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When a developer closes, what we usually get is a sterile press release from the owning publisher talking about resource assessments or blaming the economy. We almost never get to hear what actually happened, the events that occurred in the lead-up. While contracts mean the real stories will remain permanently unclear, we occasionally get the likes of Steve Ellis, co-founder of Free Radical and part of the team at Rare that brought us GoldenEye, who step forward to tell us their tale.
Free Radical Design’s Haze was not a good game. After being delayed multiple times, the futuristic first-person shooter landed with a thud. Part of that can be attributed to the developer’s struggle coming to grips with PlayStation 3 hardware.
Timesplitters and Haze developer Free Radical Design has found financial sanctuary in German developer Crytek, who is reported to have purchased the struggling Nottingham, UK dev for an undisclosed amount.
Why didn’t you enjoy Haze? If you’ve actually played it, and aren’t just accepting that the game’s a load of crap because the internet told you so, feel free to watch this week’s episode of Zero Punctuation and choose from one of dozens of reasons Yahtzee catalogues to agree with. Oh, and if you’re wondering why the video progress bar is only 2/3 of the way through when ZP finishes, don’t. Just…press stop right away.
Zero Punctuation: Haze [The Escapist]
newVideoPlayer("hazelaunch_kotaku.flv", 500, 301,""); If your the type of mindless sheep that replies on just about every major gaming news outlet to tell you what to buy, this launch trailer might be as close to Free Radical’s Haze for the PlayStation 3 that you want to get. But if you’re one of those quirky free-thinkers that isn’t afraid to go against popular opinion and blaze your own trail, then by all means, put down $US 60.
After all, Import Tuner Magazine loved it!
A year ago you couldn’t look at a list of PlayStation 3 killer apps without seeing Free Radical and Ubisoft’s Haze right up there towards the top. Promising cutting edge visuals, a deep story, and the unique power of the nectar, a drug that gives soldiers superhuman abilities, Haze seemed destined to become one of the PS3’s definitive games.
So how did destiny fare? The game is out, the scores are out, and the word is out on the ambitious first-person shooter. Does Haze deliver a nice, warm buzz, or does it leave you shaking and sweating in the corner, craving your next fix? Here’s several small doses of Haze, now in convenient capsule form.
Okay, so Haze isn’t out until tomorrow and reviews of the game haven’t been that positive. While I’m sure this is enough to deter some from buying the game, it won’t put off all.
For those determined to pick it up, you might as well save a few bucks. To this end, Anthony from Economical Gamer has kindly compiled a list of retailers selling the PS3 shooter for below its RRP. K-mart and JB Hi-Fi are clear winners, with prices of $87 and $89 respectively.
You can find the full list after the jump.
Ubisoft’s Haze is a futuristic first person shooter from developers Free Radical Design. Set in 2048 and a war torn world in which private military company Mantel Global Industries acts as private peacekeeper, with organisations like the UN and NATO a thing of the past, players control Sergeant Shane Carpenter who has been deployed to the Boa region of South America to help neutralize the Promise Hand rebellion. With the help of a performance enhancing drug known as Nectar, Shane and his fellow Mantel troopers are on the hunt for a man known as “Skin Coat.”
For better or worse, Haze carries the distinction of being a PlayStation 3 exclusive and has the development pedigree of being created by the team responsible for seminal console shooters like GoldenEye 007 and the Timesplitters series. Unfortunately for Free Radical—and gamers—Haze won’t be as fondly remembered as those two first person classics.