Not just another pretty face... seriously, this man is sans face...
Some games come out and just get hammered on reviews. Whether justified or not, time passes, hatred fades, and it becomes time to investigate the games that have been dubbed some of the worst games on the platform. Last blog, I talked about the history behind Haze, the reception, and the climate to which the game was released but at that point, I hadn't actually played it.
Going forward, keep this in mind. There will be spoilers to the game. No bitching, ranting, cursing, or general assholery about warnings. Since the point of these articles is to chronicle the experience of the game, it will be walking through the title.
Booting up the title brought me to an installation screen. To be truly fair, I had to remember this installation screen was legendarily bad (nearly as bad as DMC4 supposedly) and I decided to time it. In 4 minutes, the game booted and wanted an update. Fair enough, let's let that go for another minute. In 6 minutes time total, I started the game and scratched my head over how apparently hellish that was.
In the future, everyone copies SHIELD...
My Early Days in Mantel
The sun was in my face as the door to a hangar opened. Sunlight flooded the compartment as my comrads came into view. Like all FPS games, including Gears of War 2... FUCKING 2, I was being reassured everything will be fine. A hint of Nector foreshadowing and I was on deck, wandering across the helicarrier hoping to catch a glimpse of Nick Fury. What I found instead was several jarhead moronic conversations to be overheard. Part of me would have groaned at the Apocalypse Now conversation if not for the fact that I personally overheard a similar conversation from some ROTC stupids in a Campus bar. Makes me wonder if these conversations were written or overheard because, while I physically hurt at the ignorance displayed, it's not as uncommon as people like to think.
Eventually, I found the personal transport that I needed to climb onto and we flew off to the first stage. When the doors to this transport closed, one thing became certain. Mantel apparently cares more for their troops safety than modern troop transport helicopters which are about as safe as Halo vehicles. Musings aside, we touched down in a lush jungle. Given Uncharted was already out, one couldn't help but feel at least a little disappointed by the scenary but the speeches about the chemicals, all make sense so far.
Ugh... a bug... KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT!
Crash, Ride, and Drive
After fighting through the forest and finding the crash site, we're getting glimpses of breaks in the sensory override system. The nectar interruption to hear a scream, the fact that bodies fade from sight and there is no blood when shooting people, and seeing a brief glimpse of a burning village as the "tamer" version of war kicked back in. These aspects had the most ambition but the downed pilot was by far the biggest indicator.
Poorly acted, he kept asking a very important question though. "Do you see me? No... do you see ME?" Whether blatant or hinted at, there is one problem with seeing a pilot die like this. There was no blood anywhere in the cockpit. Obviously he would be dying from severe trauma as he bled out but you were spared this horrific scene. Regardless, Nectar recovered, we escaped and headed back to the carrier.
Only to be reassigned to take down "skin coat." This early? Really?!? Oh well. On the ride there, came a joke. One I found amusing but just because I like joking about such things. You accuse your commanding officer of fearing Stockholm Syndrome with Skin Coat. "You calling Sarge a fag, sir? You'd shouldn't call Sarge a fag." Stupid, low brow, and yet a heavy indictment of the kind of meat head morons who would join Mantel (or play competitively online FPS games). Why my character would join is beyond me but these idiots fit the type to a T.
After a rough landing into a hot zone, I'm introduced to my first (I assume) driving section. Grabbing the wheel, we march section to section through valleys rigged to explode because, naturally, when you're trying to protect yourself from an ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE you rig the canyons to blow. Of course my brilliant miltary strategist believe approaching an area through a tunnel makes perfect sense against an enemy that has shown no aerial combat ability. Mantel is apparently run by morons or bad level designers. Note to future game designers, if your design warrants a tunnel run, that's fine. But give us a narrative reason as to why.
Section completed, reality perception kicks in again. As a buggy spins out of control and starts to crush a mercenary, he screams, pleads, is mocked for his pain, beforce that electronic rush of juices fades him from sight. We now enter the facility where Skin Coat is holed up.
If I mentioned subtlety before, forget I said a word. Your system starts failing, the few glimpse of the nonaltered reality show a large amount of actual victims, shot and killed in horrifically violent scenes. As the system continues to break down from time to time, suddenly your gun shots produce blood but more importantly, you have blood on your hands. Before you know it, you've captured Skin Coat and are attempting to take him in. Your character loudly reacts to the horrific treatment of prisoners you commanding officer partakes in, which culminates in you turning your gun on allies. The ship is hit and everyone crashes, hard, in the swamp.
They're brown, they deserve it.... AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!
As I woke up in the swamp, I was coming off the Nectar and crashing pretty hard. Suppressed emotions flooded me raw as I, for some reason, followed fireflies. Mantel knew I was off the drug and was coming after me hard. No weapon, hunted, all I could do was follow an individual until, finally, I was safe.
Later, I walked with "Skin Coat," talked of my reasons for joining Mantel, and decided to join their cause. I will be going much more in depth with the bullshit logic in part four. However, my old traveling companions come out of the woodwork in a major way. Visably insane, drugged, and bloodied, my old leader looked more monster than man. Killing the final assailant, you could tell his own drugs were wearing off as he frantically tried to deny the void rushing to greet him. This was the true face of war, and I was ready for a shocking reality to hit the game.
Coming Next: Damn the Man......tel