PDA

View Full Version : LGC Media: IGN Preview, Interview, Gameplay video



deded999
08-21-2007, 03:17 PM
GC 2007: Haze Preview

We shoot up and ship out for some exclusive early hands-on time with Free Radical's forthcoming FPS.

UK, August 21, 2007 - Normally when you get four people in a room armed with guns and stuffed to the eyeballs with mind-altering substances, it's a recipe for disaster. However, if those people are blasting through Haze and the drug in question is the mysterious Nectar, then it's more a recipe for intense four-player co-op action. Of course, while we already knew that co-op is a massive part of Free Radical's upcoming futuristic shooter, we've finally managed to get our trigger fingers twitching for real, with an exclusive hands-on with Haze's multiplayer.

Before we dive into the gunplay though, let's have a quick back story recap. Playing as Shane Carpenter, you're recruited into a corporate army owned by a massive corporation called Mantel. Although the company is meant to be a global peace-keeping organisation, it's fairly obvious there's something dodgy going on. Mainly, that's because its soldiers are kept pumped full of a synthetic enhancement drug called Nectar. This can be injected at any time, giving the user increased reactions and better fighting skills. However, our hero Carpenter realises there's something not quite right about Mantel and defects to the side of the rebels, previously his sworn enemies. As a result, you get to play through two very different portions of the game: the first as a drug-taking super shooter and then as a tactical but poorly-armed rebel.

Kicking off our multiplayer hands-on, we jumped straight into the Mantel levels, getting a taste for Nectar and a feel for being a high-tech trooper. The high-tech aspect is immediately noticeable thanks to the futuristic HUD that surrounds the screen. The view of a Mantel soldier includes flashing health bars and your Nectar reserves - but we'll have more on that later. Throw in sufficiently futuristic-looking weaponry, plus drop ships that look like they've come straight out of Star Wars, and you definitely feel like you're fighting in 2048.

Needless to say, thanks to all this cutting edge equipment, when playing as a Mantel soldier the action comes thick and fast. Our first mission provided us with an introduction to combat, going through the basics of Nectar use. This took place in the jungle level that's been seen a lot since Free Radical began demoing Haze to the world. However, what doesn't come across in screens or even videos is how beautiful and lush the environment is. Poppies are dotted around grassy fields (which billow as you run through them) and mildew-encrusted rocks provide handy cover during fire-fights. Plus, the explosions that send clouds of black smoke billowing into the air look amazingly realistic. The guys at Free Radical were keen to point out that Haze doesn't just take place in a jungle but, after playing through several levels in the rainforest, we're certainly not complaining if the rest of the game looks this gorgeous.

Anyway, enough talk of flowers and smoke - onto the fighting. During Mantel sections, an icon at the top of the screen (shaped like the Mantel logo) indicates the direction of your next objective. Initially, this doesn't come into play too much, given the linearity of the jungle. However, this should be handy for later levels featuring multiple objectives. Alongside this, during co-op, other icons appear display the position of your team-mates - you'll also have these when playing as a rebel warrior. These are especially useful when planning flanking attacks against foes, making quick tactical strikes beautifully simple.

Admittedly, as an early stage in the game, there wasn't a great need for tactics. However, we did get to experience the excellent gunplay: aiming feels extremely tight and sweeping over enemies to pepper them with ammo is a doddle thanks to the responsive controls. What's more, despite the rumble-less PlayStation 3, each weapon manages to convey a real sense of force and you can practically feel each round making impact with your target. In another nice, subtle, touch, all guns are weighted meaning you can see them physically lean as you change your direction. It's extra layers of polish like this that really add to the overall Haze experience.

After getting to grips with the arsenal, it was time to sample a bit of Nectar. You can take the drug by holding L2 for a short time - however, unless you get your dose exactly right, it'll either only have short-term effects or you'll overdose and go crazy. Happily, despite initial reservations, after playing the game we can report that Nectar manages to sidestep 'gimmick' and actually offers something new in the FPS genre. For starters, once you've shot up, your speed increases and enemies glow so you can spot them easier. This means you can thunder through areas picking off rebels in rapid succession. Furthermore, Nectar also improves your auto-aiming, making it that much easier to bring opponents to their knees. Of course, the effects of Nectar are only temporary and you'll need to replenish your stock, either by sharing doses between team mates or, alternatively, by killing enemies. That means the kills come heart-poundingly thick and fast, if you want to keep your supplies plentiful.

