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January 4, 2008
Lair - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
15/11/2007SonySonyFactor 51None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Battles can be pretty intense.
When it comes to highly anticipated games that are hyped like thereís no tomorrow before release, few games on PS3 can say they have had more attention than Lair. And few games have bombed as completely and utterly bad as this one. Thatís right Ė after all the mixed praise and criticism the game has gotten since its initial release overseas, we have talked ourselves into picking up this game and giving it the once over for the purpose of bringing you a review.

Now, I will be honest here, I had never ever had high hopes, or even low hopes, for Lair from the get-go. Way back before even the Japanese launch, when the first screens and video footage was released, some sort of alarm bells went off that told me this game was going to suck. I will also bring to your attention that we did -not- receive the guide that was sent out to many other reviewers for this game that told them how this game is meant to be reviewed (personally, I still find that hilarious that it happened). So perhaps I am not Ďqualifiedí to write this article, but that wonít stop me! Okay - so enough bagging the game - for now. Letís get on with it.

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What the hell is that?
Basic plot Ė you play a character by the name of Rohn, who has the awesome job of riding a dragon for a living. Sure, he is a soldier type guy who has to face death and fight off bad guys, but how cool would riding a dragon be?! Anyways, he is on the side of a religious group by the name of the Asylian, who are up against a group called the Mokai, whom we are led to believe are evil. Unfortunately, itís fairly obvious from the beginning that the Asylian are definitely not what they appear, so the rest of the plot, which was intended to be riddled with twists, is far from unexpected. However, to avoid spoilers, Iím going to end the synopsis here. Suffice to say, story isnít the strong point here.

Now, despite my gut feelings about this game, I was kind of happy when I was given the opportunity to review this one, as I remember thinking the same about Drakengard 2, which actually turned out to be one of my favourite PS2 games, so I did allow myself to get a little excited about the dragon flying. After the awesome motion censoring present in Heavenly Sword, I thought maybe this would be similar. Enter what is, hands down, the worst example of a control scheme Iíve ever seen. Hell itís worse than the Resident Evil controls, and they were at least in a GOOD game.

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Looks great, but plays like #$%!.
Imagine, if you will, you are controlling a majestic dragon as it gracefully soars through the skies in all its celestial beauty. Now imagine you have to turn, when suddenly your dragon turns into a brick with wings. You now understand what is incredibly frustrating about controls in Lair. The motion sensoring is about as haphazard as can get here. In actual fact, the game may have even been semi-decent, if Factor 5 had just given the option to use the sticks instead of motion sensors. Like Warhawk, the idea was to let you be able to aim whilst flying using motion sensor. Unlike Warhawk, your dragon will not fly the right way and even, at times, seems to pick random directions. It absolutely ruins the entire game.

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Sending soldiers flying.
When youíre not trying to fly your brick through the air, you will be on the ground fighting. Luckily, all the tilt does here is moving the camera and you will be glad to have your old friends, the control sticks, back in the game. Unfortunately, both thereís, and the moments where you use melee combat with your dragon, are basically button mashing and always manage to disappoint.

Gameplay really is the big let down here. Games often have shallow stories, or bad control schemes, or other elements that are weak but still manage to pull off a decent bang for your buck. This is not the case with Lair, as the biggest thing stopping us from enjoying the game was actually the game itself. So whatís the good news?

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OK, we have some more nice visuals for you...
Well, the ONLY saving grace of Lair, and it is by no means enough to make the game worth playing, is the sleek shiny look of the game. Think a mixture between Oblivion, Lord of the Rings, and say Dragonheart (the movie). It has the whole medieval fantasy look going on, but thereís a little more to it. I canít help but think that Factor 5 made a bit of a mistake, though, by whacking the brightness of the colour palette up (such as in Oblivion Ė but it doesnít suit this game). Personally I think a much darker gothic medieval palette would have suited it more, but oh well. Overall, itís not a bad game to look at, but it does suffer sporadic framerate changes (from high to low) and a little stuttering here and there. Nothing major, certainly not enough to detract away from the controls.

Listening to the game isnít particularly difficult either, and as you swear at your dragon for being the most useless son of a bitch to ever curse your PS3, you will enjoy the sounds of fireballs, swords clashing and so on. They do the job but again, arenít that amazing. Music is decent though, and very fitting with the game.

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Yawn, do you get the drift yet?
So basically, the best thing you can do when you decide to think about buying Lair, is to eat your money, throw it in the sink, blend it up and burn it, or simply waste it on some sort of illicit substance that will make you think Lair is a good game*. This is, hands down, the worst title I have played on the console, and it has been a pleasure to do this review and get this all out. Having said that, maybe you like crap games Ė if so, go for it!

*Note: and its reviewers do not in any way encourage, endorse or promote the use of drugs or any other illicit substances.

Review By: Michael Hutchesson

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSThe most likeable aspect of the game, and not that spectacular. Framerate issues, and far too bright for our liking.
SOUNDItís not horrid, but it still isnít a good reason to get the game. Decent music though.
GAMEPLAYWorst excuse for a control scheme ever. Period.
VALUEItís not the shortest game, but you will snap the game disk out of frustration after about an hour or so. Someone forgot to tell Factor 5 that quality is more important than quantity, or fun, or... well anything else.
OVERALLDonít buy it, itís that simple. Lair is the worst game on PS3 to date and is likely to be for a long time. Reserved only for those who hate enjoying life.

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