Zero Punctuation: Haze

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Oh I'm glad he reviewed this. I didn't th much of the demo. In my opinion the NECTAR was as useless as a wet carrot, making all the movements jerky and getting you hit more often.

Was thinking about buying this, but not anymore ... not until I can get it for twenty bucks or possibly trade it with uncharted. Pretty annoying because I just completed MGS4 and now my PS3 is just a dust-collector.

Wow it gets a little faster than usual

I have to note the irony in waiting until five-past noon then rolling through the bookmark list on my browser to see the new review in a manner that would imply it should cause colorful psychedelic hallucinations because the angry little gaming pessimist in me only gets his fix when listening to a cookie cutter crap-fest gets the royal thrashing it rightly deserves, (and then some), to find out that this week's outhouse masterpiece lined up for the guillotine revolves around heavy drug use.

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

A transcript from a mug of warm milk and the occasional cuddle:

I think it's safe to say that very few people will be madly trampling babies under foot to grab Haze on launch day. I know that what atrophied dregs of enthusiasm I had, breathed their last when I glanced at the back of the box and saw that it was an outdoor first person shooter about space marines. "Whoop de fucking do," I thought. "I look forward to the vehicle section with horrible steering and spending half the game hiding under a table waiting for my health to regenerate." But then, up popped the hateful little angel on my shoulder, who spends most of his time talking me out of buying a Cornetto every time I pass a seven eleven. "Shame on you Benjamin Yahtzee Sebastian Godzilla Croshaw," spake he, "Have you forgotten Call of Duty 4 already? You should give every game a chance to surprise you or you're no better then those dipshits who never play Mass Effect, but condemned it as some child corrupting boob stravaganza."I had to concede the point. It's not like there are any other new games to talk about, unless I want to start oiling up my thighs for Age of Conan.

So, Haze. There's this impossibly well equipped corporate army thing, who don't represent the United States, honest, who invade some South American country and hit upon the world beating idea of making their soldiers fight battles in a jungle environment with a bunch of glowing yellow lights strapped to their bodies. You start off fighting for the Camouflage is for Sissies crowd, but halfway through you realize that the huge faceless corporation, who controls their infantry with addictive drugs, might possibly be a bit on the amoral side and decide that blindly following orders is a mugs game. Whereupon you defect to the opposing guerilla army to blindly follow their orders instead. An unusual plot twist, which would probably have had greater impact were it not given away on the back of the fucking box.

The story is deeper then the usual kill everyone who is different to us military shooter affair, which I do appreciate. At the start of the game your colleagues are a bunch of psychotic macho dicks, and it was a relief to find that I was supposed to think that, because I thought the same thing of my heroic squad mates in Halo, Crysis, Turok, Quake 4, and pretty much every in which large men stand around comparing willies. The main character of Haze is characterized not as a wise cracking walking armory who lactates testosterone, but a naÔve whingeing college boy soldier, who can't function without mugs of warm milk and the occasional cuddle. Which gets a bit incongruous after he's mowed down enough people to populate Mozambique.

The overall message of Haze's story is that WAR IS BAD, and that there are no true heroes when death is on the menu. But combining that with whizz bang shooty fun strikes me as trying to have one's cake and eat it. I phrase I've never really understood. I mean, I think it's perfectly reasonable to want to eat a cake that you have. There's not much else you can do with a cake, except maybe hide in one if you're a stripper. Sorry, lost my train of thought.

Haze is a game that can't decide what existing FPS it wants to rip off the most. Halo is the obvious candidate. It's even got the same title, give or take two letters. And the driving sections are identical, right down to the design of the gravitationally challenged vehicles, and the mounted turrets manned by tragic sufferers of the stupid virus. There's also a rusty old cargo ship level for fans of the one from Condemned 2. A very Quake 2 esque smelting plant and most of the rest of the environments are straight out of the Crytech games. Although it forgets the crucial jaw dropping graphics aspect, as can be evidenced by the hilarious 2D map back drops during the transport scenes. They look like some guys are running past the chopper holding up cardboard forests on sticks.

