So - there was quite a bit of commotion around this game. I have the game. What do I think?
The graphics is very good.
Scratch that - the graphics is at times without equal. The water is the best I have seen in any game. Period. The fight scenes are awesome at times - but at times - well a lot of times - the gameplay is marred by the desire to show of the graphics.
Some very good effects. Nice music - if you like that type of music.
Sound is impressive.
I have only started playing the game.
At times the gameplay is brilliant.. But it falls down on a very important point. When I get to read a book, what I hate most is to be interrupted for the tenth time by someone wanting something. In Lair the devs made a fatal mistake. You just get into a game scene firing away, when the cut scene interrupts you. Then it gives you instructions, points out every time something happens and gives you a mini video that you have to watch through. The gameplay is too short between cut scenes. It feels like a movie sometimes that gets interrupted with forced gameplay. It seems to not be able to make up its mind if it is a movie or a game.
The technology is there, the gameplay elements are there, the graphics and sound is there - but the gameplay is short and just as you get into it, bam - interrupted by a new something that is happening, distracting you from what you are busy with. Drop what you were doing and go after this or that. Hey!!! Who the hell is playing the game? Me or the narrator? You end up feeling like pawn in your game that you are trying to play. It is a pity - because you don't want to replay in dread of being interrupted the whole time. And as I say - it is a pity - because the gameplay is very good at times - but just too short before you get shoved around again.
And yes - the controls are sometimes awkward.
Standard Dragon story. One culture likes to build machinery, the other don't. They fight. Nicely presented though. Cutscenes are well done.
Have not spend much time on this one yet. Did get COD4 in the meantime - and played and finished COD4 in the meantime. That should tell you something. The game does not have the "must play" effect that some games have.
The controls is something to get used to - but it is not bad. Different yes - bad - no. It does take some getting used to though. Some of the chapters drag on for a while and gets boring. So while the game looks great - and believe me - it does look great, and even though the controls is OK, it does not seem to keep your attention.
It is a game that has all the elements of a great game - yet somehow gets marred by trying to be too much like movie. The interrupted gameplay and the shoving around of the player to follow the plot as the devs sees it makes it a game that promised so much, but fell down because the devs seems to think the player is a moron that needs to be directed through every element in the story. If left alone, the player would have a beautiful environment with hordes of enemies to battle with a lot of replay value. In the end it becomes a mess of the player being involved in a very linear story line and just called in to play a few minutes at a time. This game will ultimately be remembered for how the devs created a great game and did not allow the player to play it.
How much did my kids play this?
Well - this is a strange one. I thought my kids would love the idea to fly around with a dragon. Yet somehow - they played it for 20 minutes, and played COD4 multiplayer. Then Warhawk for another round. I picked up Sonic as well today - and they seem to like Sonic quite a bit. So for them it did not have the "must play" effect that I thought it would have.
I might be pleasantly surprised and find a chapter that will compel me to replay - just not at the moment.
Well - eventually they did start playing it - guess the chance to fly a dragon was too much of a temptation.
My overall impression: (not done yet - so this will change quite a bit after as I will update next weekend - so this is a preliminary score.)
This Gen Score 4/10
Previous Gen Score 6.5/10