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"Difficult" PS3 Caused Haze To Fall Short Of Expectations

It was a PlayStation 3 exclusive that simply didn't live up to expectations, and the consequences for developer Free Radical were dire. But now, after being rescued by Crytek, the Haze developer talks about why the game failed.

In speaking to Develop, Free Radical's Karl Hilton said the complicated PS3 tossed many obstacles in the path of the designers, and those development issues meant Haze "wasn't the game it should have been." Remember, it took some time for game makers to really get a good handle on the PS3's architecture and it seems Free Radical simply wasn't read for it. Said Hilton:

"A lot of them were technical issues. The PS3 is a powerful machine but a difficult one to get the best out of. We spent more time trying get the game running properly and less time to design the game properly."

As a result, the game didn't sell well and Free Radical was forced into administration last December. Thankfully, Crytek - now re-branded as Crytek UK - saved them with a buyout bid and now, Hilton and the rest of the team have access to things like the awesome new CryEngine 3. Furthermore, Hilton believes we most certainly haven't seen the best of what the PS3 can offer:

"I don’t think we’ve seen the best out of the PS3 at all, and I definitely think one of the best things about Crytek and the CryEngine is that we’re now in the best position to get the most out of the hardware."

In the end, Hilton believes that "no one" has pushed the PS3 to its maximum limitations, but the CryEngine 3 will give the team a "great head start." We at PSXE still hope for TimeSplitters 4, but we have no idea if that project came with Free Radical or not... But at least they've learned their lesson.

Related Game(s): Haze

8/12/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (71 posts)

Tim
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:30:44 AM
Reply

Yes, PLEASE let us see TimeSplitters 4... and soon!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

OPHIDIAN
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:31:55 AM
Reply

I'm slightly perplexed as to where he is going with this, how is it that other developers cope fine?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

King James
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:48:26 AM

only game b4 him that did well was Uncharted 1...and maybe GT5: Prologue.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:55:44 AM

Heavenly Sword
Resistance
Motorstorm
Warhawk
Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

Among others

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Affliction18
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:58:16 PM

I would hope so, they're all published by sony.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:32:15 AM
Reply

Well, least they manned up to their mistakes and are now trying to make something bigger and better for it hopefully =D

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:56:21 AM

Agree

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OPHIDIAN
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:23:00 PM

Are they owning up or just blaming others?

I agree nonetheless.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

coldbore
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:32:55 AM
Reply

excuses excuses, let em' figger out the machine and make a second haze, then decide, but the thing is I actually enjoyed haze :S

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

big6
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:32:23 AM

I did, too. But, I think I only enjoyed it because I played through the entire game on 4-player co-op! (I might not have liked it, if I played it single-player)

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PS3addict
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:36:28 AM
Reply

Quit whining and ask Sony for more Dev tools. They have been helping third party developers get more out of thier games for quite a while now.

Sounds more like "It was too hard to make our game run right on this platform, so once we got that going we did not want to risk breaking it by fine tuning the actual gameplay."

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:40:29 AM
Reply

Before everyone leaps on this guy in defense of the PS3, bear in mind that during this game's development, a LOT of developers were having major difficulties with the machine.

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:28:46 PM

Agreed, although some may point out that Haze was a PS3 exclusive, and they had access to Sony's own teams of expert advisers.

Ah well, we get used to really good games and when one comes along that's not stellar, we start looking for reasons. We'd all do well to remember that not all game developers are equal. It's like that old joke/truism about Doctors. What do you call the student that graduates at the bottom of the class in med school? Doctor. Doctors can't all be neurosurgeons, some are cut out to be general practitioners. Of course not every valedictorian in med school wants to be a neurosurgeon, some want to be family doctors...

The same is true for developers.

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Robochic
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:42:30 AM
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Have to agree Haze was crap, but now they can regroup and figure the system out.

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mustang750r
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:43:40 AM
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I remeber FR saying it was Ubi's fault for HAZE failing. Saying Ubi kept changing things like story and setting, but now with their ass saved they're blaming the PS3, please.

Just shut up and give us TS4.

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NiteKrawler
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:43:59 AM
Reply

Yes, blame the PS3...it had nothing to do with the fact that the whole concept of the game sucked. I knew this game would be ass from the minute I read about it a loooong time ago.