Once we'd played through several stages as an elite Mantel soldier, we had a chance to look at later rebel gameplay. These stages offer a significant switch in tone because playing as a rebel relies more on tactics and stealth, compared to running in all guns blazing as a gung-ho Mantel trooper. There's also more the sense of being part of a team playing as a rebel - without your Nectar or meaty arsenal, it's just you, a gun, very little armour and comrades desperately struggling to stay alive. Here, you can also heal downed team mates, if you get to them quick enough. As a result, we found we were much chattier during rebel co-op stages, constantly updating our fellow players on the whereabouts of both ourselves and enemies. It's a sharp contrast to Mantel stages wher we felt practically invincible thanks to the effects of Nectar.

Despite the fact you're technically inferior in rebel mode, you do have a number of tricks up your sleeve to use against Mantel squads. Firstly, by plunging a hunting knife into the corpse of a dead trooper, you can coat it in Nectar, ready to be lobbed toward an enemy. A direct hit instantly makes your target overdose, meaning they go crazy, shooting wildly at their allies. Similarly, you can strap Nectar packs to grenades - when they explode, they shower all Mantel soldiers in a yellow cloud of Nectar, causing chaos on a major scale. These are merely two of the tactical elements at your disposal during rebel play, offering a welcome change from a reliance on brute force.

Our first rebel experience was played out in a level set around an abandoned block of flats, overrun by the Mantel Corporation. It's a complete contrast to the lush jungle we'd played previously and looked more like something from the debris-heavy Ghost Recon. As the complex is full of corridors, empty rooms and balconies, you never know where the next attack might come from, meaning you're constantly ducking behind cover just in case an enemy is camping round the next corner. As with all rebel stages, progress is extremely tense thanks to your extremely powerful Nectar-fuelled opposition. In fact, in many ways, we actually preferred the taught, terrifying atmosphere of these sections compared to the free-for-all gunplay earlier in the game.

Ultimately though, there's no denying Haze is shaping up to be something special. Not only do both contrasting halves of the game hold up well on their own, the four-player co-op mode is instantly gratifying - it feels great to be backed up by a squad of people, rather than AI-controlled bots. Free Radical has a long history of creating great shooters and it looks like Haze could even go one step further than the developer's previous titles.

IGN (http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/814/814150p1.html)

Video Interview (http://uk.media.ps3.ign.com/media/784/784480/vids_1.html)

Reading now...

deded999
08-21-2007, 03:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">GC 2007: Haze Preview

We shoot up and ship out for some exclusive early hands-on time with Free Radical's forthcoming FPS.

UK, August 21, 2007 - Normally when you get four people in a room armed with guns and stuffed to the eyeballs with mind-altering substances, it's a recipe for disaster. However, if those people are blasting through Haze and the drug in question is the mysterious Nectar, then it's more a recipe for intense four-player co-op action. Of course, while we already knew that co-op is a massive part of Free Radical's upcoming futuristic shooter, we've finally managed to get our trigger fingers twitching for real, with an exclusive hands-on with Haze's multiplayer.

Before we dive into the gunplay though, let's have a quick back story recap. Playing as Shane Carpenter, you're recruited into a corporate army owned by a massive corporation called Mantel. Although the company is meant to be a global peace-keeping organisation, it's fairly obvious there's something dodgy going on. Mainly, that's because its soldiers are kept pumped full of a synthetic enhancement drug called Nectar. This can be injected at any time, giving the user increased reactions and better fighting skills. However, our hero Carpenter realises there's something not quite right about Mantel and defects to the side of the rebels, previously his sworn enemies. As a result, you get to play through two very different portions of the game: the first as a drug-taking super shooter and then as a tactical but poorly-armed rebel.

Kicking off our multiplayer hands-on, we jumped straight into the Mantel levels, getting a taste for Nectar and a feel for being a high-tech trooper. The high-tech aspect is immediately noticeable thanks to the futuristic HUD that surrounds the screen. The view of a Mantel soldier includes flashing health bars and your Nectar reserves - but we'll have more on that later. Throw in sufficiently futuristic-looking weaponry, plus drop ships that look like they've come straight out of Star Wars, and you definitely feel like you're fighting in 2048.

