Can they lie to us? Haze over troubled water

2 min read


After Haze had such a huge amount of hype, it was quite interesting to see the terrible reviews drip out of the media pipes one by one.

After a short while, I decided to go and look at Free Radical (Haze publishers) website to see if there was any sort of reaction whatsoever. I didn’t find anything. What I did find, however, was a page about Haze that was plastered with nothing but good comments about the game. As a matter of fact, they have a really cheeky introduction to the page that says:

“Welcome. If you’re too cheap to buy magazines, or are somehow too busy to do a Google search, this is the perfect place to catch up with all the nice things that people have been saying about Haze.”

Ok, then. All the nice things that people have to say… let’s see what kind of things people said.

Here are a few examples of the quotes (obviously from previews and early looks) taken from the Haze page:

The first thing you’ll notice is how beautiful it all is”

“HAZE already looks and plays superbly”

“We’re pumped for HAZE”

– PSM3 (May, 2008) [UK]

“From what we’ve seen it could be one of the greatest FPS on the PS3 with not only great shooting action but with a deep involving story line. It’s going to be awesome.”

– PLAY (June, 2007) [UK]

“Based on what we’ve seen, Haze looked mighty impressive.”

– (May 23rd, 2007) [UK]


Ok, now lets compare these statements to what reviewers said, in summary, on

I have taken a review from the very top, the middle and the bottom:

“So Haze, as a PS3 exclusive, is far from a reason to own a PS3.”

– PSM3 Magazine UK (71%)

(same people as the first quote above, also the highest Haze score on metacritic)

“A seven-hour campaign and uneventful multiplayer modes just don’t cut it in light of the far better modern shooters available on the market.”

– Gamespot (60%)

“On the whole, Haze isn’t outright terrible or broken — it’s just unsatisfying and misguided and would have been merely average on the Xbox and PS2.”

– (33%)


Should this be allowed? Sure, the publishers are using direct quotes from the press, but is it right that they still even have it up with quotes based on early looks at the game when reviews are coming in with so many terrible scores?

Basically what they are saying is “Hey, look, these people liked what they saw a while ago, so lets look at that and not focus on anyone or anything that isn’t going to boost sales!”

What do you guys think? Leave a comment below and let us know if you feel that they have the right to have quotes like that up on the site or if they should have to rather link to a real source of opinions instead?

Last Updated: June 3, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • PillsburyDeeBoy

    Why would anybody mention negative comments about their products? Honestly? Think of it – marketers would still be telling us that cigarettes are good for our health if it wasn’t for laws passed against that type of advertising…

  • Yes Deeboy, they would. But they can’t anymore. The games industry can. Granted, cigarettes affect health, games dont (though there have been a few cases…). Should we be trusting of anything that any company says about their own games?

  • SlippyMadFrog

    I think if you are looking for a fair oppinion about the game, don’t go to the publishers. Above is a shining example.

  • JimBob

    This happens in books, movies and music, too, so it’s naive to think games would be any different.

  • You are correct JimBob, but books, movies and music dont cost as much as games, so a lot of consumers are more careful about what they buy.

    We can look at all the industries, but we are obviously talking about gaming, and again, its a lot of money to spend, so when we get burned by false statements and hype, we get burned a lot worse dont you think?

  • Miktar

    What’s that Lassie? The publisher/developer of a game is cherry-picking testimonials? Someone call the po-leece!

    This happens everywhere products are sold, so no Great Secret Mystery here.

  • Miktar

    I don’t think anyone should trust a single damn thing marketing people say about anything, and yet…

    Also, considering how the Transformers game topped the sales charts around the world even though it was pants, proves it doesn’t matter in the end. Brand/License is king and anything beyond that is fighting for tablescraps.

  • LazySAGamer

    I think the real issue is that cherry picking statements that have subsequently been rescinded (well not entirely but the follow up review was scathing)…

    Where is the line going to be drawn?

  • Miktar

    Where the consumers start demanding consumer watchdog groups in these specific sectors. Right now, there are no videogame consumer watchdogs other than the ones trying to pin violence on them. Videogames are a *young* sector of the overall consumer zeitgeist and there is a lot of groundwork that needs to be done – the same groundwork Hollywood had to go through over a few decades: decades that videogames have yet to have.

    I think sometimes people forget just how *new* videogames are in the grande scheme of things, and not all industry “controlling factors” naturally just pop up around a new revenue stream, despite what the everyman thinks.

    It takes time, and it takes people who stand up and draw the line.

    Unfortunately, gamers are content to just buy the games and play them, marketing be damned.

  • Jak

    Absolutely disgusting. 😯

  • That’s the business I guess.

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