Metareview -- Lair (PS3)


On paper, Factor 5's Lair does so many things right: Beautiful graphics and sound making full use of all the blue rays, cells and bumpy maps the PlayStation 3 has to offer. Majestic dragons flapping their leathery wings, swooping down on hapless soldiers and occasionally fighting other, similarly majestic dragons. Unfortunately, this enticing list was apparently jotted down with a pen the size of a tree stump. Awkward to maneuver and clumsy to clutch, Lair's mandatory motion-control scheme seems to have sent it into a quality nosedive.
  • IGN (49/100) laments the "horribly unresponsive" controls and "god-awful lock-on system," quickly labeling the whole affair as "a mission worthy of swallowing the business end of a shotgun to avoid." Just so we're clear, they're implying that you'd rather kill yourself instead of playing Lair. Harsh, and certainly surprising if you read the E3 preview -- a few weeks earlier, the game was "surprisingly easy to pick up and play" with dragon controls that became "simple with practice."
  • Gamespot (45/100) thinks Lair is beautiful... a "beautiful disaster," that is. The review's third sentence claims it's "stunning to watch", but that comes after the second sentence which declares the game to have "one of the worst control schemes ever devised." That's assuming you even make it that far, as the first sentence is simply, "You shouldn't play Lair." If that sounds bitter, it's probably because you remember the sweet taste of the last preview: "Flying the dragon around isn't tough, but there is a bit of a learning curve." Apparently it was more like a 90-degree angle.
  • 1UP (60/100) was right to be concerned about the controls in an earlier version of the game. Here, the game is deemed frustrating and "one of those games where you die or fail through no fault of your own." The article also reinforces the belief that Factor 5 is still stuck in the icy wastelands of Hoth, complete with dinosaurs waiting to trip over your dragon tow cable.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.