What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game has its share of violence and gore, as you ride the back of a dragon and attack other beasts and soldiers with dragon fire or claws. When on foot, players will engage in hacking and slashing with a sword, leaving your enemies slain -- by the thousands. The game also suffers from a very bad control system that may lead frustrated players to just give up.
What's it about?
LAIR tells of a peaceful and prosperous Asylian civilization under attack by the war-mongering Mokai race and the huge creatures trained to do their bidding. You play as an Asylian warrior named Rohn, a dragon rider and member of the elite Sky Guard, who wards off the assault in the skies, over the seas, and on the ground. Some of these battles are quite epic in scope; in some, dozens of flying creatures fight above crumbling cities, battling through hundreds of soldiers on the ground, or swoop down to breathe fire on rival ships' sails so they burst into flames and sink.
Lair employs the PS3's SIXAXIS motion-sensing control scheme built into the wireless controller, meaning you tilt the game pad in the direction you want to go -- it sounds much easier in theory than it is in practice.
Is it any good?
Sound like fun? Unfortunately it isn't, because maneuvering your dragon and targeting enemies has a steep learning curve -- and even once you get used to it, it still doesn't feel natural. While Nintendo's wireless motion-sensing Wii remote controller is so intuitive a child can perform the action, Lair on the PS3 is a bungled mess. And you can't choose to turn this feature off.
Visually, the game is spectacular. This is one of the first 1080p-supported games, so all 1,080 lines of resolution are displayed at once on a compatible HDTV, resulting in a rich and colorful picture. The cut scene sequences, where you'll learn more about these warring cultures and Rohn's character, also look gorgeous. The sad truth is that there seems to be a very good game buried in Lair, but the difficult controls will prevent many players from finding it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the biggest issue with this game, which is its control scheme. Should game companies try to reinvent the wheel or stay with a tried-and-true formula? Or give the gamer the option to use one or the other, as with EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08?