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Haze!

The highly anticipated and several times delayed PS3 shooter has finally arrived, but will it be worth the long wait?

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Need...Nectar: With Haze being delayed so many times, you would expect the fantastic game that Free Radical set it out to be and the game that you expected it to be, but sadly the game leaves a lot to be desired.

The plot of Haze revolves around Shane Carpenter, a new enlistment in Mantel, a private military corporation, (or PMC) and their ultimate weapon; Nectar. When the game begins, you will enlist to become part of Mantel, and when you do you will be given the miracle drug Nectar.

Nectar is a miraculous drug that gives the user increased strength, heightened senses and extra durability to damage. As with everything though, if you overdo the use of Nectar, it will affect you negatively.

When with Mantel, you will fight against rebel forces called the Promise Hand, but soon after you discover these forces, you will uncover the truth about Mantel, resulting in an interesting twist.

While the story sounds awesome on paper, the execution of it is way of base. As you progress through the plotline, you will discover a mangled, sloppy mess that tries to pick up later in the game, but destroys itself past recognition early.

Although the story is weak in game, the drug Nectar is perfectly executed. When high on the stuff you will discover both the highs -- the intense focus, the heightened senses and the increased durability -- but you will also experience the downside to pumping yourself with it.

If you are so unlucky to be hit with a stray bullet on the Nectar administrator on your back, you will tend to overdose and lose control of your actions. When you overdose, your vision becomes strained and all you can do is watch helplessly as you uncontrollable fill your comrades with lead.

In the early missions of the campaign, you will battle alongside fellow Mantel soldiers, but sadly their personalities are unbearable to the point of wanting shooting them dead.

They will spout stupid, childish remarks and comments that make no sense at all such as boosh! They will constantly shout "boosh!" "its like taking candy from a baby" and even "what, are you gonna stare at me like you want a piece of my a**?

I Can't See My Legs: That's not where the flaws stop either. While you play, you will be amazed with huge explosions, loud and massive amounts of gunfire from all around you, and sometimes even interesting comments by your teammates (except Boosh!)

Often times, you will be subjected to incredibly dim AI who will either stand there waiting for death, or charging at you...looking for death.

Sometimes they will occasionally notice a grenade that you threw, but instead of diving away from it, they tend to dive thwart it.

You will also be accompanied by AI controlled teammates, but sadly their AI fares no better then the enemy's. They seem incapable of using cover intelligently, they stand in your line of sight, and they're often more hindrance than help.

That's not to say that the game doesn't have its amazing moments. Occasionally, you will come across jaw-dropping segments or missions that will blow your mind with its tremendous level design and perfect execution.

Want To Buy: Intelligent Teammates: As with most shooters, the game is much more enjoyable in co-op, and with Haze, you have the ability to have four-player co-op. When playing with real players, the game will take a turn for the better and you will realize how much the idiotic CPU AI affects the game.

Hazy Multi: The most disappointing of all of Haze's features is the unbalanced and uncreative multiplayer. Up to 16 players can compete in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Assault modes. You can also fill out unranked matches with bots, but considering the moronic AI, there is no reason you would ever want to

. Assault is the clearly superior mode here, in which Promise Hand and Mantel teams take on opposing objectives, which in turn lead to the occasional stunning and intense firefight. The other modes are exactly what you'd expect.

Although you'd think that the abilities that nectar provides troopers would make them the more powerful faction, the upper hand goes easily to the rebels, thanks to the playing-dead mechanic and each rebel's ability to dodge by double-tapping the jump button.

An effective rebel can rack up the kills in this manner, because in a full match, opposing players don't tend to hang around and see if you spring up 10 seconds later because you can play dead as long as you want. It's also proof that nectar is, at its core, a gimmick. Being able to cause a trooper's overdose is great in theory, providing you with an opportunity, but in practice it's more effective to just mow them down as you would in any shooter.

Rent vs. Buy: Despite all of its shortcomings, Haze is still a halfway decent game. Although the undetailed character models, the blocky animations, the unbalanced MP, and the moronic AI hinders the game, there are still times when you can see the potential of the game and what it should've been.

Haze is not even close to being worth the long wait, and the occasional "wow" moments can't hide the fact that Haze just feels like it didn't live up to its potential.

Report Card

Haze is not even close to being worth the long wait, and the occasional "wow" moments can't hide the fact that Haze just feels like it didn't live up to its potential. (Krakrabbit.com)

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