Haze: hands-on with co-op mode
On display for our thumb-twiddling pleasure were the co-op and multi-player modes. We're sworn to secrecy about the multi-player experience right now, but today we can reveal more about Haze co-op play.
Sitting down to a February build of the game (much further on from the one we played last November at GameCity) the anticipation built as we were launched into a LAN play co-op game.
Which is where I made my first mistake. I didn't spot the handy vehicle sitting behind me, and none of the other three players I was 'teamed' with decided to use it, so I ran blindly off into the distance on a map that was clearly made for driving through.
Picking off a few Mantel troopers with some select sniper shots, Derek Littlewood of FRD popped up from somewhere and said "decided not to use the vehicle then?". By the time I'd realised just how many troopers were against us, and without the protection of a vehicle, I was done for.
What I didn't know about co-op mode was that once you are dead, you get to sit in spectator mode and see what your teammates are doing. And they weren't doing a lot. So I sat. And waited. For a long time.
Eventually, the guys at FRD and Ubisoft got the others to move up and get themselves killed. I've never been so happy to see my compatriots bite the dust.
Second time around was a lot easier with the vehicle in action. When you're inside pointing your gun through the armour plating, you get a real sense of claustrophobia. The idea, I guess, is to make you think about how you approach the enemy. Drive up close, but not too close. Get out. Find cover. Pick them off.
Having a good strategy makes all the difference in Haze co-op, and the fear of dying only to be relegated to the 'stands' ensures that there is a good incentive to get on the headsets and work together as a cohesive unit. If you go all Rambo on the enemy, you're sure to be punished.
In all, the co-op mode offers something different that requires a good amount of thought and proper cooperation. Having little mini-stories to complete extends the life of Haze beyond what other FPS titles currently offer. After all, who has bothered to go back and complete CoD4 single player again after the brief, but brilliant, experience. It's all about the multi-player mode from then on. At least with Haze you are offered an extra, almost episodic experience you can enjoy with your friends.
Co-op mode on Haze is available on separate screens via LAN play with up to four players, or two on a single screen and two joining via the 'net. There's no lobby to access for your friend to get involved - they just press Start and they take over the body of one of your team-mates instantly.
Check out the brand-new, never seen before screens of the Haze co-op mode below, or click the gallery thumbnail to check out the hi-res versions. We'll have a lot more from the Haze universe soon - watch this space!