to distinguish your foes from the South American jungle habitat.
As with any drug, too much of a good thing becomes bad (glowing red bad) and suddenly the jerk soldiers you’re with become real jerks in the storyline. Players get to see the fight on the other side as well scrapping for ammo and using big doses of Nectar against soldiers in some direct ways. These combat techniques create great game play in the multiplayer, including a co-op mode for up to four players, and other online game modes. The short single player missions also include some split-screen two player co-op action, so friends don’t have to sit and watch everything. Once all the missions are conquered, single players can try the experience again on a higher level of difficulty.
The controls are nicely customizable allowing most players to really be conveniently creative with the ways they dispatch enemies, especially if they’re used to different control schemes. Some movements and environmental limitations could’ve been further developed. For example, after running to the edge of a thick jungle, an unexpected trip off a cliff looks more like your guy just leans over on the ground instead of falling a long way down.
Besides the combat, this game has mature content for the sake of content with no real purpose in the story. The scenarios and storyline weaken the game’s impact at times, but the controls and low loading times help offset these weaknesses. Vehicle combat adds some variety plus some nifty drive and shoot scenarios near the end.
Player A.I. can be funny and/or frustrating at times – Funny from some wacky scenarios that take place before your eyes and frustrating from your teammates (in the single player missions) frequently walking across your line of fire. Players willing to test the A.I. get tons of creative field testing/scenarios. Parents might find this element disturbing for younger gamers because there are virtually no consequences. For example, killing your whole team in the single player mode only results in more troops sent by the corporation. The quality sound really enhances the game, but the graphics need a bit more detail though the scope is very awe-inspiring. For example, running for cover behind a one-dimensional tree section doesn’t really give you the sense that you’re hiding from advancers in the Team Deathmatch online mode.
Players can really maximize the game themselves through the combat and variety of combat moves/controls. A possible game series has potential if they create a stronger storyline (e.g. ramping up the improving human life vs. faceless, power hungry corporation theme). Great title for military, action and FPS gamers.
Haze is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language and Use of Drugs.