Fight fierce battles on the back of a dragon


Dragons have mystified us with their brute strength, speed and agility. You also might want to watch out for the fire breathing and sharp talons while you’re at it. We jump on our dragon and head into battle as we take a look at a new game about dragons called Lair.

Not many games offer the player the opportunity to take control of a dragon. Even less are solely based on flying and fighting dragons. Factor 5, developer of several Star Wars games, has traded in Darth Vader for fire-breathing dragons. The game will be Playstation 3 exclusive and published by Sony Online Entertainment.

Visual Carnage

Lair looks to have your attention right from the get go. It will perform rock solid at 720p with the option of 1080p at 30 frames per second in the final version. This is quite impressive as the levels can be as large as 32x32km in size, with a high level of detail being maintained at any distance using an advanced new streaming mesh technology called progressive mesh. This allows the player to see “miles” off into the distance of the landscape. Along with this impressive detail is a lot of action on the screen at once, with the land battles and air battles all seemingly happening at the same time.

On top of holding your attention in the air as you’re battling it out with other dragons, Factor 5 has gone even further with the addition of a fluid dynamic water system. What does this mean? It means that when there is an explosion in the water, it will rock anything that the waves hit. The only drawback is that it does look to be surface based and it won’t slosh the water over the sides of the boat and sink it, but it still does add that extra visual flare.

Attack! Attack! Attack!

Besides enjoying the visuals, what’s the point of this game, you might ask? Well the answer is simple: to attack your enemies. Okay, maybe not that simple, but what game would be fun without attacks? Factor 5 combines a high "fun factor" with some great in-game animations for special moves to take out your enemies. Jump from your dragon onto your enemies completing the final death blow, and then free fall back onto your dragon. Breathe fire at your enemies, stomp your enemies, claw your enemies, and your ?carnage? will increase. Oh, and for those wondering, you will not be able to get off the dragon to fight the good fight. This game will play in a linear mission style fashion in order for the story to progress. That being said, it is still open to how you wish to play the level. You can choose to only attack in the air and ignore the ground troops if you so choose.

Lair will tally your scores at the end of each mission and have specific rankings. You'll be ranked on the amount of "carnage" you've caused, as well as your completion time, number of kills and deaths, and so on. All of this will add up to medals that not only indicate your overall performance, but also unlock new moves, such as a double-slash combo, that will let you tackle subsequent missions with greater ease. Even if you're not getting these extra moves from medals, the developer says the game will seamlessly introduce new gameplay mechanics and concepts all the way through the game to keep things fresh.