Graphics and Gameplay


The graphics in Haze are a mixed bag. At some points in the game, players will experience rich detail, nice lighting effects, and realistic textures. Yet other areas fall flat. Some players may feel as though they've entered a new game as a result. Also, the graphic detail may be mixed simultaneously in the same areas. For example, in the tropical forest areas, while outlying foliage appears lackluster, plant life you'll encounter on the ground looks superbly done. While many may simple overlook these inconsistencies, they are apparent and noteworthy. However, the overall design remains consistent throughout and is fairly pleasing to the eye.

Oddly enough, the portions of the game where graphic detail totally missed the mark are in the interactive cutscenes. This is rather unusual since cinematic sequences in games usually sport a high level of detail and often reflect more polish than character models during actual gameplay. Regardless of whether corners were blatantly cut or not, the game moves along quite smoothly at a comfortable frame rate, with only a few minor hiccups. Players can expect similar graphical quality while playing online. Overall, the visual experience is only passable and hardly takes advantage of the level of quality the PS3 is capable of producing.


The gameplay in Haze is fairly straightforward. Anyone who has played a first person shooter on the PS3 should feel right at home. If not, players have the ability to customize nearly all of the game's controls to their liking. This brings up the one element of customization that should have been present but wasn't; control sensitivity. Being able to adjust how fast the aiming reticule moves onscreen has become the standard in console shooters, but was lost in Haze. While some may feel comfortable with the default sensitivity, others who may have just come from another game might require some time to adjust.

Other negative aspects of the game worth mentioning include clumsy AI, limited camera panning, inability to fire weapons during vehicle sequences, and the lack of varied weaponry. On the AI front, issues with your enemies are plentiful but are not nearly as evident as with those on your side who accompany you into battle. The most notable issue is the fact that members of your team will constantly run into your line of fire causing players to miss their targeted foe. This, along with your teammates' being unlikely to kill any of the enemies they face themselves, lends itself to enough frustration to prompt players to leave them behind and push forward alone. While this seems entirely possible in some missions, your teammates will magically appear at the next objective even after driving a fair distance away from where you left them. And when you do rejoin your team, you can rest assured that its members will spout off the same five or six lines of cheesy dialog over and over again.


This brings up to the vehicle sequences. In Haze, you'll encounter a few types of vehicles that you can commandeer, including ATVs and futuristic dune buggies. None of these sequences involves full-scale war while in the driver's seat, but there are enemies present who will appear along your path to the next objective. While the ability to fire at your enemies while driving would have been helpful, weapons are simply not at your disposal. There are, however, weapons mounted on some vehicles and they are utilized by your squad, but your computer controlled teammates will never jump into the driver's seat and allow you to use them while traveling.

While you're piloting one of these vehicles, players only have the ability to pan the camera 90 degrees to the left and to the right. The main purpose of vehicles in Haze is to transport players from one objective to the next, but there are some instances where your vehicle is attacked from behind by pursuing enemy crafts. When this happens, the lack of being able to fire at them is cancelled out by the fact that you can't see them in the first place. If you do have a squad mate operating a mounted weapon on your vehicle, you can bet the enemy will not be affected. Thus, it is usually better to simply try and outrun your attackers or, sadly, jump out of your vehicle and fire at them while on foot.

Sweet Nectar… Weapons and Multiplayer
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  • Choppedliver - Thursday, May 29, 2008 - link

    Ive been reading this site from the start too. Its like my morning cup of coffee and my evening beer.

    Give them a damn break. Hardware, games, etc, this is anand TECH. Tech is a lot of things. It's a progression of the site. As long as they do a good job of the review, I don't give a crap what they review. Its not taking away from other stuff, like he said, and I honestly would rather believe a game review from this site than some of the "dedicated" game sites.

    I like many tech geeks, like pc hardware, cameras, games and a number of TECH things. If I can get my reviews here rather than go to another site, well that's just fine with me.

    Just like with anything else, if you don't like it, click on something you do like. You people act like by giving you additional content they have caused you some irreparable harm. Read what you want, dont read the rest. How F***ing hard is that?





    Reply
  • AcydRaine - Friday, May 30, 2008 - link

    Totally with you on that. If you do not want to read the articles, then don't. Not very hard. I do it every day on every website I frequent, and that is quite a few. Not just TECH sites either.

    Good to read actual users that enjoy playing games giving an unbiased opinion on their experiences with a game that doesn't come from how much money they were payed to give the review, or how much advertisment for the game they took on. Great article Eddie.
    Reply
  • EddieTurner - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    Allow me to address some of the concerns here. For the most part, the hardware that AT has fcused on for so long can be only utilized to its fullest extent with today's games, which is why Anand would like to see more game related articles. And since AT has spread its wings into numerous areas of tech-related subjects, including console gaming, it is only fitting that all aspects of gaming, regardless of platform, have a presence on the site.

