Huge amounts of early hype in the gaming world usually surmounts to a pretty rubbish game. And Haze is no different.
Unless you’re particularly dull, you’ll be immediately disappointed as soon as you start up the game. The initial bout of dialogue introducing you to the game’s incredibly poorly created storyline is almost as head-shakingly bad as an episode of Scottish soap River City. And River City is really quite terrible.
Now, as poor at the cutscenes are, they’re nothing compared to the in-game dialogue uttered by your early compatriots. Drifting between your standard meat head tripe, to downright offensive rubbish, you’ll be tempted to turn the gun on yourself just to get away from these morons.
Thankfully – and this is a plot twist that been in every trailer, so I’m not spoiling anything here – you switch sides fairly early on, meaning you get the chance to blast away at these idiots. Which is always nice.
Nectar (not the high street reward card unfortunately) plays a huge part in Haze. This little drug can be utilised to make you fitter, faster, and stronger with a mere tap of a shoulder button. Find yourself stuck in a tight corner and a quick Nectar boost is all you need to cut a swathe through the enemies ahead of you.
Cram a little too much Nectar into your veins however and you’ll go stir crazy. You’ll find yourself unable to control your shots for a short period, and you’ll discover that you’ve just taken out a huge number of team mates while you’re high as a proverbial kite.
But – and this is a pretty big but – the whole Nectar thing doesn’t even last that long. While you’ll be utilising its goodness for the first hour, once you’ve switched sides all you can do is attach a vile to a grenade in order to force enemies to overdose. A bit strange when you consider it’s apparently one of the game’s major selling points.
The poor standard continues with the overall aesthetics. Much has been made in the press of the games apparent lack of true HD visuals, and it certainly shows. At times you’d be hard pressed to understand just why Haze couldn’t have appeared on the good old PS2 with its fuzzy textures, terrible pop-up, and a really quite dreadful blur effect.
Even your enemies are consistently stupid, making Haze much easier than most first person shooters. In standard play it all boils down to the usual corridor style blasting action that’s been done umpteen times better on every console in the last decade.
That’s not to say that Haze doesn’t have its moments. At times you’ll find yourself in the middle of a stunningly exciting set-piece, and it’s at these few points that you’ll come to not begrudge shelling out so much cash. But when you need to wade through an hour or so of rubbish to make a single set-piece, it’s not the best bang for buck ratio you’ll have ever witnessed. And as for the vehicular based levels, well, they’re just shockingly bad.
The co-op options that allow you and three chums to play though the game either via one console or online is a big plus. Having a few friends along for the ride rather than idiotic morons certainly raises the standards a point.
But the few plus points simply aren’t enough. The hype simply wasn’t worth it, and Haze deserves to find itself confined to the bargain bins sooner rather than later.