|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Free Radical Design||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 20, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Once you lose the nectar and switch sides, there is a little bit of a transition period and this does feel a little awkward. As a member of the Promise Hand, you don't have any access to nectar, and it is much easier to die. This makes the game a lot harder, and there is a little bit of a pacing stall while you are transitioning to the Promise Hand. Although, there are a few little perks that come with being a member of the Promise Hand. For example, you gain really cool abilities like, um, playing dead.
Graphics in this title are standard when it comes to current-gen visuals. However, there are a few issues like repetitious texturing and random black spots. It also doesn't really run at 720p (like the box says). Many people might split hairs over this technicality, and I can see why, as this title was supposed to be a showpiece for the PlayStation 3. Haze's graphics really represent a missed opportunity for the PlayStation 3 in terms of graphics. There was a whole lot of room for improvement in this title and I have to say that I was quite disappointed with the quality of the visuals. They're not bad, but the fact that they are comparable to the visuals presented in games from the past few years is just a little sad.
Sound in this game is pretty good and has some solid background music and some fairly good voice acting. I won't put the voice acting at the best quality, but it gets the job done and is entertaining enough. However, buddy characters in the game will often repeat stock phrases during battle and this does get a little irritating at times. But, aside from this small annoyance, the sound scheme is solid.
One big problem that I had with this title was its length. The campaign mode is entirely short. An average gamer will probably finish in less than ten hours. While I've seen my share of short campaigns, they have always been supplemented with vigorous online modes; this is not the case with Haze. The fact that the experience is so short is definitely the source of most of my criticism. There is no reason for a game of Haze's caliber to contain so little content. It is really upsetting that you can spend $60 on a game and be completely finished with it by the next day.
Overall, I think Haze is a passable entry in the PlayStation 3's growing library of exclusive games. In the PlayStation 3's short history, there have been several exclusive games that have been hyped as showpieces for the console. Titles like Heavenly Sword and Lair received a good deal of attention before their release and were then subject to serious criticism thereafter. Haze is another title that has been the recipient of some serious criticism post-release, but I do not think Haze is a bad game. Haze does have its share of issues, but the gameplay is solid enough, the story is passable, and the graphics work. Even though nothing here is truly groundbreaking, if you just want another shooter you can do a lot worse than Haze. But, if you're looking for a title that gives you a long-lasting experience, then you may need to look elsewhere.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer