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Haze Review

Haze is a thought-provoking, first person shooter game, developed exclusively for PS3 by Free Radical Design and released in May 08. Serious issues, such as the way we view war and corporate abuse of power, are interwoven into an exciting plot.

The action takes place over a 3 day period in the middle of the 21st century. In this future dystopia, governments contract out military operations to large corporations. One such corporation, Mantel Global Industries, is a multinational, which among other activities, has developed a performance enhancing drug called Nectar. Mantel supplies its soldiers with Nectar to ratchet up their fighting ability. But Nectar has other effects, including altering the soldiers’ perception of reality, so much so that killing fields are transformed into arcadian environments.

In the game you get to play Shane Carpenter, who is dispatched, along with other soldiers to South America, to seek and destroy a group of rebels. Shane, however, begins to realise how Mantel are using Nectar to control its soldiers’ minds. He courageously follows his conscience, and joins the rebels.

In addition to single player mode, there is a 4 player online co-op mode and a 4 player split-screen co-op mode. Up to 24 players can join in the multiplayer battles.

The game features the usual high-tech array of weapons, which include laser guns, assault rifles, rocket launchers, flame throwers, together with some standard small arms.

But it is Nectar that really turns you into a super-efficient fighting machine. It not only improves your strength and reactions; it can also give you special power such as being able to see enemies more clearly, because they appear orange. You can control the amount of Nectar you administer, but you will need to keep a check both on your remaining supply and the level in your bloodstream.  If you overdose, you are in trouble!

The action takes place in a number of settings, including beautiful, luxuriant jungle. But when you get to the highest level, you find yourself in a bleak, colourless, industrial environment. Here you are finally confronted by the awful reality of war; the screaming agony of the wounded and dying is unflinchingly portrayed.

Haze has been along time in the making, mainly because the developers chose to create their own engine, to ensure a high quality visual experience.

Along side the launch of the game, an original song called Haze, recorded by the alternative metal band Korn, will be released as an independent single and music video.

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