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July 24 2007
Folklore - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
18/10/2007SonySonyGame Republic/Gaia
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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Creature design is very impressive.
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Levels look quite colourful in places.

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Another impressive Folklore screenshot.
Released in Japan as FolkSoul (a much better name so we think) this game has had quite a bit of hype behind it. Developed between Gaia and Game Republic (who you may remember from Genji: Days of the Blade on the PS3) this is a game that has plenty of potential. The graphics are great, the gameplay looks solid and the multi-threaded story also manages to generate some interesting ideas.

Indeed the story in Folklore begins when Ellen, a young woman, receives a letter from her mother, long presumed dead. Meanwhile, Keats is a skeptical journalist working for a paranormal magazine who is urgently called to investigate a mysterious attack. The fates of this unlikely pair converge in the Irish village of Doolin - a quaint, sleepy place which hides a secret gateway to the Netherworld and the answer to a 17-year old mystery. Ellen and Keats, both playable characters, must travel separately through seven vast realms inhabited by the nightmarish ‘Folk’, whose powers they must harness if they are to survive.

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Yet another stunning enemy.
So a third person action-adventure this game is with some supernatural elements thrown in for good measure. The most impressive aspect of Folklore is the way in which players capture the Folks’ powers by using the Sixaxis controller to tug and reel them out of their bodies – a uniquely empowering element of gameplay that adds an extra dimension of skill and thoughtfulness to the title. Each Folk has a unique attack ability, adding strategic depth to the game-play as players must decide which Folk’s powers to employ to defeat their next adversary. There are over 100 beautifully-rendered types of Folk - each with their own special attacks, powers and anatomy – and all must be defeated.

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You can't doubt background vibrance!
The game takes place through seven large realms each populated with dozens of creatures. The two heroes of the game, Ellen and Keats, each use different methods of attack against enemies. Ellen is a strategic styled fighter using the abilities of captured 'Folk', while Keats is more of a street brawler. Their stories are intertwined, but not in the manner one would expect as they aren't working for the same goals. It sets up some confrontations which are sure to make for some interesting storytelling. Needless to say we won't be giving anything away here.

Unfortunately while it's unlikely there will be any multi-player gameplay modes in Folklore there may, according to some reports, be some downloadable costumes, new enemies to face and even some new levels and missions to play through. As for whether these will be released in Australia, or if there will be fees for this content remains to be seen. Perhaps most exciting though is the news that players will be able to create their own dungeons and populate them with enemies which you have defeated along the way. Your levels can then be uploaded to the Playstation Network and then downloaded by other users to be played through.

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Effects in the game also look impressive.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Folklore is an absolutely gorgeous game. The world looks gorgeous with some vivid colours and locations while the character design is quite superb. In fact this could quite possibly be among the best looking PS3 titles to date. The games story is told through a series of comic-book style animated cut scenes – running alongside beautifully rendered CG movies, these scenes increase the atmosphere and drama of important events in the game and bring key moments of the story to life.

We have to say that the Japanese version really hasn't sparked too much interest from gamers with sales of only 23,022 units between its launch on June 21 to July 1st. It really isn't going to be until we get our hands on the English version of this game that we know if it's due to a lack of quality of the title or just disinterest from the Japanese market. Expect a review late this year when it hits the shelves in all territories outside Japan. Given that there is a demo of the game available in Japan we are also hopeful that a demo will be released in Europe and Australia as well.