    We know that many of you are die hard PC gamers, and we aim to bring you up to speed on some of the most talked about PC titles on the market. But we also have a console gaming forum that stays just as active as the PC gaming forum, and that says a lot about our community. And with console game sales far outnumbering their PC counterparts, that says alot about gaming in general. Today's hard core gamers play on consoles just as they do PC's. As for myself, I own a halfway decent rig, an Xbox 360, and a PS3. I'm not alone in this respect. And since great games are not limited so a single platform, our articles about them shouldn't be either. I'm here to talk games. The bar's open!
    Reply
  • GoodRevrnd - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - link

    I understand wanting to expand the sites appeal, but game reviews are an absurdly flooded market. I really think for it to be worthwhile you need to carve out a niche. AT is a pretty technical site, so I think looking at games heavily from the hardware side like Jarred said is definitely a good idea (this is probably harder to do for console titles, I'll give you that). In detail, what new whiz-bangedness does this game really bring to the table in terms of graphics, physics, AI, etc. AT has always done this for the major engine releases like Source, UT, Crytek etc. but it might be interesting to see what technical evolutions individual games bring to the market. This is obviously pretty dry, but it's one take you could do to differentiate yourselves.

    One thing I'd kind of like from a game reviewer is more technical analysis of gameplay. We get these wishy washy sweeping big picture articles from sites like Gamespy/IGN/Gamespot that don't really leave you much more informed than you were from the previous 6 months of hype and previews before the game came out. I'm reminded of older Adrenaline Vault articles. They really got into the nitty gritty mechanics of a game and evaluated game design elements. The down side was they just weren't able to keep up with the larger sites in delivering content. Basically it boils down to Summary = Bad.
    Reply
  • tangsta - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    I appreciate the fact that Anandtech is doing game reviews. Right next to video cards and lcds, games are interesting to me. To me, this site gave the most informative, practical, and accurate review of GTA4. I don't ever feel a "biased vibe" from Anandtech, like I do from most gaming-review sites. Those sites always seem to be searching for a dramatic spin on things.

    I don't know if I'm going to try Haze yet, but so far, I feel that this review is the most informative.
    Reply
  • geogaddi - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link


    reticule, reticle. redact, or ridicule!

    but it's a great premise for a hard-core, twitch-action, first-person shooter - using a high-performance weapon from dolce & gabanna to slay evildoers.

    accessorize THIS, biyatch...
    Reply
  • the goat - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    You didn't answer the most important question. Does the game support USB keyboard and mouse for control? Reply
  • Genx87 - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    I think after this generation will come to an end. It seems most of them were with the PS3 and the devs watch as their exclusives get beat in sales by COD4 on the 360 that has been out for 4 months.

    Good riddance imo.
    Reply
  • sweetsauce - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    unless you plan on hyping up the ps3. The fanboys don't like negative reviews. How dare you put down their beloved system, and make it worse by pointing out that a mediocre game is exclusive!

    On a serious note, I enjoyed the review myself. Seems like you can't trust other gaming sites anymore. If you can manage to stay unbiased, and im hoping your pc roots will allow that, then game reviews would be a welcome addition to a great website.
    Reply
  • Tavoc - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - link

    I've been reading Anandtech since the late 90s when Anand was still a high school student in Raleigh NC (as was I). I came to the site first because my dad pointed out a article about Anand in the local newspaper, but I stayed for the high quality computer hardware reviews and analysis. At the time there were few sites on the net that had the same quantity and quality of hardware reviews as Anandtech.

    In the past year or so, it appears that the site is really losing focus on what brought people here in the first place, careful and rigorous analysis of a multitude of computer hardware products. I really don't see a point in adding a couple of random console game reviews (rock band and Haze) when Anandtech is losing its edge in deep hardware reviews to places like HardOCP and in quantity to places like Toms Hardware. I also don't see the point in offering digital camera reviews when the frequency and quality doesn't exceed existing leaders in the subject (dpreview.com).

    I think its great that the editorial staff seems to be given free reign to write articles about whatever they feel like (Digital cameras, console game reviews, random USB Hubs etc.), but they are really spreading themselves too thin given the relative lack of computer hardware articles. Just look at the number of tabs at the top of the page, and then look at the frequency with which each is updated. The "Linux" (last updated in 2005), "IT Computing", "Displays", and "Mac" categories should probably be discontinued if there isn't sufficient staff to keep updated on a more than monthly basis.

    Its not even the lack of hardware articles that bothers me so much more than the fact that the ones that do get released do not follow a consistent methodology over time, do not have enough depth (average FPS numbers from timedemos?) and no longer lead the way in quality.

    I guess the bottom line is that I think Anandtech should focus on what used to be their core-competency; in depth, industry leading computer hardware reviews. Additional subjects and areas of focus should only be added when and if there is sufficient bandwidth to maintain quantity and quality in the core computer hardware areas.
    Reply

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