Haze (video game): Wikis


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Haze boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Free Radical Design
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Designer(s) David Doak (game director)
Derek Littlewood (creative director)
Rob Yescombe (writer)
Engine In-house, with Conspire A.I.
Native resolution 576p[1]
Version 1.36
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA May 20, 2008[2]
EU May 23, 2008[3]
Genre(s) First-person shooter, action[4]
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative, multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 15
OFLC: MA15+[5]
PEGI: 18+
Media Blu-ray disc
Input methods Gamepad

Haze is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Free Radical Design and published by Ubisoft for the PlayStation 3.[6] It was released worldwide in May 2008. A demo for Haze was released on the PlayStation Network on May 6, 2008. Releases for Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows were canceled.

A multinational corporation with bio-medical expertise developed a drug called Nova-Keto-Thyrazine - also called Nectar,[7] a "nutritional supplement" that enables soldiers to fight harder and smarter, but also induces a hallucinogenic effect, where soldiers are no longer cognizant of the real battlefield around them, instead viewing an idyllic, painless environment.

The game takes place over a three day period as Mantel battles a group of rebels known as "The Promise Hand" which is led by Gabriel "Skin Coat" Merino, with the player assuming the role of Shane Carpenter, a 25 year old Mantel soldier. After Carpenter witnesses the effect Nectar is having on his fellow soldiers, and after a twist in the storyline Shane then turns rogue and teams up with The Promise Hand to take on Mantel.



In the game, soldiers make use of 'Nectar'. Mantel uses this drug to control the minds of its soldiers. When administered, Nectar can control what a soldier sees, among other things, similar to the effects of a hallucinogenic drug. Nectar drowns out images of death and destruction (for instance, bodies will vanish). Nectar also reduces recoil, and allows the player to zoom in further while scoped. An overdose of Nectar is dangerous, with loss of mental control and death being possible side effects. Nectar also enhances the soldiers' fighting capabilities, allowing them to run faster and jump higher. They also receive a boost in reaction time. A Mantel soldier experiencing an overdose is shown by a change in their armor, changing in color from yellow to red.

As revealed in an E³ 2007 trailer, Rebel soldiers may go in to a "Play Dead" state just before they are killed, allowing them to regenerate health and disappear from the Mantel soldiers' sight, since they can't see dead people while on Nectar. In addition, they exploit Mantel's dependence on Nectar by attacking the Nectar injector, extracting Nectar to use on throwing knives from dead Mantel troopers, and using the injector to create Nectar grenades. These Nectar-enhanced weapons will cause a Mantel trooper to overdose on Nectar, as will attacking the Nectar injector. Later in the game players also encounter special forces and overdosed soldiers that cannot be affected by Nectar-based weaponry. They can also steal a Mantel trooper's gun, dodge, and bury grenades in the ground as mines.


The game begins with Sergeant Shane Carpenter, a rookie Mantel soldier in a future where his country fell into an age of anarchy where as he quotes "Lucky to reach the age of 20", arriving in the Boa region of South America, where Mantel troops have been dispatched to liberate the country from a rebel group known as "the Promise Hand" which is accused of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by Mantel's mass media. Shane meets his squadmates; Sergeant Morgan Duvall, who is the leader of the squad, Lance Corporal Teare, and Corporals' Peshy and "Watchstrap". Teare is quickly berated and dismissed by Duvall for not taking his requisite dose of Mantel's performance enhancing drug Nectar.

Over a series of missions fighting for Mantel, Shane's Nectar administrator fails to drug him on several occasions, causing him to witness a number of disturbing events: he hears screams (implied to be Duvall torturing someone) which Duvall dismisses as "just an animal", he has a conversation with a pilot that had received no wounds from the crash and died mysteriously, but for whom Duvall doesn't care about that, and he sees the dead bodies of civilian factory workers that Duvall's squad massacred in an earlier mission because as Duvall states to Shane "an empty hand is just a grip away from holding a weapon".

