E3 '07: Folklore Update

Sony shows off a near-finished, English-language version of its upcoming fantasy action adventure game.

Earlier today we met with Sony Computer Entertainment America to check out a near-finished version of Folklore, which was recently released in Japan as Folk's Soul. What we saw of the game today was more or less identical to the demo that we were given back in May, and although we've seen a lot more of the finished Japanese game since then, there was still some new information up for grabs in the form of story information and downloadable content plans.

Watching Folklore's intro movie, which we'd already seen in English in the Japanese game, we noticed that the name of the village where the two playable characters meet has been changed from Lemrick to Doolin. The change hadn't been implemented in all of the visuals yet, but during conversations between characters the village was always referred to by its new name. SCEA wouldn't comment today on why the name was changed, which, given the amount of work involved, suggests that there's much more to it than someone just liking the new name better.

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Ellen, the first playable character, travels to Doolin after receiving a letter from the mother she believes died 17 years ago. In the letter, her mother claims that Doolin is a place where the living and the dead can meet, but Ellen still appears to take the letter as a sign that her mother is alive. Keats, the second playable character, is a reporter for a paranormal magazine who is investigating a series of murders and makes the journey to Doolin after receiving an anonymous phone call. When playing the Japanese game we assumed that the two characters were working together, but after today's meeting we can confirm that Ellen is simply looking for her mother in Netherworld, while Keats is somewhat reluctantly trying to stop her after being told that her actions are going to cause some kind of disaster.

We can also confirm that the two characters will develop very different fighting styles as you progress through the game and capture the IDs of different folk and add their abilities to your arsenal. Keats will effectively be Folklore's brawler character, primarily employing brute force. Ellen, on the other hand, will fight more strategically, and the abilities of the folk that she can equip will be those that inflict status changes and such on enemies.

If you read our preview based on the Japanese version of Folklore you might recall that, at one point, we visited a tavern/pub in which the patrons were anything but ordinary. We now know those patrons as "halflifes"--beings who exist in a state somewhere between life and death. The halflifes will offer you optional side quests to complete while you're in Netherworld, and talking to the barman will also let you access any additional quests that you've downloaded from the PlayStation Network after the game's release. Other downloadable content, incidentally, will include dungeons created by other players using the "Dungeon Trial" mode, and a number of additional outfits for Ellen to wear. Those outfits will grant Ellen various attribute bonuses such as improved resistance to certain elemental attacks. Keats doesn't get any because, at some point, he'll gain the ability to morph into his powerful "transcended state"--dramatically altering his appearance and turning him into from a mild-mannered reporter into an unholy-looking fighter who wouldn't be out of place on a Tekken roster.

We're told that Folklore should take you at least 40 hours to complete on your first play-through, and much longer if you're determined to complete side quests and collect all of the folk in the game. We're also told that the North American version of the game will differ from the Japanese original in at least one significant way, but SCEA isn't giving out any specific information on that just yet.

Folklore is currently scheduled for release in North America in October, and you should keep an eye on the PlayStation Network for a demo sometime before that. We look forward to bringing you more information as soon as it becomes available.

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Discussion

23 comments
ballasteve
ballasteve

"Seems like a Fable copycat to me, so some publisher should make a Lair copycat for X360." LOL youre just sad cause ps3 gets lair and 360 doesnt. deal. and this is definately not a fable copycat

laggarticus
laggarticus

"Seems like a Fable copycat to me, so some publisher should make a Lair copycat for X360." Good lord, people! Do yourselves a favor and READ THE FREAKING ARTICLE!!! I've played Fable - and if you had bothered to read paragraphs 3 and 4 in addition to the title of the game, you'd realize that Fable and Folklore are NOTHING ALIKE! As a matter of fact, it's kind of like saying that Heavenly Sword is a copycat of Halo because both titles bring to mind angels...

mmullen723
mmullen723

Seems like a Fable copycat to me, so some publisher should make a Lair copycat for X360.

sanjt
sanjt

I really hope the change isn't the music. The music in the Japan version is awesome.

0rin
0rin

This is on my must have list for 2007.

Redfingers
Redfingers

I'm really excited about this game. The premise looks extremely cool, story looks good, characters look good, graphics look good...combat looks great. I'm ready for this game.

TranceKuja925
TranceKuja925

seems cool. looks like sony finally has some good exclusives coming out.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

Videos of this game looks very impressive. I wouldn't have looked twice if it wasn't for the videos.

DouglasBuffone
DouglasBuffone

This game looks to be interesting, I really like the art style they chose for the game and the story sound very compelling as well

carpathianrogue
carpathianrogue

Looking forward to more coverage on Folklore, as the game seems brilliant. I really like the art style, and that "fantasy" of this kind, did not equate directly to "kiddy" in the developer, Game Republic's eyes. It's not that big of a deal, but an explanation for the Lemrick/Doolin change would be appreciated. I like the original name. That place name suits the game better. The demo can't arrive quickly enough!

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

can't wait to see more previews for this one..sounds interesting

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

Story sounds like it could be pretty deep. I hope they make it right.

Zero_Beat
Zero_Beat

Aww, there's something about the name 'Lemrick' that makes it so fun to say. Doolin's pretty good too. I've played this and Fable and I really don't see the connection at all apart from both being action RPG's.

mumotuma_man
mumotuma_man

am i the only one who immediately thought this was sony's attempt to answering microsoft's fable?... i mean, fable, folklore. lol. not dissing the game, looks cool, just thought the connection is too blatant.

Auron_5
Auron_5

Seen the video from the E3. Looks really imaginative! That means lots of potential!