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Godslim
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:28:26 AM

the concept was average but u could tell they did have difficulties buy just looking at the game....and we all know they are great developers by looking at their past work

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Oxvial
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 10:49:27 AM
Reply

Never cared about this game...FPS games needs to rest on peace.

Last edited by Oxvial on 8/12/2009 10:51:05 AM

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Godslim
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:29:01 AM

fps games r great!

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Jawknee
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:52:47 AM

The market is saturated with fps's. Enough is enough.

Last edited by Jawknee on 8/12/2009 11:58:34 AM

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Godslim
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 12:03:34 PM

yeh because thats what most people like!

Agree with this comment 6 up, 6 down Disagree with this comment

NiteKrawler
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 12:12:17 PM

Agreed with Jawknee and Ox. It's like eating too much fast food. After a while, you get sick of it and blow chunks.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Godslim
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:33:29 PM

wow u guys luv to h8 fps games and lol at thumbs down just for like fps games

Last edited by Godslim on 8/12/2009 2:34:33 PM

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Oxvial
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:59:28 PM

You have bad taste so shut up and play some halo.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 11 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:50:18 PM

No godslim, we don't love to "h8" fps's. There's just too damn many of them. Bioshock, Modern Warfare and Killzone 2(KZ2 actually being the best I've played)are all great and fun, but after that they are mediocre and dull and not worth the blue ray they're printed on. Half of the games available are fps. Most of us are burnt out.

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NiteKrawler
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 4:15:45 PM

Yeah, I'm definitely just burnt out on them. Also, I thumbed Ox and Jaw up but I would never thumb anyone down just because of a difference in opinion/preference. To me, the thumbs down is for idiot comments/flames.

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Godslim
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 5:08:33 AM

ha i dont like halo ox and i think that is damn rude of u.....oh and i have good taste in games thank u very much i dont need u to tell me otherwise and no knightkrawler they were not idiot comments and was certainly not flaming u just decided to pick an argument because u dont like fps games i just because i sed i do which is a difference in opinion u give thumbs down

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Oxvial
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 8:25:38 AM

I think you like Halo because thats what most people that play FPS games like!

lol you are taking this FPS opinon too personal face it people like me are bored with FPS dont try to force your shitty games taste on me.

now go and play some Modern Warfare .

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Jawknee
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 10:30:20 AM

Ha!

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NoMoreWar
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 11:15:03 AM

wow. so he has a shitty taste in games just because it differs from yours? grow up

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Oxvial
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 11:25:06 AM

When he reply about the jawk comment about FPS are satured with

''yeh because thats what most people like! ''

I lose all respect from him so I'm just trolling with him laugh about my reply or be another stoic FPS games defender with him I dont care.

but still FPS games need to rest.

Last edited by Oxvial on 8/13/2009 11:26:24 AM

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Godslim
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 12:11:49 PM

take it personally
This made it personal
"You have bad taste so shut up and play some halo"
and yes loads of people do like fps games hence y so many are made and so many sell really well

and no i dont like halo ;) tbh i dont get what your problem is and as nomorewar said u really need to grow up

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NiteKrawler
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 12:41:09 PM

Godslim, you need to take a second to read my damn comment. I said I would "never thumb anyone down for a difference in opinion." By that, I meant that I did NOT thumb you down. I thumbed the others UP, but I did NOT thumb you DOWN. Can you comprehend that? If you like FPS games then that is perfectly fine. No, I don't think you have bad taste in games because of it. I'm sure you like the best FPS games available as well as the other genres of games too. By saying that I think the thumb down option is for idiot comment/flames, I didn't mean that you made an idiot comment or were flaming. Hope that clears that up.

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Oxvial
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 2:44:40 PM

LOL you are taking this personally that just make this trolling more fun.

You still don't get it , MY OPINION FPS need to rest just look at how unimpressive Killzone 2 sold and you know I'm sure it must be in the top 5 FPS games of this gen but still I didint buy it cuz I'm already bored of FPS games.

You must be like those people that eat everyday on McDonald's and later they get fat but they still come to eat on McDonald's every damn day.

Also don't get mad and relax.. MW 2 is coming so people like you can buy again the damn activision milked thing.

Last edited by Oxvial on 8/13/2009 2:46:21 PM

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Godslim
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 3:42:08 PM

oh well sorry knite crawler didnt know that dude i thought u did

oh and ox this argument was never about my opinion everyone can think what they want i just dont like the way u told me
"You have bad taste so shut up and play some halo"

just for saying i like fps games anyway end of!

