previews\ Jul 12, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Folklore - PS3 - Preview

E3 2007 Preview

One could argue that the majority of video games follow a familiar pattern, steering clear of inserting imaginative content in favor of the tried-and-true elements. One could argue that, but one look at Folklore, from Sony Computer Entertainment and Game Republic would silence the argument.

Folklore is imaginative, bold, vibrant, a glorious vision that blends a murder-mystery adventure with role-playing elements in a setting that has unique characters.

It was part of the Sony lineup in Santa Monica at the E3 Media & Business Summit. The game is absolutely gorgeous, but it does not end with only delicious eye candy.

Folklore PlayStation 3 screenshots

Ellen is a young woman, an orphan, who received a letter from her mother that she is not dead, but very much alive. Ellen is hopeful of meeting her mother and sets out to find her. She eventually gets to the town of Doolin where she is immersed in a murder mystery and finds herself entering imaginative realms, such as the Fairy realm and the Netherworld. Meanwhile, Keats – a journalist working for an occult magazine – gets a letter from a woman stating that she is being chased by fairies. Somewhat skeptical, Keats nonetheless heads for Doolin where he meets Ellen. From that point on, the characters begin an adventure, with Keats moments behind Ellen and pursuing her.

There are seven realms to journey to, and the fighting styles for both Ellen and Keats are different. Both characters can also enter a transcended state, where they gain more powers, their hit points increase and the type of damage they do is different as well.

During Ellen’s elemental attacks, each successful hit will cause a blue image of her target to leap from the body. When a red image is displayed, by hitting R1 and rapidly tilting the SIXAXIS controller, the player can collect the id of the creature being attacked. Complete the first chapter and players can go into a dungeon trial system. In that system, they can use creatures from the realms they have visited and create dungeons, which can be uploaded to the PlayStation Network. Creatures, and collecting them, are important as they can become part of your team. Playing other players’ dungeons will add creatures to your single-player game. Other downloads will include costume changes for the principle characters and side quests.

The controls at somewhat intuitive and while there is a learning curve, it is small. The game uses a wonderful text-driven storytelling system to advance the plot points, and the cinematics are voiced and created from game assets. The music is wonderful, but the graphics will blow gamers away.

Folklore is one of those games that will dazzle visually, and then move it all forward with a very good story. Look for this title to release in October on the PlayStation 3 console system.

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