In Lair you play Roan, a Dragon Rider in the world of Asylia. At one point Asylia was inhabited by one group of people that due to religious differences have split into civil war. The game throws you right into the conflict. The opposing side is attacking the city with massive catapults and you and your squad are sent in to defend. When you grab the Sixaxis and are flying towards the barrage of air borne fireballs and you see buildings crumble all around you, you get the feeling that this game should be the most amazing experience in the history of shoot’em up flight simulators ever.
The first time you maneuver your dragon right up to one of the ships at sea attacking you and send it to the briny blue you think “Wow. This is what next-gen has been talking about... awesome.” But then something happens. As you play further and further into the game you realize that the graphics are starting to get choppy. The storyline is weak and the twists are predictable. The game play starts to become repetitive and magically you start fighting other creatures mid air in near Street Fighter style.
As the story goes on, you never really connect with your character and the motion controls become annoying. It may just be me, but the whole 'pull your controller backwards in the air really quickly to do a 180' never really worked for me. Some levels in the game, like the first time you try to save a group of Air Manatees (and yes they are Manatees flying without any wings through the air) that are used as troop transports, feel pointless and don’t move the story along.
The boss battle on that level is also an example of “Wow that should have been better.” A giant sea snake pops out of the ocean and starts eating the flying Manatees. This was the first time in the game I needed to rely on one of Lair’s worst features - the targeting system. Whatever enemy is in your direct vision gets a small barely visible white glowing ball around it. When you then select something to be targeted instead of a white ball it becomes a red ball that again is barely noticeable. After shooting scales off this sea snake and avoiding venom being squirted at you for a few minutes the game jumps into a cut scene (I assume it was triggered by the amount of damage I had done to it) that made no sense. Another sea snake pops up while the one you just killed dies and mysteriously the new one just keels over as well. Maybe more had happened that I didn’t catch, but that would be due to the game seemingly running at 15 frames a second.