Hands-on with Haze

At first glance, Haze looks like a generic shooter with stereotypical marine jocks in armored suits shooting up terrorists in the name of freedom. But looks can be deceiving, and in Haze, nothing is as it seems. You’ll play the role of Shane Carpenter. Fresh out of college and full of good intentions, Carpenter joins the ranks of Mantel Global Industries, a private army for hire that sells its services for the good of mankind.

Thanks to Mantel’s proprietary “nutritional supplement,” Nectar, Mantel’s soldiers are faster, stronger and happier - making them the perfect force to fight those no good, freedom hating terrorists known as The Promise Hand. You’ll administer doses by holding down the L2 button and releasing it. The longer you hold it, the larger the dose.

When high on Nectar, you'll get enhanced vision that works like built-in infrared goggles, allowing you to quickly snipe down enemy insurgents with deadly accuracy. Increased damage and movement speed will also boost your killing power when drunk on Mantel’s combat drug.

Does the sugary sweet substance sound a little fishy? It should. Carpenter quickly learns that using Nectar comes with some dramatic consequences. Check out our video below. It features a montage of some of Nectar’s dangerous side effects, which include harsh withdrawal symptoms, delusions of grandeur, and an increased chance of coming off like a total know it all roid raging douche.

Below: What happens when a junkie loses his fix of Nectar? He becomes angry and philosophical

It doesn’t take long for Carpenter to discover that Nectar also distorts the user’s perception of reality. In one area, Carpenter’s suit experiences a Nectar Disruption error. The once empty room you were standing in is suddenly filled with the mutilated bodies of dead victims sprawled across the floor. His previously clean hands are now smeared with globs of blood and time seems to slow down. But once his armor suit reboots and the Nectar starts coursing its way through his veins again, the room returns to its previously sterile state.

Nectar shields your eyes from the atrocities of war and it’s the way that Haze implements its effects into gameplay with its shaky camera and distorted visual effects that keeps things interesting. As Carpenter’s faith in the intentions of Mantel and his fellow soldiers wanes, Haze’s story begins to shine. Soon, he finds himself on the side of the rebels once he inevitably comes to terms with the fact that the “bad guys” of The Promise Hand aren’t strung out junkies tricked into spilling innocent blood for the good of Mantel’s bottom line.