Does anyone remember that 2007 Ps3 exclusive release with the funny looking cover that no one talked about? No? Not surprising. The shameful part is, Folklore is actually a very high quality game. The beauty of the explored worlds and creatures within, the intricate plot and web of lies slowly uncovered… It’s more like a beautifully decorated storybook than a game, but that takes nothing away from how much fun you’ll have reading it. You are allowed to choose between two characters initially, though you must play as both in order to complete the game. Keats is a reporter for a popular occult magazine, and receives a mysterious phone call that leads him to the small, secluded village of Doolin. Ellen, a young woman who has spent most of her life living alone, receives a letter from her never-present mother, also leading her to Doolin. That’s as much as I’ll say, since anything further would serve only to spoil the well-made plot.
So how do you fight in a world full of magic and faery tales and happiness? Well, to put it bluntly, you beat enemies (Folks) with their comrades until their Id pops out and you suck it up using the Sixaxis like the soul devouring freak you are. Following this, you can summon their helpless bodies to do the same to further enemies. Folklore could be one huge, disturbing yet profound metaphor for snowball effect competitiveness if you really thought on it, but we’re here for video games, not philosophy. Moving on.
The combat system is fairly simplistic, varying between the two main characters. Keats is more of an all-out aggressive fighter, using Folks as extensions of his own gestures. More often than not he summons the upper half of a Folk rapidly to perform quick combination attacks and dish out loads of damage. Ellen, on the other hand, summons the Folks to act almost independently of her. They can act as shields for her while simultaneously assaulting a foe, absorbing some damage before being de-summoned. Basic enemies aren’t very complicated, and bosses also match that description. The various attributes of summoned and enemy Folks make up the rock-paper-scissors aspect of most fights later on in the game, yet it only serves to boost the difficulty if you’ve had trouble collecting Folks of a certain attribute.
The scenery deserves some mention. The different realms the player travels to throughout the course of the game are all spectacularly done, each crafted to represent an aspect of human nature, i.e. war, forgetfulness, and patience. These areas rest somewhere in the middle grounds between captivating and unnerving that they seem to be almost subconscious in nature. So hey, you have something nice to look at while you’re passing through the surreal worlds underlying the village of Doolin.
Folklore is a perfect game for casual-core players who aren’t looking for reason to smash their controllers to pieces. That said, they do give you the option to change the difficulty, yet the prime of the game’s entertainment value comes from everything aside from the challenge. Even so, it’s a worthwhile purchase for any type of gamer out there, capable of being enjoyed by the widest of audiences. Aside from FPS junkies. You guys get lost.