Kick ass abilities: just another reason why you should care about Haze

With a seemingly endless amount of high-profile games coming out in the next few months, it’s easy to lose track of every single last title that looked good to you at one point in time or another. There’s a chance that you might have overlooked Free Radical Design’s (TimeSplitters series, Second Sight) upcoming first-person shooter for PlayStation 3, Haze.

The focus on Haze thus far has been more about the game’s narrative and less about actual gameplay. That’s all going to change though, with a look at some of the abilities you’ll have at your disposal — after the break, of course.

If you are completely clueless about Haze’s storyline, here’s a quick (quick being the keyword) recap of what we know so far: you play as Shane Carpenter, a soldier for the private military corporation, Mantel Global Industries. You and your allies have access to the nutritional supplement, Nectar, to help you eradicate a rebel faction known as the Promise Hand while in South America.

It is already known that at some point during the game, Carpenter will make the switch from Mantel to the Promise Hand. Because Mantel soldiers are supplied with the mind-altering drug, Nectar, their sense of reality is skewed — they cannot see blood and to them, dead bodies appear to fade away – much like something you’d expect to see in a video game. So when Shane Carpenter does eventually discover the truth and become a rebel warrior, war suddenly becomes less glamorous and a hell of a lot more realistic.

The ever-friendly Rob Yescombe from Free Radical describes Haze as “two games in one box,” because the skills available to the Promise Hand and Mantel soldiers are so very different from one another.

The Mantel skills:

  • Nectar Perception: you’ll be able to spot rebels even in the darkest parts of the environment
  • Nectar Focus: allows you to pull off incredible head-shots from long distances away
  • Nectar Foresight: gives you a heightened sense of things, e.g., nearby grenades emit a warning in the form of a ripple effect before exploding onto you
  • Melee Blast: send rebels flying with an overly-powerful strike

The Promise Hand skills:

  • Weapon Steal: punch a Mantel soldier to stun him, then steal his gun before he knows what hit him
  • Play Dead: because Mantel troops can’t see blood or death, rebels can play dead and perform sneak attacks
  • Scavenge: recalibrate any type of ammo to work with your gun
  • Traps: plant grenades in the ground as a special surprise for your enemies
  • Evade: without a Mantel suit to weigh you down, you’ll be able to roll, duck, and dive to avoid being shot

As a Promise Hand, you must use all of your cunning to exploit the Mantel soldier’s behavior. Besides using the skills listed above, you will also be able to directly use Nectar against them. Here’s how:

  • Nectar Grenade: rip the Nectar pack off of a dead soldier and strap it onto a grenade. The resulting blast will cause your target to overdose
  • Nectar Knife: smear Nectar from your newly created grenade onto a knife and hit a Mantel soldier with it by either throwing it at him or by performing a melee attack to make him overdose
  • Nectar Pack Shot: shoot the Nectar Pack on the back of a Mantel trooper to cause it to pump too much Nectar into his bloodstream resulting in an overdose

If you’re wondering whether or not these abilities will make it into the multiplayer modes, the answer is yes. This will hopefully provide for two completely different playing styles and some memorable matches against your buddies.

Haze will be out on PlayStation 3 this November, and will later be available for Xbox 360 and PC in 2008.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.