Eventually, Shane and his squad were sent to capture Gabriel "Skincoat" Merino, the leader of the Promise Hand who supposedly eats his enemies and wears a long coat made of their skins. Shane captures Merino only to find that he's an old man who's only wearing a coat Merino states is "100% cotton". Merino debates with Shane about war and tells him "My Friend, there are two sides to every war. Are you sure you're on the right side?" Duvall arrives and begins torturing Merino, cutting off his finger. After entering the helicopter to return to base, Duvall brands Shane as a wuss and thinks he'll become a 'ape' like the rest of the rebels. When Duvall starts trying to cut off both of Merino's hands, Shane pulls a gun on him and the rest of his squad, leading to a shootout which causes the helicopter they're all on to crash. After crashing into a swamp, Shane tries to contact Mantel about the crash and his inability to administer Nectar but can't and starts going into severe withdrawals and experiences hallucinations from it. Mantel forces, realizing that Shane is not taking the proper levels of Nectar and thinking he's gone rogue, mark him for death by labeling him a "Code Haze" (Terminate with Extreme Prejudice) and send in their Black Ops (Mantel's professional soldiers, in contrast to Mantel's regular drug-fueled troopers) to kill him. However, Shane escapes death from the Black ops by a "Promise Hand" scout that leads him underground. However, in the underground, he loses consciousness due to Nectar withdrawal.

Shane is rescued by Merino and the Promise Hand, and realizes that everything he's been told about them has been false propaganda by Mantel. Shane is forced to kill Peshy and Watchstrap (who were also rescued from the crash by the Promise Hand) when they start shooting up the village. Duvall, also alive, escapes after telling Shane he's "just an animal" just like the rebels. Having witnessed the atrocities committed by Mantel's soldiers, Shane claims himself as a traitor but after Merino says he's on the right side, Shane swears allegiance to the Promise Hand in hope of doing the right thing and to undo the damage done by Mantel.

Answering a distress call from a wrecked Mantel cargo ship off a heavily fortified beach, Shane meets up with Teare. Teare, completely battered and wounded, reveals that when they first met, he sabotaged Shane's Nectar administrator to let him have "a taste of reality". Teare reveals the cargo ship is filled with the bodies of past Mantel troopers that Mantel was secretly disposing of; prolonged Nectar use has been proven to be eventually fatal, and Mantel has been concealing this fact by hiding all the bodies of Mantel troopers who have died from the drug, hiding the evidence. Teare also reveals that Mantel's stated humanitarian reasons for intervening in Boa are false propaganda and their real goal is the destruction of Nectar plants being grown by the local population, in order for Mantel to maintain its monopoly on Nectar production. After working on a plan to assault the observatory Teare is then killed by Mantel's Black Ops soldiers, but Shane and his "Promise Hand" allies escape, having to detour and return to the village, due to an Mantel assault. The Mantel assault is repelled and the plan is recommenced.

Leading the Promise Hand forces, Shane succeeds in destroying Mantel's regional supply of Nectar and remote control network at the observatory control room, causing the Mantel troopers to suffer mental and physical breakdowns from the withdrawal's side effects (he also witnesses Mantel troopers committing suicide when their Nectar withdrawal causes them to realize the atrocities they've committed). Merino orders an assault on Mantel's Landcarrier HQ to finish the war, but Shane is reluctant because Mantel's troopers are now largely defenseless and with no ability to administer Nectar, they no longer pose as a threat. Nonetheless, they begin their attack. During the assault on the Landcarrier, Shane confronts Duvall, who has taken over the Landcarrier due to being the only one disciplined enough to remain sane after suffering Nectar withdrawal. After a shootout in the control room, in which the two argue about right and wrong and the nature of war, Shane kills Duvall and escapes from the exploding Landcarrier. The story ends with Merino describing Shane as a "hero" and revealing his plans to use Nectar, in combination with free will, to give his people some "confidence". Merino states that Mantel "mismanaged" Nectar and denounces them as being "just animals", which greatly disturbs Shane, as it appears that Merino has learned nothing about what Mantel has done and plans to use Nectar to his own advantage.


