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Lair Review

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Here be (really crap) dragons

★★★★

With luscious graphics, epic presentation and thundering dragons searing shrieking armies with their infernal breath, its hard to see how Lair could fail. But as it’s lumbered with a control system that’s guaranteed to drive even the meekest gamer to profanity, it’s puzzling how the game was ever allowed to reach retail.

While the Wii’s gesture-based gaming has been a revelation, Lair’s ham-fisted attempt to exploit the Sixaxis’ motion-sensing functions is pitiful; tilting the controller to steer your flying lizards feels natural enough, but as it’s impossible to make tight turns you’ll find yourself flying for miles in the wrong direction in an attempt to turn around and attack targets you just flew past, making the missions with a strict time limit unnecessarily frustrating. And as the motion controls are mandatory, you can’t even use the Sixaxis' old-fashioned control sticks to get some enjoyment from the incredible visuals.

Worst of all, though, Lair features a tragic targeting system that automatically picks out enemies but often selects the least-threatening, leading to perplexing, controller-smashing moments where you’re hammering an unarmed foe while another soldier riddles your scaly hide with arrows.

An exasperating triumph of style over content, Lair is the PS3’s biggest disaster and further ammunition for those who champion the Xbox 360 and Wii’s burgeoning libraries.