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.
Tagged With haze
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 is not quite done for. After hearing word that the Nottingham based developer with a penchant or shooters had shut its doors (literally), comes confirmation of its troubles.
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.
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.
While the PlayStation.com blog says that Haze runs at 720p, the game's creative lead Derek Littlewood begs to differ, saying the game runs at 576p, letting the PS3 upscale the game. Says Littlewood:
Remember the dark days? The PlayStation Store update Thursdays with nary a downloadable worth the background download? Long gone, we hope, forever! This week, there's plenty of stuff to slake your download thirst, with demos for Haze, GRID and The Bourne Conspiracy joining extra content for PixelJunk Monsters, Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. Some of the media released over the past couple weeks, including some from Sony's recent event in London can now be watched on The Big Screen, including that lovely looking Mirror's Edge trailer. The full list is post jump!
Europe is already knee deep in Haze demo enjoyment, but North Americans will get their fill of Ubisoft's first person shooter starting tomorrow. That is, provided that your fill of Haze is the game's first level and a sampling of drop-in, drop-out four-player co-op. It may have the most hyphens of any PS3 game to date. The official PlayStation.blog brings word on what to expect, including voice chat—noteworthy that it's off by default—and the ability to set up private co-op games. Welcome shielding against internet douchebaggery!
newVideoPlayer("HazeKorn.flv", 463, 387,""); In this "mature-rated" video Jonathan Davis of Korn talks us through his decision to write a song about Ubisoft's upcoming shooter Haze. It is the first time he's ever worked on music for a game. To prep he said he watched the trailer about fifty times. What? Ubi didn't give him any gameplay love!
newVideoPlayer("hazekorn.flv", 463, 387,""); Here it is, Korn's original song inspired by Ubisoft's upcoming shooter Haze. The song, which has the same name as the game, is available for purchase on online music sites or you can catch it on the enhanced CD version of the Korn untitled album which hit Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand on April 21.
Remember Haze? It was the cross-platform game that went PS3-exclusive last year (when it was originally supposed to be released). Now it's slated for a US launch on May 20th and it's got a demo to boot—with 4-person, drop-in drop out multiplayer (all on top of a more standard single-player experience).
Whether or not Haze looks like just another FPS or something better, the still undated demo will give us all a chance to decide for ourselves before the game comes out. It reminds us a lot of what Criterion gave us with Burnout Paradise—a small, robust chunk of the entire gameplay experience. Good stuff.
Hear the one about the boy who cried Haze? Cried about a release date too many times, so when the game actually did appear, nobody believed him, and the game bombed at retail. Wise words. Those unable to heed the teachings of Aesop, however, may as well know that Ubisoft have announced a May 23 release date for Free Radical's very yellow shooter. That's for Europe. No date as of yet for the US or Australia, but if precedent's anything to go by, it shouldn't be too far off May 23. Europe getting Hazed May 23
Ubisoft's no obligation promotion with retailer GameStop sounded like a cheap-arse gamer's dream. Buy Haze for PlayStation 3, beat it (or give up on it) in a week, then trade it in for something else. No cost to you, miserly gamer. That dream has been shattered, according to MTV Multiplayer, as Ubisoft has pulled the plug on the too good to be true deal, chalking up the whole thing to miscommunication between it and the Canadian version of GameStop, known as GameStop.