Legend of the Guardians looks like Lair with owls

First-ever trailer for movie tie-in reveals familiar-looking gameplay

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The first trailer for the confusingly titled Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole dropped this morning, and when we watched it, we couldn't shake the feeling that we'd seensomething just like it not too long ago.It's not because it appearsto be an owl-themed combat flight sim %26ndash; we're pretty sure we've never seen one of those before %26ndash; and it's not because it's a tie-in for the upcoming Zack Snyder film, which in turn isbased onthe Guardians of Ga'Hooleseries of books.

No, what struck us about Legend of the Guardians was that the trailer made it look suspiciously like 2007's most overhyped dragon simulator, Lair.

It's a safe bet that LotG probably won't feature any fire-breathing owls, but that doesn't mean the two games aren't eerily similar. Here's the video; take a look, consider our evidence and then decide if we're just talking out our asses in a shameless attempt to drive up traffic:

See what we mean? It's not just that the two are superficially similar, or that both are combat-flight sims centering around animals instead of planes. Consider the following:

Wing-flapping apparently figures into the gameplay of both titles (although we don't know if LotG's version will be just an animation or something you need to do constantly, like you did in Lair).

Also, check out the wingtip contrails. We've never seen those come from an actual owl, but we have seen plenty of them from the dragons in Lair.

If you were asked what the best way to lock onto a target is,would you say, "surround it with a red glow?" If so, then you're in agreement with the designers of both Legend of the Guardians and Lair.

Finally, check out the face-to-face midair fights (which, to be fair, look a lot less hands-on in LotG than they were in Lair):

Are the developers over at Krome Studios taking design notes from defunct Lair creator Factor 5? Does Legend of the Guardians represent another chance for the practically nonexistent living-creature-flight-sim genre? Or are we just reading too much into the announcement trailer for a movie-licensed game? We'll find out for sure this September.

Mar 24, 2010

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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