Review by ChateauDIf
"A Truly Great and Fun Experience"
This game is a truly wonderful experience. Before I go on with the review, I just want to sit back and marvel at how truly good looking this game is. It's no Gears of War, but everything is simply marvelous considering how big everything is as well as all the insane battles happening everywhere around you. But let's go on, shall we:
Graphics: (9/10) Marvelous. Truly one of the best I've seen yet. Tremendous detail in buildings, physics, characters, and dragons. During the FMV sequences, you can't help but notice every strain of hair, every pore, every pockmark, etc. that these characters have. I'd say that the FMV sequences are comparable to the graphics of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within movie. During gameplay, areas are HUGE and battles span out as far as the eye could see. Literally hundreds and hundreds of enemies on the screen battling it out. Watching this on full 1080p, I am simply amazed.
Sound: (10/10) The music and voice acting are of top notch quality. This has got to be one of the best soundtracks out. Music sets the mood and tone. During gameplay, the insertion of the music is where the game truly excels. While some games sound like they just add music just for the sake of it, Lair's soundtrack is done beautifully and well orchestrated. Truly a masterpiece.
Gameplay: (8/10) I've got to say, this is one of the most fun games I've had in a long time. At first, I was a little skeptical about the use of Sixaxis after trying out the horrible motion controls on MotorStorm, but SixAxis in Lair is definitely well implemented and very rewarding. The SixAxis in this game is very responsive and intuitive and I find it very fun and easy to use. The first level is a very quick tutorial which gives you the feel of the dragon. That's all you need to learn the controls, really. The Sixaxis is where I think the game succeeds. It makes you feel like you're controlling the reigns to the dragon for a very interactive experience. This game makes you use SixAxis, a lot. You can rush in and go side by side with an enemy, while thrusting the controlling to the side will cause your dragon to bump the enemy out of commission. Another plus is the game's variety. Each mission is completely different and varied. Each level has a completely different feel with new and unique objectives to keep everything refreshing. The lock on system, however, could use a bit of improving. The lockon can cause the camera to get jittery when you lock on to an enemy that you just killed. Since the dragon naturally falls down when they die (of course), the lockon will go with it and jump back to you all of a sudden. I found that releasing the lockon button right before they fall is the solution. Also, as fun as the missions are, they're pretty short. But replayability is a strong factor. All in all, this game is very fun.
The game wants you to change up how you kill enemies, and the more you change it up, the more carnage points you get. More carnage points as well as other qualifications will earn you a gold medal. Other qualifications include not letting your friends die, completed mission within a specific time limit, etc. Earning gold medals unlocks you different dragons. Gold medals are pretty hard to get, just to let you know.
Overall, I give it an 8.5/10.
Rent or buy? I would say definitely buy. The game may be short, but it is very fun and the replayability factor is definitely there. If you are a bit skeptical, at least give it a rent first and form your own opinion.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/04/07
Game Release: Lair (US, 08/30/07)
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