Though Lair has been in the public eye over the past few months thanks to interviews and the occasional batch of new media, new content for the game itself had been hidden away in development since last year's Tokyo Game Show appearance. That was, until Sony and developer Factor 5 blew the doors open at a press event last week, resulting in our first concrete post-TGS update on the game.
Perhaps most newsworthy is that the controls have been adjusted so that players no longer use the PS3 controller's tilt function to run around when they land their dragon. Instead, the tilt is intact for flight controls, but the developers felt they could get better precision by letting players move with the left analog stick while on land. It seems that though some levels start you on foot, the majority of the game takes place with you on your dragon running around, flying, etc. so this control shift marks a major change for how the game will play out.
SCREENS: Lair is one of a very small number of games to feature both a large sense of scale and tons of stuff going on around you at all times. [Click the image above to check out all Lair screens.]
This has been complemented by new enemies to give both ground and air combat more variety. Ever wanted to pick up a Rhino with your dragon's legs and fling it 500 yards away? And if the Rhino is too small for you, you can take on the "more than a mile long" (Factor 5's Julian Eggebrecht) Coral Snake boss that moves in and out of the water, giving off a bit of a Shadow of the Colossus vibe.
Factor 5 also showed off a Carnage Meter that let's players build up multipliers for points to earn medals and rewards, new ways to use the tilt controls such as shaking to pull an object off of the roof of a cave, and a 180 degree turn that players can perform by jerking the controller up quickly.
But perhaps the best part about our latest look at Lair is that we were able to capture a lot of it on video, so rather than hear us describe it you can check it out for yourself. The footage looks much better than the screenshots, so we recommend checking it out if you want to get a sense of what the game's all about. With a release scheduled for July, this has the potential to be Sony's next big first party PS3 game, though it will be interesting to see how close it ships to Warhawk -- Sony's other flight combat PS3 game on the way later this year.