Needless to say, thanks to all this cutting edge equipment, when playing as a Mantel soldier the action comes thick and fast. Our first mission provided us with an introduction to combat, going through the basics of Nectar use. This took place in the jungle level that's been seen a lot since Free Radical began demoing Haze to the world. However, what doesn't come across in screens or even videos is how beautiful and lush the environment is. Poppies are dotted around grassy fields (which billow as you run through them) and mildew-encrusted rocks provide handy cover during fire-fights. Plus, the explosions that send clouds of black smoke billowing into the air look amazingly realistic. The guys at Free Radical were keen to point out that Haze doesn't just take place in a jungle but, after playing through several levels in the rainforest, we're certainly not complaining if the rest of the game looks this gorgeous.

Anyway, enough talk of flowers and smoke - onto the fighting. During Mantel sections, an icon at the top of the screen (shaped like the Mantel logo) indicates the direction of your next objective. Initially, this doesn't come into play too much, given the linearity of the jungle. However, this should be handy for later levels featuring multiple objectives. Alongside this, during co-op, other icons appear display the position of your team-mates - you'll also have these when playing as a rebel warrior. These are especially useful when planning flanking attacks against foes, making quick tactical strikes beautifully simple.

Admittedly, as an early stage in the game, there wasn't a great need for tactics. However, we did get to experience the excellent gunplay: aiming feels extremely tight and sweeping over enemies to pepper them with ammo is a doddle thanks to the responsive controls. What's more, despite the rumble-less PlayStation 3, each weapon manages to convey a real sense of force and you can practically feel each round making impact with your target. In another nice, subtle, touch, all guns are weighted meaning you can see them physically lean as you change your direction. It's extra layers of polish like this that really add to the overall Haze experience.

After getting to grips with the arsenal, it was time to sample a bit of Nectar. You can take the drug by holding L2 for a short time - however, unless you get your dose exactly right, it'll either only have short-term effects or you'll overdose and go crazy. Happily, despite initial reservations, after playing the game we can report that Nectar manages to sidestep 'gimmick' and actually offers something new in the FPS genre. For starters, once you've shot up, your speed increases and enemies glow so you can spot them easier. This means you can thunder through areas picking off rebels in rapid succession. Furthermore, Nectar also improves your auto-aiming, making it that much easier to bring opponents to their knees. Of course, the effects of Nectar are only temporary and you'll need to replenish your stock, either by sharing doses between team mates or, alternatively, by killing enemies. That means the kills come heart-poundingly thick and fast, if you want to keep your supplies plentiful.

Once we'd played through several stages as an elite Mantel soldier, we had a chance to look at later rebel gameplay. These stages offer a significant switch in tone because playing as a rebel relies more on tactics and stealth, compared to running in all guns blazing as a gung-ho Mantel trooper. There's also more the sense of being part of a team playing as a rebel - without your Nectar or meaty arsenal, it's just you, a gun, very little armour and comrades desperately struggling to stay alive. Here, you can also heal downed team mates, if you get to them quick enough. As a result, we found we were much chattier during rebel co-op stages, constantly updating our fellow players on the whereabouts of both ourselves and enemies. It's a sharp contrast to Mantel stages wher we felt practically invincible thanks to the effects of Nectar.

Despite the fact you're technically inferior in rebel mode, you do have a number of tricks up your sleeve to use against Mantel squads. Firstly, by plunging a hunting knife into the corpse of a dead trooper, you can coat it in Nectar, ready to be lobbed toward an enemy. A direct hit instantly makes your target overdose, meaning they go crazy, shooting wildly at their allies. Similarly, you can strap Nectar packs to grenades - when they explode, they shower all Mantel soldiers in a yellow cloud of Nectar, causing chaos on a major scale. These are merely two of the tactical elements at your disposal during rebel play, offering a welcome change from a reliance on brute force.

Our first rebel experience was played out in a level set around an abandoned block of flats, overrun by the Mantel Corporation. It's a complete contrast to the lush jungle we'd played previously and looked more like something from the debris-heavy Ghost Recon. As the complex is full of corridors, empty rooms and balconies, you never know where the next attack might come from, meaning you're constantly ducking behind cover just in case an enemy is camping round the next corner. As with all rebel stages, progress is extremely tense thanks to your extremely powerful Nectar-fuelled opposition. In fact, in many ways, we actually preferred the taught, terrifying atmosphere of these sections compared to the free-for-all gunplay earlier in the game.

Ultimately though, there's no denying Haze is shaping up to be something special. Not only do both contrasting halves of the game hold up well on their own, the four-player co-op mode is instantly gratifying - it feels great to be backed up by a squad of people, rather than AI-controlled bots. Free Radical has a long history of creating great shooters and it looks like Haze could even go one step further than the developer's previous titles. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

IGN (http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/814/814150p1.html)

Video Interview (http://uk.media.ps3.ign.com/media/784/784480/vids_1.html)

Reading now...

