Lair / 2007 Sony / http://www.us.playstation.com/Content/OGS/BCUS-98112/Site/ / http://www.sony.com /
You control Rohn in Lair, who is a knight that has a mount in a dragon. The game is similar to a Panzer Dragoon (if you remember that), in that missions largely take place in the air. Unlike Panzer Dragoon, Lair makes individuals complete missions in such a way that Rohn gains different abilities, combos, and other skills based on how the individual scores in the mission. It’s as if the developers of Lair (Factor 5) were angry at EA for not giving individuals any real unlockables in their Madden series, so they adopted little trinkets and fun skills for those individuals that progress through Lair.
For those individuals that have been pampered by the interactivity of the Wii, Lair provides a number of interesting uses of the Sixaxis controller. Specifically, one has to shake and jostle the controller during some of the missions, including examples such as thrashing the controller side to side to knock an enemy dragon sideways and to what one can only assume is death. Another interesting addition to the technology side of Lair is the fact that individuals can go and play the game on their PSPs. The range of activity is limited (specifically, the motion sensor capabilities are removed), but individuals allow their PS3s to do all of the work when using the handheld. The graphics are intense, to the degree that I feel that what is rendered by the PS3 could even conceivably be used as filler CGI for any fantasy movie.
The vibrant graphics of the commercials for Lair are not cut scenes that are buffed out, but rather are equivalent to the in-game play of the title. The aforementioned interactivity of the game will be challenging to some, but I feel that most casual gamers will be able to expand their repertoire and succeed with the Sixaxis controller. I could see Lair being expanded to sequels and spin off games; the back story (I can come up with about five stories surrounding the Mokai and the Asylians myself) could easily make for an expanded universe. The graphics are strong, the game is stunning, and Lair had me mesmerized for hours on end. I would like to see how Factor 5 is able to expand on the blueprint here and keep individuals interested in the world of Lair. Give the game a go if you like cutting-edge applications of graphics, gameplay, and sound.