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NoMoreWar
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:08:10 AM
Reply

this is why i DONT have a problem with devs pushing back release dates sometimes. if they know it sucks but feel like they can make it better... then keep working on it and deliver a good game at a later date. dont just push sh** to production if its sh**

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BeezleDrop
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:23:49 AM
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I don't know why they didn't take more time to figure out the PS3 first, then try to focus on the complete process. This was like Army of Two, everyone made it look and sound awesome. Then it came out and I almost vomited all over my tele.

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:30:32 PM

Software development is a learning process, always. When you're working with a new platform, especially a complex one, the best way to learn is to do. In the commercial world of software you have to produce something at some point or the bills don't get paid. So you can't afford to devote unlimited time and resource to learning before actually working on a project, more often than not, you learn as you go.

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Killa_5150
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:31:52 AM
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Haze should have bee Multiplat man, I think it would have sold more because ps3 owners are really careful in terms of buying $60-70 games but 360 and PC owners dont give a sh** as long as its a fun game

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 12:27:41 PM

Uh...where did you ever get that idea?

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NiteKrawler
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:14:18 PM

...And general economics/consumer psychology takes a big hit.

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OPHIDIAN
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:28:20 PM

My, the naivety!

Good luck my friend.

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www
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:40:42 PM

Vault 101

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Jed
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 2:59:44 PM

Easy on the sauce killa

Last edited by Jed on 8/12/2009 2:59:56 PM

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kevinater321
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:38:55 AM
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i liked the demo but didn't have any money to buy the game, but then people said it was crap so i forgot about it.

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Milonakis
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:41:01 AM
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everyone should look at this as, thank god they didn't butcher time splitters as their first game on the system. Hopefully Crytek will make a new timesplitters.

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King James
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:50:03 AM
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Hopefully we can squeeze Battlefront 3 outta them too.

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Frenchy17
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:00:50 PM

What he said!

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KoldStrejke
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 11:53:00 AM
Reply

well if they have not gotten most out of the PS3 then why are most games dipping under 30 FPS, HuH!, HuH!.

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Jed
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:01:24 PM

wait, what?

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Dustinwp
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 5:01:48 PM

PS3 has plenty of games over 30fps. Frames per second in games is overrated anyway. I would rather have outstanding visuals at 30fps than sub par visuals at 60fps. I'll let the PC gamers worry about frames per second, just give me outstanding visuals please!

Last edited by Dustinwp on 8/12/2009 5:01:55 PM

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Naga
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 12:31:30 PM
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They haven't learnt this new tech included on the PS3 or basically couldn't read the manual included with the dev kit?!

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whooka
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:04:53 PM
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Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 1:32:55 PM
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Meh, doesnt bother me much. If they cant handle the PS3 i just wont buy their crappy game. Its a shame though, early shots of HAZE looked amazing.

CryEngine 3 is going to come along and change everything we know about FPSs. Cant wait for them to finish that up.

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eLLeJuss
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:00:43 PM
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Haze was fine. They just overhyped it too much. If they would've stayed silent, IMO it would'nt seem as bad as people think it is.

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Imagi
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:05:15 PM
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Allowing people believe that the CGI was in game graphics did not do them any favours.

Growing pains with a new system are also no excuse for bad character design and dialogue.

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TEG3SH
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:24:23 PM
Reply

Heavenly Sword
Resistance
Motorstorm
Warhawk
Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

Among others
agreed

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Dustinwp
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 3:44:11 PM
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A poor workman blames his tools.

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tanner1
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 4:10:37 PM
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@ koldstrejke: What ps3 exclusive dips below 30 fps?, not many, and theres alot more 1080p resolutions games out on the ps3 aswell ( compared to 0 on xbox )

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jdt1981
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 5:43:26 PM
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I can understand what they're saying about how they spent allot of time getting their engine to run on the PS3 which left less time for gameplay polishing and fleshing out the story and characters. On the other hand why not just delay the game until it's polished? Perhaps Ubisoft is where the blame should lie, they probably pushed FR to finish Haze by a certain deadline.

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The_Struggler
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 8:00:15 PM
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Excuses, excuses. They should have made it multi-plat if they were worried about losses. There are plenty of games that are PS3 exclusives that have had great sales.

