Lair is a flying shooter that uses the Sixaxis tilt functions to deliver a beautiful, sweeping story of heroes and dragons.
Lair was slated by critics even before release. The whole world was told about how the difficult controls damaged the gameplay. I don't usually go along with reviews but avoided the game on initial release until I could buy it for under 20 notes.
When I did, I was shocked to find it wasn't that bad a game at all.
Lair sees you take on the role of Rohn, a Sky Guard of Asylia. Your people are relentlessly attacked by the Mokai, another clan of Knights that ride dragons. The story is pretty deep and is subject to many twists.
Essentially, the game finds you usually flying over vast landscapes, targeting other beasts and vehicles and blasting them with flame. You can land and attack with your dragon on foot, munching enemy soldiers and devastating attacking ground forces.
My favourite aspect is the music. Debney's Lair Score is probably his finest to date. It's up there with Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid's themes.
In short, the game is so breath-taking and magical that you'll want to see what happens and what you get to do next.
Okay, okay. So what sucks, right?
Well, the obvious reason for all the negative reviews became clear: Tilt Sensativity. I honestly doubt that any of the game review websites had bothered to get to grips with the tilt sensativity tilt controls. I found it tricky to master, but that was part of the fun. The motion-sensative controls are mandatory; there is no option to change it (unless you hook it up to a PSP and play remotely but we won't get into that...)
It's not the tilt controls directly but more their lack of accuracy. The camera is controlled by the analogues and the targeting system is a bit frustrating. But despite what all the reviews said, my major issue lies in the missions themselves.
As you rip through the sky on your dragon during a mission you are alerted to objectives that must be completed in order to continue the battle. The problem: that sometimes you'll be busy destroying the naval fleets when you'll fail the mission because you didn't kill enough dragons, soldiers or beasts in time. There is no choice. Remember Factor 5's Star Wars Rogue Squadron on the N64/PC? When you'd fail a mission for not taking down n AT-AT in time? Same idea. It gets a bit repetative doing missions over simply because of these Mission Critical Time-Based Objectives.
Despite these flaws, Lair is a great game. It doesn't deserve to be Gamesradar's Biggest Disappointment of 2007. It aint that bad. I feel stupid for putting off getting this game for so long.
In summary, if Lair sounds like your kind of game then buy it and make your own mind up. Don't listen to the critics. It'll provide you hours of innovative gameplay and a story worthy of a hollywood epic.