Haze's one claim to not be the work of jaded hacks who could easily be replaced with a computerized FPS generator is the whole addictive drug business. When you're plugged into the Heroin-O-Matic you can occasionally give yourself a quick fix to help out in battle, which strangely enough does not manifest as bullet time. Pretty much all it does is make the enemies light up like Christmas trees, which is admittedly pretty useful with current generation graphics being what they are. But then of course, since DRUGS ARE BAD, this all goes in the bin the moment you join the other side. Here a golden opportunity to deconstruct the genre by switching out the damage taking gun fun for sneaky guerilla warfare is tragically missed when ultimately the only change is that the team switched jerseys. Your new rebel allies suddenly game the former regenerative powers your former squad mates did, whose powered armor simultaneously gains a convenient weakness to bullets.

The nicest thing I'm prepared to leak from my cakehole about Haze is that it's at least functional, which is more then I can say for Turok. But it's insultingly short and easy for a game that costs 110 Australian dollars, Money which could have bought a lot of Cornettos. If you have a liking for Halo, a crippling fear of trying new things, and desperate need to get rid of all your money very fast then you should probably think about getting yourself sectioned. But until then you might as well buy Haze. You mad bastard.

Aries_Split:

DoctorNick:
That thing cost $110!?! Jesus fuck!

Keyword AUSTRALIAN DOLLERS

No, the guy is right.

Currently our Australian Dollar is worth 0.9343 US Dollars, and yet we still pay double the price of games and DVD's. This is due to regional lockout. Originally it was tolerated because our dollar was worth less and import costs were more expensive, but now that it's risen and import costs are cheaper, most companies refuse to drop their prices because they know we'll tolerate it anyway.

Bunch of greedy bastards, they are. Anyway, onto the review:

It was nice and full of the things I like most about ZP reviews. I especially like the subtle things you mention without directly drawing onto it, for instance the comment about "current generation graphics" which is completely true. It's like companies took the epileptic jokes seriously and decided to accomodate for them over the vast majority. Something I don't mind since it does make the game that much more realistic, but it's becoming such a trend now it's losing all appeal to the point where it's not really putting any influence on what makes a game good. Or maybe I'm just overthinking things?

Oh well again it was a great review, though I am starting to develop a numbness to your humour when it comes to military first-person shooters. There's really not much else you can say that you haven't mentioned before regarding the A.I, weapons, vehicles and Americanised plots (though I realise you're alluding to that very notion the more you review them). I still enjoy them but really the only things I find humouress about them now aren't related to their genre at all (like your subtle references).

The demo killed this game for me. Luckily I played it right before I went to get it.

Sweet, nice opening :)

Gah! Two minutes! You win this time.

myopiczeal:
Gah! Two minutes! You win this time.

Hehehehe, YAY

I was actually motivated this time O_O

(surprisingly)

I have to agree with him here. This game gave the PS3 bad rep. He should have done an MGS 4 review. Im curious to observe your disposition.

It's sort of like, if yahtzee actually likes and enjoys the entire game, you should go out an buy it, because it's so RARE for him to think that O_O

This sort of FPS's is one of the reasons I play RTS games more :D
I don't think I have seen a fun FPS since UT 2004 and Battlefield 2and still play them and have fun with them. Jungles and soldiers, I played FarCry so pretty much can see how it newer games in jungle end.

Random argument man:

mstrlnk7:
NUMBER 1!!!! ...yay?

Gonna be ban... Unless the question mark will save your ***.

Why was he banned for two weeks? What did he do wrong?

Prodigs:
Haze was never and will be a remembered game, simply another FPS lost in the dust. I think that should be the goal of every developer of a current gen FPS: How can I make my game stand out, and how do I make it last?

Very true. Halo had the energy shield crap, Gears of War had ridiculous amount of gore and chainsaws, and Crysis is abnormally pretty.

I guess they all can't be manly. Sorry Crysis.

nice review, have to say Haze is never i game i ever even concidered buying, and after your review that is even more true.

Yeah. I have to agree with him on this one. I was expecting a different experience when you switch sides ( noted on the back of the box!?!?!?), but if you just get a new wardrobe, this i just another crappy FPS that HAD potential, but the developers screwed it up.

