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The year is 2048. The United Nations is no more and in its place stands Mantel Global Industries, a private military corporation. In order to make its soldiers stronger and more deadly, Mantel has begun administering a bio-medical substance called NECTAR.

You control proud soldier Shane Carpenter who comes to realize that Mantel is not the most ethical of all cold-hearted multination corporations focused on global domination, and NECTAR may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I know - I'm as shocked as you are.

It seems NECTAR is being used to control soldiers and shield them from the world's horrifying reality. As a result you switch sides and must battle wave after wave of jacked up super warriors.

Asininely left-wing, derivative dystopian storyline aside, trailer footage showed Haze as the PS3's answer to Halo - offering similar style combat and multiplayer, but with a trippy twist. Unfortunately, the demo I played was a complete mess.

For starters, the game waited until I was already knee-deep in combat to stop gameplay and show a tutorial on the many uses of NECTAR. This is akin to teaching an aspiring boxer how to punch only after the opening bell.

Truth be told though, the NECTAR didn't seem to do much but create colour streaks across the screen. Enemies were easy to dispatch and the whole experience wasn't very satisfying.

I'm sure later on NECTAR has more of a significant effect on the gameplay, but in the demo it didn't seem too useful.

Also, I didn't get a chance to check out the game's multiplayer, which will accommodate as many as 24 players. So there's still a chance this can give Halo a run for its money, but it's got a lot of catching up to do.

Since Haze attempts to give us a horrifying vision of the future, I've decided to render my verdict with the help of my trusty magic eight ball.

Verdict: Outlook not so good

'Haze' demo a mess


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