Frankenreview - Lair (PS3)

51Ay8kJuw0L._SS400_.jpgFactor 5's Lair got one bad review. And after that, the levies broke and the criticism came pouring in. Now, in the wake of carnage, we can step back and see where things seemingly went wrong. (Of course, not having played the final build, I stubbornly stand by my impressions.)

So hit the jump for our Frankenreview: the longest, most obnoxious review title you've ever heard. And find out why, aside from the questionable control scheme, most reviewers are hating on the game.lairgraph.jpgIGN The dragon fights in this dragon game are no good...The takedowns - which have you fly up on a foe, jump onto the beast, kill the pilot and take out the dragon via some quick action events - are cool, but they seemed to be the minority. One of the more prevalent attacks had us flying side-by-side with a bad guy and shaking our controller left to right...The next battle method had our dragon and the opposing dragon face to face falling toward the ground...Sound cool? It wasn't, and that pretty much sums up Lair. media-1.jpeg Yahoo Games The reason to play Lair is the phenomenal graphics engine, which is able to display Lord of the Rings-size battles at 1080p resolution with a draw distance that goes on for ever. This is a stunningly lovely game to look at, especially when in the air...[but]some areas will chug down to a relatively slow frame rate, hampering the presentation. There are also issues like the invisible wall that bounds certain flight areas. Lair wants to present a massive world, and while it can do so visually, you won't be able to go just anywhere you like. media-4.jpeg Variety Unfortunately, the dragons in the game all look similar and blend into the mostly grey-and-brown backgrounds, making it hard to differentiate allies from enemies. The developers at Factor 5 tried to make up for that deficiency with optional "rage vision," which turns the world into black and white, with enemies highlighted in a red glow. But players have to keep a button pushed down to turn on "rage vision," making it an impractical option in the long run. media-2.jpeg UGO The Rogue Squadron games were something anyone could pick up and play and find immediate gratification with. The same can't be said for Lair. To be bold, I honestly believe Factor 5 has created the first detailed dragon flight simulation. Because of this fact, there is a learning curve that will prevent the easily turned off or fickle gamer from truly enjoying the sweet little gem Factor 5 has created. media-3.jpeg Gamebrink ...the game tries to do most of the targeting for you. This would be fine if it worked but alas it doesn't. There are many times where you'll need to lock on to a certain target in a confined area only to have the computer lock on to something you're not facing screwing you over completely...After failing many of the missions an insane amount of times I headed to the bathroom for some relief only to realise that my latest bowel movement was more fun than the "game" I had been playing. media.jpegFor so long we've questioned the integrity of Lair's motion controls. And many reviewers certainly had their "why no thumbstick" beefs. But I think Lair went wrong in their tedious targeting system, dull/confusing dragon to dragon battles and yeah, maybe a little bit, the imperfect advanced controls. But I still plan on picking up the game and giving it a go. Maybe it's because I still have hope that it's good. Maybe it's because I can't help but watch such an investment go up in flames.


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