PS3 Fanboy hands-on: Haze

PlayStation Day 2008 is over but our coverage continues! We're also enjoying the spoils to be found on the European PlayStation Store. In particular, we're talking about the Haze demo which we fired up and took out for a spin. North Americans without Euro accounts can get their nectar dosage tomorrow. While we've played the demo and have written our thoughts here, reader Chris G. shares his gameplay footage through the Haze trial play. So read our thoughts and check out the vid (or not the vid, if you wish not to spoil the experience before you give it a go).

The demo starts off with a firefight in the middle of the jungle. There's no real explanation as to why you're there but that doesn't matter too much for a demo. The controls are standard as far as shooters go, move with the left analog stick, aim with the right, and fire with a shoulder button. Left-handed players will be glad to see control options for them.

Anyway, the thing that deviates from the typical formula is the inclusion of the nectar drug which heightens one's senses and actually makes killing easier. When you inject yourself will a limited supply of nectar, you can zoom in farther, your melee attack is stronger, and enemies glow a bright orange giving away their position. While this is a strategic enhancement, at times it does tend to feel more like a distraction deviating from the main action. We're sure the story aspect of nectar will be fleshed out through the final game, but it doesn't come through in the demo, which feels a bit like a heavy weight dragging the experience down.


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Another note on nectar input, we noticed that not injecting oneself after awhile caused a "nectar distortion" message to flash and everything going hazy. What exactly happened and the consequences of this are not entirely certain as a real-life panic attack ensued and we quickly injected nectar into our computerized character's system to stabilize. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it to reappear.

The single player campaign was an average experience. It's what you expect from the genre, but there's nothing really more to it. The online four-player co-op is, on the other hand, a much better experience as it conjures up the feeling of really working as a team and being a specialized squad. The four-player co-op campaign took place on the same mission as the single player, if anyone wants to know. The two player split screen is divided vertically. There appears to be no way to change that in the demo.

Overall, the demo was fairly fun, though it does seem like a genre generic title ... and by the merit of this demo alone, shooter fans probably may have felt the experience seemed a little too close to another shooter by a single name of four letters (well at least the very beginning). Can you guess which one?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.