Haze was first announced at E3 2006. It makes use of a proprietary graphics engine that was developed specifically for the game. Though purchasing an engine would reduce the development time, the team chose to create their own in order to have more freedom in the features and game design.[8] The engine provides various graphical effects. Lighting is mainly baked but the Haze Engine also has support for real time lighting and has a high-dynamic range. Particle and fire effects help give the illusion of volume along with motion blur and real time depth fields, the engine supports color Specular maps, Normal Mapping and Parallax Mapping technologies. Haze runs at 30 fps; the team claimed that 60 fps was not needed for the pacing of the game.[9] The AI system, "ConspireTM", is designed to allow enemies to dynamically react to other characters and the environment.[8]

Haze was originally set to be released simultaneously on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC in Summer 2007. However, the release date was pushed back to Winter, and it was announced at Sony's E³ 2007 press conference that Haze would be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. The game was then delayed further and eventually given a May 2008 release. Free Radical stated that the delays have allowed them to include several new features into the game.[10]

On October 22, 2007 Ubisoft announced that metal band Korn had written and recorded an original song inspired by Haze.[11] The song, which is also entitled "Haze", was released as a digital single in the U.S. on April 22, 2008. On February 26, 2008 a new trailer called "Nectar trailer" was released and featured the song.

On April 15, 2008 Ubisoft announced a playable demo would be available on the PlayStation Store in early May. The demo included the 4-player co-operative mode that appears in the final game.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 57%
Metacritic 55%
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 5/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly D+
Eurogamer 4/10
Game Informer 6.25
GameSpot 6/10
GameSpy 2/5
GamesRadar 7/10
GameTrailers 6.2/10
IGN 4.5/10
PSM 6/10

Prior to release, Haze garnered considerable hype. Some media sources even deemed it a "Halo killer."[12] However, upon release, critical reception for Haze was mixed. As of March 2009 on Metacritic, the game has an average score of 55 out of 100, based on 65 reviews.[13] On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game has an average score of 57% based on 59 reviews.[14]

Poor reviews included X-Play giving Haze a rating of 2 out of 5 stars citing bad level designs, shallow and stereotypical characters, quirky AI reactions, and a "stupid plot."[15] Giantbomb.com also gave a negative review, scoring Haze 2 stars out of 5, largely due to its many glitches and extremely short single-player campaign.[16] GameSpy also criticized the game, saying "It's clear from the bare-bones multiplayer, glitchy graphics and incredibly short storyline that Haze is a game interrupted," and gave the game a score of 40%. Eurogamer gave the title a 4/10 calling it "this year's most significant gaming disappointment."[17] Jeff Haynes of IGN rated it a 4.5/10, criticizing the "horrible plot, weak gameplay mechanics and visuals that are truly underwhelming. Tons of visual issues abound within the game from texture tears and non-descript environments to pop-in and odd animation problems."[18] Greg Damiano of Game Revolution rated the game a C-, citing examples of bland gameplay and graphics, blistering sound, and commenting that the main character "Shane Carpenter, whines and pouts all through the campaign."[19]

More generous reviews were also somewhat disappointed. Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 6/10, saying "This madly inconsistent shooter offsets a number of thrilling moments with terrible artificial intelligence and an awful story," and "A seven-hour campaign and uneventful multiplayer modes just don't cut it in light of the far better modern shooters available on the market."[20] Swedish magazine Gamereactor gave Haze a score of 6/10, but Ubisoft forced the review be taken down from their website.[21] Two days after being removed, the review was once again published on their website. Narayan Pattison of IGN AU gave it 6.2/10,[22] while Martin Robinson of IGN UK gave the game a 6.5/10.[23] Edge expressed disappointment that the game fails to make meaningful use of its premise, dealing with issues like the demonisation of the enemy "in such crass manner it tends to undermine the few moments where Haze gets it subtly right". While it stops short of the "nauseatingly distasteful", "[t]here’s simply no complexity to any of the faces you encounter" in the story. Turning to gameplay, the review concludes that the "few bright ideas and engaging set pieces are drowning in an ocean of mediocrity" while the visuals turn "the majority of missions into characterless, barren gauntlets to be endured". Play magazine gave Haze a 64% rating saying "Although ambitious, Haze is let down by generic gameplay, and a rough finish. However, if you're a FPS (first person shooter) fan and you don't mind these shortcomings, you may find elements here to enjoy." The game itself can be completed on 'easy' mode within 5 hours.

