Folklore Hands-On

We get our karma in order and absorb some "folks" in our first look at this visually impressive action game.

by

At Sony's spring press event, we got our first look at Folklore, a third-person action adventure game that features a pair of magical heroes looking to solve a series of mysterious murders, all while battling monsters known as "folks" with magic spells that are brought to life thanks to some visually impressive effects. Though the game is still in its early stages, its compelling visuals and interesting magic system make it one to keep an eye on in the future.

Folklore's main characters are Ellen and Keats. Ellen seems to be the focus of the game's story--when her mother is murdered, she travels to the netherworld to find those responsible. Along the way, she runs into Keats, a dashing type who--like Ellen--possesses magical abilities he can use against foes that get in the way.

Magic in Folklore seems to revolve around the various folks you fight in the game. Once you have defeated an enemy, you'll be given the option to absorb his folk ID, which will essentially let you gain whatever power that folk possessed. These powers, in effect, become spells you can cast against future enemies by briefly summoning the folks and using their power against your foe. It's a nice visual effect--when you cast a spell, the image of the absorbed folk appears briefly in front of you before letting loose with his spell. One shooter folk spell we used, for example, summoned a small monster with a rifle, which we could use to pick off enemies from afar; another folk attack we used summoned what looked like a huge cannon, and it proved most effective against multiple enemies at close range.

The game will include 105 folks to capture and summon, but you can have up to four folk powers engaged at any time, and you can assign individual spells to each of the four face buttons on the PlayStation 3 controller. To absorb a new folk, you first must defeat it. After the foe has gone down, a small red ghost will appear over his body; to absorb it you first press the R1 button to grab it with a magical "noose" then pull back with the Sixaxis controller to yank the ID into your character's body. In some cases, a folk's ID will need to be beaten into submission before it can be absorbed; to do so, you grab hold of it with the R1 button and then beat it against the ground by twisting the Sixaxis left and right until the folk changes colors.

In addition to changing your face button assignments, you can upgrade folk IDs as you progress through the game, which gives you increasingly powerful spells at your disposal. A basic upgrade, for example, would let you chain the same attack twice or more in a row. What you need to upgrade your powers will depend on the folk you're looking to improve as well as its current level. In some cases, all it will take is to collect a certain number of that type of folk; at higher levels, you might also need to have various items collected in the gameworld on hand.

The two levels on display in the demo included the lush green forests of the Faery Realm and the hellish urban realm of Warcadia. The game will include seven realms of the Netherworld to explore in total, and you'll be able to choose either Ellen or Keats before each level begins. Which character you choose at the beginning of a level will affect how the story plays out as you progress, and while there is some overlap when it comes to the folk powers that each player can absorb, there will be some folk powers that are unique to one character or the other.

So far, the most impressive aspect of Folklore is the visual effects tied to the folk levels themselves. The brief summon animations look great, and the magical "rope" you use to snare folks is especially cool. The camera takes a bit of getting used to, however, and it's sometimes tough to aim precise shots with ranged attacks, as there is no icon onscreen to show you precisely where you are shooting. Still, this looks like an interesting take on the fantasy action genre and one we look forward to seeing more of in the coming months. Stay tuned for more on the game soon.

Discussion

26 comments
TEX-MEX
TEX-MEX

The game looks to have quite a bit of extra gameplay features and alot of new ideas to the gameplay world. I am looking forward to seeing how this game does. The gameplay has a bit of uniqueness to it that most other games dont, which could give it the edge when it is released. The graphics look amazing so far, and the gameplay doesn't look bad or slow, both upsides in my book. I gave this video: 9/10

phoenixboyz
phoenixboyz

i have download the demo from the japanese playstation store too.... is really a different kind of game play. but.... the graphic for me is still abit lag and a bit blur....sigh....

Shin_Dig
Shin_Dig

I downloaded the Demo and it was alright. For a game in its early stages, it was pretty cool. But I'm worried the whole thing might get repetitive after a while. But this game would be worth a play.

stefanlek
stefanlek

visuals look impressive, despite being early in its production this could become a AAA game. The exclusives really are looking good for ps3.

phoenixboyz
phoenixboyz

ah, finally i found this game in gamespot..... i first saw this info is in a chinese website, it uses full name that is "Folk Soul: The lost Folklore". But i can't find it in any english website xD. now i finally know all english website uses the shorter name just call "Folklore" yes!, another great game from SCE

dandido
dandido

Folklore looks awesome.

Satsin
Satsin

GodOfWar 3, Killzone,MGS4,LittleBigPlanet,......Nice list of exclusives beginning to form for the PS3...hmmmm....interesting, my pocket will be becoming lighter soooonn.....

cameroncu2
cameroncu2

I think this is going to be a good game, but I'm not looking forward to it that much, because I know that Heavenly Sword, Drake's Fortune, MGS4 and all those games are coming this year too.

justincoool
justincoool

hmmmmm...sony seems to be getting that groove back....crazy AAA games, paired with solid games like this.......playstation era starting again?.....

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Yes, it was once called Monster Kingdom: something. I even thought it was a RPG before then!

rocky2k32000
rocky2k32000

is this the game that was once called monster kingdom?

IP_Yamiko
IP_Yamiko

Judging from the game-play footage, this game kind of reminds me of Castlevania (with the whole assimilating monsters and using their powers thing-a-ma-jig). Nevertheless, the graphics in this exclusive PS3 title look totally awesome! I may have to buy the Japanese version in advance rather than waiting until this game hits store-shelves this fall.

ovadose85
ovadose85

i just found out about this game this morning and i'm already a fan of the gameplay and it look's very impressive already and it's still in it's begining stages . it's a definite buy in my book

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

looks cool..i still looking to more coverage on it though

noxian
noxian

RaiKageRyu So, they changed the name from Monster Kingdom. -------------- they did that like...2 name changes ago

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

So, they changed the name from Monster Kingdom.

jwmakoto
jwmakoto

I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on this one, looks pretty interesting.

Ronin_87
Ronin_87

This looks very cool, great designs too. Definitely a sleeper hit if it's good in the end. Seems like an adult themed Pokemon, which is no bad thing to me.

haesuse
haesuse

invovative idea, and in addition the visuals lok very authentic. the screens have a very fairy-tale like feel to them. but than again its early to speak.

Zero_Beat
Zero_Beat

Looks and sounds interesting and I like the SIXAXIS implementation so you're wrestling with the controller (some TGS videos already showed this pretty well) to capture the folk ID. Time to download those vids! p.s. all the games shown at Sony Gamers Day including this should be coming to the US and Europe.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

I hope Folklore comes out in the US. I want to play some RPG's on my PS3. But I really do not like the sound of having to play with the sixaxis to get the monster.

Klaimore
Klaimore

looks cool going to have to wait till E3 to see more

Vojkan80001
Vojkan80001

This game is mostly for Japanese. To help Sony there. Everything that sells outside of Japan(Asia) is bonus. I am to looking forward to see more of this,

lokash
lokash

This looks to be a sleeper hit, I am interested in seeing more