Lair was ill-served by those over-ambitious staged sky battles that promoted the game ahead of the system's launch. Gamers never look favourably upon pre-rendered footage that is passed off as being in-game and, as such, Lair suffered something of a backlash before it had even begun.
But now, in the wake of some more realistic and fun-looking videos, popular opinion seems to have swung back onto this, the latest title from Rogue Squadron's Factor 5. Playing as dragon-riding knight Rohn, Lair promises to provide gamers with the kind of fast-paced combat that delights fans of the Panzer Dragoon series, with none of the on-rails framework that put many off. As one of the few games which seems to be championing Sixaxis controls as a core aspect to the game it will be interesting to see whether Lair will silence or justify the cynicism that it met with upon its original unveiling [early US reviews suggest not - Ed].
Heavenly Sword's lead character Nariko has long served as poster girl for the kinds of visually arresting and, crucially platform-monogamous new titles Sony wants to showcase on their system.
This high-profile take on the hack-and-slash genre has been hotly anticipated since long before the PS3's launch but, with the recent PlayStation store demo, some of that enthusiasm has been dampened. In truth, many of the criticisms are unfair. The Shenmue-style Quicktime Events integrate well with the game's cinematic leanings while the freeform combat mechanics are rich and textured.
Nevertheless, if the game positions itself as an evolution to the PS2's God of War II (something many fans have been eager to do) it might have a harder time convincing the genre faithful - 1000 characters simultaneously on screen at once or not.
That ex-Rare team members created Free Radical Design holds less sway today than it did in 1999. While the company's Timesplitters series found many staunch fans, for some its fast pace and frantic execution was a step too far from the games which earned these designers their name.
With Haze, FRD is clearly looking to re-establish the studio as being at the forefront of FPS design and innovation, with a more weighty and serious tone pinning its aspirations down.
Set over a three-day period in 2048 you're cast as Sergeant Shane Carpenter, a member of the Mantel Global Industries army fighting South America rebels.
The Nectar system, a kind of injection that imbues your character and his team members with various upgrades (at the cost of being able to distinguish friend from foe) appears to ring introduce some interesting mechanics to what initially looks like a fairly orthodox modern FPS. However the game uses a bespoke graphical engine apparently to allow for FRD's various design ideas to be implemented more smoothly and as such is of compelling interest.