Free Radical is concerned about Haze. With the developer's much-quoted leanings toward more mature gaming (opens in new tab),challenging censorship boundaries (opens in new tab)and raging against monkeys (opens in new tab), it's worried that we might be forgetting to ask some important questions.
What about leading man Shane Carpenter's defection halfway through the game? And what impact does his switch of sides, from super-tech Mantel Corp. (opens in new tab) army to rebel force The Promise Hand, have on the gameplay? We've been shipped up to Free Rad's HQ to see the answers in action.
Haze's world is a nightmarish future where war is run by bean-counting businessmen and fought by salary-banking corporate mercenaries. As Shane, you're initially pressed into battle as a soldier for Mantel Corp., tasked with flushing out ominously titled rebel leader Skin Coat. Which, with the company's combat-enhancing drug Nectar coursing through your veins, is a straightforward but satisfying task.
You can read our previous experiences (opens in new tab) with Haze to discover how Nectar's "nutritional supplement" works. But it's worth noting that watching in-house scriptwriter Rob Yescombe blast through an early stage left us positive that Nectar is more than just a bullet-time style gimmick. It's so addictively enhancing, in fact, that we were left wondering how we'd ever live without it.
Thankfully you're no less lethal once you've deserted Mantel and its Nectar suits to join up with Skin Coat, and The Promise Hand have a few tricks of their own to turn the tables on Mantel's mercs.