Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lair to Get a Long Overdue Update

Lair was one of the most critically reviled games of 2007, racking up fours and fives almost straight across the board, largely because of its less than stellar motion controls.

Developer Factor 5 insisted there was nothing wrong with the controls and went so far as to send members of the media a 21-page "Lair Reviewers Guide" explaining to them how to play the game instead of just patching it to enable the analog control it already supported.

On April 17th, nearly 8 months after the game launched, Lair will finally get the analog controls it should have had to begin with. Makes you wonder if Sony plans on launching their PS3 Greatest Hits line soon and wants the game to get a second chance.

I played through Lair and I dare say I actually enjoyed it. The big hitch with the motion controls was your boost and 180 moves, which were activated by violently jerking the controller either forward or up respectively, but which just as often would initiate the opposite move you intended. Doing a 180 when you wanted to boost forward (or vice versa) is about as frustrating a thing as you can experience in a game. If they had simply mapped those two maneuvers to face buttons while still allowing the dragon to be controlled with the Sixaxis I think the reviews would've been much kinder.

Factor 5 head honcho Julian Eggebrecht even famously defended the game by saying he could pull off the 180 move 8 out of 10 times and would go on to hypocritically call out Warhawk for forcing motion controls on players (when Warhawk's motion control was optional and Lair's wasn't), before finally conceding that they probably, maybe, kinda shoulda put analog control in Lair.

Since most of the critical panning of the game revolved around the control, I'd be curious to see reviewers' take on the game post-patch and see if their scores jumped significantly. I doubt that'd happen unless Sony actually repackaged the game as a Director's Cut with more extra content than just a control fix though.

The game had incredible graphics, a fantastic soundtrack and a not-awful story (is that a compliment?) so if you've got a PS3 and can find the game on the cheap side ($20 or less) definitely check it out after the patch hits.

[via Joystiq]

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