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Lair Info Blowout has a great interview with Factor 5’s President and co-founder Julian Eggebrecht, and a lot of pretty cool info about Lair has been revealed. Amongst the wide range of topics discussed, was how the SIXAXIS controls will be used and the difference between in air and on ground controls:

In flight, the complete range of motion that you get with a controller gives you a significantly higher amount of control over your turn angle. If you remember, for example, in the Rogue Squadron games, you had the tight turn—you had the too-tight turns, oftentimes, which made people wiggle around, or when we tweaked it into the other round, which you never saw, but internally we had, oftentimes it felt too sluggish. And it was, because an analog stick for a flight game really doesn’t give you the range that you need, and arguably so for racing games it could help more with the whole wheel feeling. That’s actually why in air the Sixaxis controls way better.

We’ve been going back and forth, and in the end we might—but that’s a strong might—we might have the option to switch back and forth between the two, but if we in our last focus testing now find out that everyone just says, “Look, on the ground, the Sixaxis control is not the preferable way to play it,” then we’re going to go analog stick only there. Then there’s knight mode, which is analog stick and it always was, because you’re running around with a character and I don’t think that Sixaxis for moving around—the motion control—doesn’t make sense. Having said that, though, what you do have is a first-person look-around mode, where you basically go into the head of the character and look around, and that’s actually on the motion control. It feels, again, very natural, interestingly enough. When you run around with the guy, you can go into the look-around and you can very seamlessly use the Sixaxis there.

We won’t know until we/people actually play the game and critique it, but it seems as though Lair will be the first game to really put the motion sensing in the SIXAXIS on the map and show it’s not just something that Sony added to mask the omission of rumble or to ‘copy’ Nintendo. I really hope the controls are intuitive and easy to use and not too complicated to master.

As for the actual game, it should take competent gamers around 10-12hrs to complete but there’s going to be a lot of replayability in Lair to make people want to replay missions and finish the game again and again. Interestingly, Eggenbrecht reveals some of the online features in Lair:

We have online leaderboards, supporting network platform fully there, we have chatboards inside the game, we have messaging inside the game, so all of that you can directly do within the game on the network platform. With the leaderboards, especially, I think our replay systems work quite well, because you can compare yourself and there are hidden things that you can unlock later. So your 10 hours is just your first playthrough.

There’s been a lot of criticism aimed at Sony’s online network, some justified some not, but with what is mentioned above, I think Lair is going to have a lot of the features that online players are used to with Live.

There’s a lot of great stuff in that interview but I’ve just cherry picked the stuff that’s interesting to me so I recommend you go and check it out.

Lair info blowout. Still on target for Spring