What a game Haze could’ve been. Developers Free Radical has just put out the Timesplitters trilogy, and Haze was set to be another groundbreaking game with an original premise and insightful features. Unfortunately, Ubisoft wanted the game to compete with Halo, so the game was shorn of any uniqueness and booted out limp and buggy to an undignified death.
Originally, it was set to tackle the horrors of warfare before any game had ever examined them. Spec Ops: The Line would not come out until four years later.
Haze had you playing as super soldiers who used Nectar to enhance their combat abilities. The Nectar caused hallucinations though, stopping the soldiers from seeing the true destruction and bloodshed they were causing. Hugely ambitious, it essentially needed levels to work on at least two planes at once.
Free Radical asked Ubisoft for more time to work on these distinctive features, but the response was worse than just a simple ‘no’. In addition to not delaying the game, Ubisoft pushed for more sandbox style features, without granting extra time to fix the game’s core issues.
Ubisoft eventually drafted in their own team, kicking Free Radical off their own game, and the end result was deeply disappointing.