Folklore plays from the view point of two characters: Ellen and Keats.
Ellen is a girl who’s mother died when she was young, and recently she received a letter that was addressed from her mother asking her to come to Doolin Village. Ellen follows the note to see what she thinks is her mother fall off a cliff on the side of the village. Determined to find her mother, Ellen goes to the Land of the Dead. She then receives magical cloak that allows her to travel through the lands of the dead to pass messages from the dead to the living and from the living to the dead.
Keats starts his journey from a mysterious phone call asking for help and for him to come to Doolin village. There he finds Ellen and follows her to Netherworld in search of adventure.
The game allows you to play chapters for each player, and then you can select which player you wish to continue. They are each separate paths that must be completed for the game, and each one individually progresses. You can either do one side to completion, and come back to do the other character, or play one chapter, and then switch to the other character to play the same chapter.
The graphics are fantastic as most PlayStation 3 games are. The world is very vivid, and it feels so real. When your character walks across gravel, you can hear the stones under their feet. When walking through grass you can hear the grass swaying around you.
The game has two storytelling styles in it. When it wants to do a cut scene, it is either a cinematic that will match anything coming out of Pixar or Dreamworks, or it’s a comic book style story.
The mixture of the two is weird and a little annoying. The comic book does add a little style, but the graphics are still three dimensional. The player can fast forward or skip back a panel if they either already saw it or missed something.
Folklore is a role playing game, so there is a lot of strategic fighting. The interesting thing about it is that the game uses the enemies as weapons to fight with. You start with two of the weakest "Folks,” as they are known. From these you need to beat others, and take their power.
To steal enemy power, the player needs to capture their soul. This is done by holding the R1 button, and then jerking the controller upwards. This is an interesting use of the Sixaxis controller that seems fluid and fits perfectly — it’s about time…
Anyway, the main story follows your two characters fighting to get to the boss of each level. Keats is hoping to bring home a great story, and he is fighting to beat the head boss, the Folklore. Meanwhile, Ellen is just trying to get a chance to speak with her mother. Both characters are willing to risk death to achieve these results.
There are also plenty of side quests in Folklore — your characters relay messages as mediums to the dead.
The game plays out during the day and night. Some actions can only be done in the day and others only at night. There are different characters depending on the time of day — ghosts, fairies, people, etc.
Overall, I think this is a great game and lots of fun. I didn’t like the way it had so many storytelling modes, but it’s still an amazing RPG.
Developer: Game Republic
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release date: October 9, 2007
Learning Curve: [rating:3/5]