When I first read about Lair, writers kept referring to the claim that it would consume an entire Blu-ray disc due to its high-end visuals. Normally, I would worry fearing that style over substance, graphics over gameplay was being given precedent. However, the developer was Factor 5. Their previous games were great fun with the perfect balance of graphics and gameplay. In fact, I was so confident in their ability that Lair took eighth place in my list of top 10 most anticipated games.
As the release date approached, review copies were sent out to critics and then, the reviews began to surface. Mostly negative, highly critical of the gameplay, reviewers wrote that Factor 5 had opted to focus on graphics, leaving gamers with a pretty but unplayable game.
You shouldn’t play Lair. Not unless you have some morbid interest in experiencing what is quite possibly one of the worst control schemes ever devised. It’s a shame because as a cinematic experience, it’s stunning to watch. As a game, it’s a nightmare and an embarrassment. It sounds like a fantastic idea: You fly around on a dragon, spewing fire and clawing at other reptiles while generally wreaking havoc. Too bad you’re forced to use Sixaxis controls that destroy the possibility of fun and replace it with the constant need to scream expletives at your television screen.
Greg Miller from IGN had a similar opinion:
It was somewhere in the neighborhood of my fourth pass over a bridge filled with two warring factions and a bunch of evil rhinos that I went from thinking Lair wasn’t that bad to wondering if Lucifer himself pressed this Blu-ray disc in the pits of hell.See, the time had come for my Asylains to draw up a peace treaty with a group of neighboring bad guys called the Mokai, but when the peace process soured, a huge battle erupted and I — Rohn, one of the best dragon-riding sky guards around — needed to make sure our troops came out on top.No doubt, that sounds interesting and fun; however, Lair’s terrible controls and god-awful lock-on system make this a mission worthy of swallowing the business end of a shotgun to avoid.
Still eager to play Lair, I rented a copy, instead of buying and set off to find out if it was indeed as horrible as described.
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