Well before its launch, the PS3 has had more negative press than a liberal slacker speaking at a Republican convention about television being too conservative. Sony hasn’t helped much with their smug comparisons and reinforced promotions of the very high price tag. Thankfully, Factor 5 has a game that just might justify Sony’s marketing direction.

The aforementioned developers are known for their Star Wars titles on previous Nintendo consoles, as well as projects on the PSX, etc. But mostly, they’re known for their Rogue Squadron games, and Lair is a bit of a replica when it comes to gameplay appeal. Unlike Rogue Squadron games, however, Lair has full-on battle sequences that are equally intense in the air as they are on foot. – I’m not going to recount the horrific on-foot encounters that were used in the last Rogue Squadron game...we’ll just pretend that Lair is F5's real first on-foot/flying game.

Players will be able to tackle other dragon-riders in this game with some ferocious air-fighting sequences, and some neat hijacking tactics. Sony's sixaxis will be put to full use in this game, allowing players to control their dragon using tilts, yaws and turns. There’s also no loading between ground fights and air battles – everything that happens on-screen happens seamlessly and almost cinematically. It’s sort of like fusing Panzar Dragoon, Dynasty Warriors, and Lord of the Rings and watching the sparks fly as they get blended together with the massive disc storage of Blu-Ray. Supposedly, two levels would barely be able to fit on a double-sided DVD disc. And that’s either some really good normal parallax texture mapping, or some really large uncompressed textures, wasting space. Hopefully it’s not the latter case, for the sake of the $60 price tag.

But the on-foot fighting looks pretty good, there’s like 1000's of enemies on screen at once; armies move, fight and patrol on unimaginably large battlefields. If there was one game to turn the tide in Sony’s favor, right now it looks like Lair would be that game. I’ll give you more info and updates leading up to its release. For now here’s a clip of some dragon riding action, and some mid-air hijacking taking place, courtesy of IGN.

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