Nice.

I'm both surprised and slightly disappointed that on the review of a game named "Haze", Jimmy Hendrix's Purple Haze wasn't featured as opening or closing song.

The review was awesome though. I have to wonder, what's with developers and the idea of making your allies invincible? Kinda cuts down the atmosphere with a chainsaw when your allies just can't seem to die and you can basically use them for cover...

Honestly, this one seems phoned in a bit. I get the feeling that there really wasn't enough to talk about with this game, but he didn't have anything better that he could prepare in time.

Not that the content was low-quality, but there just wasn't enough. It was kind of a depressing realizations that 40% of the review's length was the 2-minute ad tagged onto the end, and not an additional comedic bit to make up for the extremely short and somewhat uninspired review.

On a different note, I find it kind of silly that so many of the comments are basically "This was good, I sure won't buy that game."
...He didn't really review the game, he commented on themes. Chances are the game is alright fun, probably worth renting/pirating, beating, and never playing it again.

Haze caught my eye thanks to the vivid yellow box art it came in...

Nice review. Thanks to that, I won't be rushing out to pay £300 for a machine to pay £45 to play it. I must admit, it mainly caught my interest because it seemed similar to Halo, which I still love to bits (not so much 2 and 3, though). But Yahtzee's right - they're all so damn samey these days that they might as well move onto a new genre and slaughter the hell out of that, too.

tooktook:

Random argument man:

mstrlnk7:
NUMBER 1!!!! ...yay?

Gonna be ban... Unless the question mark will save your ***.

Why was he banned for two weeks? What did he do wrong?

"First!"s and "Great review!" posts (especially ones made before they could have possibly watched the feature) are annoying, without merit, and basically considered spam. People that do that get banned. Makes sense to me.

The funniest one in a while. The 2d scenery in particular was blinding.

Can I also ask The Escapist to adjust their advert tagline to :

"New Videos All Week (unless Yahtzee is away accepting an award in which case we have some re-runs. Also no-one is here for any of the other videos because they're terrible but we'll advertise them anyway because their creators have less viewers than the World Gurning Championships)".
VB

you know this was good as a review as it was hilarious, keep up the good work. I suppose haze is another game that had a usuable idea, but screwed it up bad untill it jsut evened out

Pebsy:
you know this was good as a review as it was hilarious, keep up the good work. I suppose haze is another game that had a usuable idea, but screwed it up bad untill it jsut evened out

"...[as good] as it was hilarious."
Veiled insult? :O

(Ratios ≠ statements of quality)

.

I have also wondered that about the expression... Well, it's not like it matters since the cake is a... Truth. Now go away.

alot of games seem to enjoy ripping of space marines dont they? maybe im just saying that because i actualy get warhammer lol

very good review but i feel i shall have to buy it anyway just because ive got a ps3 not a dam 360 and this looks much better than halo

I remember waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in early 2007 when Haze was first announced. I believe the term they used was " Sony's Halo-buster" and that it had also been slated to be released on the PC and Xbox 360. Of course, neither of those came true in the end.

I think I also recall having made a joke relating the Nectar system to drugs in a comic I made back then. Feels kind of odd seeing the joke used by someone else over a year later.

Am I the only one slightly disappointed that he didn't have the Portal cake in the "have your cake and eat it" bit?

Good to know this game is just another generic FPS-that-rips-off-all-the-good-FPS. Saved us some money for cornetos.

A pity Yahtzee went easy on the technical aspects but then again, overkill is not the decent way to go.

Haha, awesome review, one of your better ones, even!

I had to decide between a Cornetto and a pack of sweets just an hour ago. I went for the pack of sweets, but I'm regretting it already... xD

It's annoying that an FPS with space Marines can't come out today without everyone shouting "HALO RIPOFF" (Not Ripeoff as mentioned earlier xD).

But great review of a sux0r game.

What's happening with all these reviews on the end of ZP now? Not impressed.

If only I watched this review before buying Haze, now I have no money for cornettos and cake!

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