It was also during the river raid that we got our first glimpse of the Mantas, huge creatures used as living transports that look like a cross between a manta ray, a crocodile and a giant floating whale. They blew up with spectacular, fiery spasms as the gases that kept them airborne ignited, but later on, we actually had to protect a bunch of these giant, dumb air-cows from an even bigger monster. This style of gameplay is more commonly known as the "pain in the ass," although it's a burden we'll gladly shoulder if it means we get to make warships explode (making the water even choppier for their comrades) and wreak havoc in giant stone cities.
It's just a pity that we won't be able to share that experience with other players, as we're told there'll be no multiplayer, online or otherwise. Even with the promise of "new gameplay systems" introduced every few levels, the lack of player-vs-player dragon dogfights is a letdown. But at least by the time it's out, we should have Warhawk to satisfy any multiplayer cravings.
So far, Lair is off to an impressive - if rocky - start, and it remains one of the few exclusive bright spots for PS3 owners in the months ahead. Riding a dragon freely around the game's gigantic, ornate levels is an incredible feeling, the pace is fast and chaotic, the destruction is explosive and Rogue Squadron developer Factor 5 is at the helm. With all that in the game's favor, we're confident Lair will kick some ass for the PS3 when it arrives in July.