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dveisalive
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 8:25:23 PM
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I will admit that Haze suck ass PERIOD!

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Mr Bitey
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 9:12:14 PM
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Well at least Haze wasn't nearly half as bad as Too Human. Silicon Knights took over a decade to make that game, and it still stunk.

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Alienange
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 9:14:53 PM
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What a strange thing to say... "technical issues?" I thought the game had the "story was pants" issue.

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___________
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 3:56:10 AM
Reply

that just proves what i said the other day.
sony does not give a rats A$$ about 3rd party developers.
a team is making a project exclusive for their console theve never worked on that console before so you would think sony would drop a line and say hey guys how are yous going can we help with anything?
50 bucks says if it was ND or GG they would of had 40 of their programmers at the drop of a hat, but since their 3rd party meh who cares.
that first came to mind when ubi was asked why SPC was a exclusive, and they replied were really happy how M$ treats their 3rd party developers.
and that made me wonder.
epic 3rd party and M$ has them eating out of their hat, epic love M$.
bungie same thing 3rd party and they love M$.
who does sony have thats 3rd party and praising how sony supported them.
no one as far as i can see.
as for haze lay off it guys, it had a $HITLOAD! of bugs but it was fun.
it mixed up the gameplay by making you OD on nectar you had vehicle missions theres plenty of different ways you can take out your enemy.
ive gone back to 3 exclusives haze heavenly sword and R&CTOD.
and both heavenly sword and haze have what exclusives today dont.
killzone 2 and resistance 2 got boring very fast because their missions are the same, nothing changes.
but haze and heavenly sword are different there swapping things around.
now i would have to say there among the best exclusives out now, after infamous and MGS4.

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furbiesmustdie
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 4:55:39 AM
Reply

i didn't mind haze. i may even go as far to say i liked it. however i would agree it wasn't worth the $100.

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Doomsquirrel
Sunday, August 16, 2009 @ 10:08:39 PM

whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, you payed $100!?!?!? you were seriously F***ed over my friend.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, August 13, 2009 @ 7:16:28 AM
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I had Haze pre-ordered for over a year, myself. Was very very frequent on the Haze boards for quite awhile. I never really had a problem with the game myself, I found it entertaining. It actually kind of bothers me to hear them piss and moan about it though. They made the decision to launch, they could've kept on delaying as long as they like. I mean honestly...it's not like Guerilla didn't take their time, right?

Point is, devs need to stop complaining about the difficulty of the PS3. Owners of said machine, have already proven they're capable of waiting for top-notch, quality titles. In fact, we prefer to wait for them over getting shovelware.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 8/13/2009 7:17:17 AM

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___________
Friday, August 14, 2009 @ 8:58:06 AM
Reply

to a certain extent.
it does get annoying and frustrating when a game gets delayed 10 times.
how many times was haze delayed?

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Mornelithe
Friday, August 14, 2009 @ 9:47:43 PM

See, that just doesn't bother me at all. I have the machine, and I have a gaming PC. Between the PS3 and my PC, I've got more games than I do time, I'm perfectly happy sitting back and working on WipeoutHD+Fury, or ranking up some prestige levels in W@W on PC. Or, replaying KZ2, or Resistance 2, or hell, even played Haze recently. Or Crysis, or Stalker etc... I've got a ton of 'em...so I'm in no real yank to see a game launched prematurely, simply because a dev wants to make a quick buck...or in this case, go out of business.

Still though, it bothers me that FRD said this. It really does. Because, if you go back and look at the Dev diaries, and all of the interviews with David Doak, and those folks...they never ever made any mention of this before. To me, it felt like they were being pressured by Sony, to get their title out quickly...however, it's ultimately the devs decision on when the project is finished. And they unfortunately, caved to that pressure.

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cheamo
Saturday, August 15, 2009 @ 1:07:48 PM
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This is very whiny from a company that used to rule, and made one of the best launch titles for the PS2. There was tons of good games on the PS3 before Haze, and not just by Sony.

Crytek is a great company and definitely one of the better ones Free Radical could have been picked up by, but personally I'll be sad to see TS4 on the CryEngine. Free Radical's in house engines always gave their games some actual style, and I'll be sad to see that go. To me it seems like TS4 is just going to be like any other shooter now.

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