Gypsy816
08-21-2007, 05:04 PM
Good link. Thanks!

While I like IGN, it always seems that GameTrailers does smoother video previews...

TerranUp16
08-21-2007, 06:29 PM
The video interview was actually the better of the two b/c of the talk of Conspire near the end of it. Very, very interesting. Will definitely be interesting to see how it acts with mods when the PC version comes out.

Franciscus1988
08-22-2007, 02:40 AM
there's also some new gameplay footage in the video interview. quite nice. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

deded999
08-22-2007, 03:47 AM
There's some new images of co-op play too:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop5.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop9.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop2.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop1.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop3.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop4.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop8.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/haze-coop7.jpg

Franciscus1988
08-22-2007, 06:09 AM
Whoa, that's unique. So as you play online coop, you can see what the rest of your team sees? Has that been done before?

mornelithe
08-22-2007, 08:58 AM
Yeah, Franciscus, I noticed that too, I've never seen a split-screen quite like that before. Definitely a good interview and article...nothing really majorly new in it, other than new gameplay footage. Basically a repeat of things we've already known. November isn't coming soon enough!!! Haha, thankfully, Lair, Heavenly Sword, and Warhawk are coming out in the interim, so i'll have something to keep me busy!

Morne

deded999
08-22-2007, 09:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Franciscus1988:
Whoa, that's unique. So as you play online coop, you can see what the rest of your team sees? Has that been done before? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, I really don't think it will look like that! I'm almost 100% positive that the images which show four screens are actually just a method of showing the four player co-op in action for websites, just as they did side-by-side comparisons of your view with and without Nectar. Nice idea but don't get carried away! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

mornelithe
08-22-2007, 10:21 AM
Awww don't say that Deded, that looks badass! hehehe

Rasomaso
08-22-2007, 10:41 AM
Wow I can't wait til some people from Czech Playstation website return from GC and bring the video of the demo. I'll give you a link then if you want me to. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Franciscus: Maybe it's just the comparison, because the screenshot is wider than 16:9 ratio.

Franciscus1988
08-22-2007, 10:59 AM
Aww, too bad. :-(

And ofcourse we want to see the video of the demo, asap! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

deded999
08-22-2007, 03:26 PM
Follow the link for an off-screen, (what is it about this game and off-screen video??), gameplay video.

N4G (http://www.n4g.com/ps3/News-61524.aspx)

It's worth watching, with some control explanations, a few pop-ups on the use of Nectar that look new and if you watch the first few seconds of the third part, you can see a Mantel soldier rolling into a crouched posture which looks cool and seems to show that rolling/diving has been implemented well, after all the arguments about jumping in FPS!

Indeed, I seem to remember reading recently that one of the other unheralded PH skills is the ability to roll-dive onto areas of the maps that Mantel guys can't reach, like certain rooftops, which is simply genius in my book! Officially sanctioned map-glitching. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Rasomaso
08-22-2007, 05:49 PM
Nice find but lol at the roll. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It looks funny.

And what's that white smoke at the beginning?
And what's that glitch with the rebel's body floating in the air after the first crash with buggy? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

Franciscus1988
08-23-2007, 01:20 AM
That's a video filmed by Dutch people, even with some Dutch commentary. I'm also from the Netherlands. :P

The original video can be found here:

http://www.insidegamer.nl/playstation3/haze/videos/4084

They say the Mantel soldier lying next to the car is dead. But that's something everyone could've seen from it.

I dunno guys, but in this video the levels look really empty. What do you think?

Franciscus1988
08-23-2007, 01:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Rasomaso:
Nice find but lol at the roll. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It looks funny.

And what's that white smoke at the beginning?
And what's that glitch with the rebel's body floating in the air after the first crash with buggy? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The final ability the Rebels have is that they have a dynamic dodge-and-dive maneuver so they can roll out of the way of incoming dangers very quickly. So if you've got a grenade land by you or rockets coming in you can roll very quickly out of the way and get out of the way a bit. It's just a simple little evade maneuver.

deded999
08-23-2007, 06:49 AM
I think the white smoke at the beginning is probably from the bombing run made on the PH rebels before you go in...

Yeah, that's a dumb glitch, but hey, it isn't finished yet.

A few more shots:

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/hazenew1.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/hazenew3.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb71/deded999/Haze%20640/hazenew2.jpg