Haze Week; PS3 Attitude's multiplayer review
Haze is up against some strong multiplayer competition, of course, in the form of our other favourite shooters - namely CoD4 and Warhawk. Naturally, people will compare Haze to the former (being a gritty FPS) rather than the latter, but it is the multiplayer portion we're focusing on here.
As we explained in our '5 things you may not know about Haze' article, there are effectively 8 multiplayer modes, but they are arranged into 3 types - Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Team Assault.
Within the Assault mode, you have 6 'campaigns' that cleverly align themselves to the single-player story. I'll give you an example, without any spoilers...
Let's say that in the single-player game, someone meets you at an extraction point with a helicopter. In the Assault mode, you might play a 'story' that sees you escorting that person to the helicopter. But along the way, you need to recapture a building (and hold it), remove a blockade and find the radio to call the helicopter in.
It's this multi-task gameplay that makes Haze stand out from the crowd. The Assault modes require proper teamwork and communication, something that a lot of shooters don't foster or promote.
Of course, this being Haze, your view of that particular assault mode changes dependent on which side you choose.
When playing the 'village' map, for example, it might be raining when you play as a member of the Promise Hand, but all is sweetness and light when you're playing as a Mantel soldier. The objectives change, of course, and that means you effectively have 12 Assault experiences to enjoy.
Another Assault mode sees you either trying to burn down, or save, the very plants that Nectar is synthesised from.
The thing that really sticks out in the multiplayer mode is the slick gameplay. Whilst no-one is going to say that the graphics in Haze are particularly cutting-edge, they do serve their purpose well.
Of course, there has always been a pay-off in the world of videogames, where either the graphics a good or the gameplay is good, but seldom does anyone manage to pull off combining the two. As we continue with this current generation of consoles, not only do we start to see great gameplay with excellent graphics, but we almost expect it - maybe that is why so many commenters are being sidelined by the look of the game rather than concentrating on the feel.
The truth is, multiplayer in Haze is immediate and fun. The Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes offer you the chance to play both sides of the coin with the varying pluses and minuses of being a Trooper or a Rebel, and the Assault modes add a nice change of gear that allow more strategic FPS fans a chance to show their worth against the 'gun and run' merchants.
The other thing that struck us is that it seems that being a Trooper on the more open, expansive levels is a better option than being a Rebel, whereas Rebels tend to do much better in close-quarters environments; such as running in and out of all the buildings in the village.
This means that you can choose to really impress your friends by selecting the 'wrong' type for the environment and still win! But the difference we found was a small one - the balance between the factions has been carefully managed by Free Radical, and both sides will find their particular skills useful regardless of the map.
You can check out our multiplayer screenshot gallery below, and look out for our full, non-sponsored, frank and independent review of Haze on Friday.
You can pre-order Haze now for delivery to your doorstep this Friday, and don't forget to enter our Haze Competition - you could win a signed copy of the game and more...