There have nevertheless been some positive reviews. PSM3 magazine gave it a rating of 71/100 and said it "fails to better UT3, Resistance and CoD4" and it "feels like a novel idea that missed its window of opportunity," but said "there is a certain charm to it." The review concluded that the game is "worth a look, but shabby visuals, unfulfilling plot and dull set-pieces mean it's not a classic."[24] In addition, Japanese magazine Famitsu awarded the game 34/40.[25] GamePro gave it a 3.50 out of 5, saying that good gameplay and storyline were dampened by bad graphics.

See also


  1. ^ Haze not in HD, has 4GB install News - Page 1 // PS3 /// Eurogamer - Games Reviews, News and More
  2. ^ Haze Retails in North America on May 20, PS Store Demo Due in Early May with 4P Online Co-op - Shacknews - PC Games, PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii video game news, previews and downloads
  3. ^ Haze finally gets firm May date, again News // PS3 /// Eurogamer
  4. ^ "Haze Profile Page". GamePro. http://www.gamepro.com/sony/ps3/32815/info.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  
  5. ^ New Zealand Rating info
  6. ^ http://ps3.ign.com/articles/854/854877p1.html IGN - Haze Targeted
  7. ^ "MANTEL GLOBAL INDUSTRIES: WHAT'S NEW". Mantelglobalindustries.com. http://www.mantelglobalindustries.com/us/morenews.php. Retrieved March 2008.  
  8. ^ a b Hwang, Kaiser (June 2007), "A Personal Chat with Free Radical's Derek Littlewood", PSM: 22–26  
  9. ^ Hwang, Kaiser (June 2007), "Haze: Taking Care of Business", PSM: 8–17  
  10. ^ "Haze is NOT Duke Nukem Forever". http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7551024144/m/9341061436. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  
  11. ^ "Korn To Release Original Song For Ubisoft's Haze Video Game". Games Press. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=29838. Retrieved 2007-10-22.  
  12. ^ "Halo 3 Killers". UGO. http://www.ugo.com/games/halo-3-killers/?cur=haze. Retrieved 2009-04-04.  
  13. ^ "Haze (ps3: 2008): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/haze. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  14. ^ "Haze Reviews (PS3)". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/933103.asp. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  15. ^ "X-Play Haze Review". 2008-05-20. http://www.g4tv.com/xplay/reviews/1781/Haze.html.  
  16. ^ "GiantBomb Review". 2008-05-20. http://www.giantbomb.com/haze/61-20455/reviews/.  
  17. ^ "Haze Review // PS3 /// Eurogamer". 2008-05-23. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=142250.  
  18. ^ Jeff Haynes (2008-05-20). "IGN: Haze Review". IGN. pp. 2. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/875/875229p1.html. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  19. ^ "Haze Review for PS3". 2008-06-14. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/ps3/haze.  
  20. ^ Kevin VanOrd (2008-05-20). "Haze for PlayStation 3 Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/haze/review.html. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  21. ^ "Haze, var är recensionen?". Game Reactor. 2008. http://www.gamereactor.se/brev/103576/. Retrieved 2008-05-20.  
  22. ^ Narayan Pattison (2008-05-21). "Haze AU Review". IGN AU. pp. 2. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/875/875885p1.html. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  23. ^ Martin Robinson (2008-05-21). "Haze UK Review". IGN UK. pp. 2. http://ps3.ign.com/articles/875/875641p1.html. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  24. ^ PSM3 staff (2008-05-21). "Haze PSM3 review". PSM3 via ComputerAndVideoGames.com. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=189380. Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  25. ^ Famitsu Gives Haze a Glowing Review news from 1UP.com

External links

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