Folklore: First (and Last) Impressions

My brother sent me Folklore, a game he’s played and finished (review here).

In theory, this game mixing occult, fairie, Celtic myth, and the netherworld should be right up my dork alley.

Unfortunately, while the concept is great and the visuals were beautiful the gameplay and mechanics are anything but.  That simply made the game unplayable for me.

The game starts out interestingly enough, mingling the story of a young woman who receives a letter from the mother she thought was dead and a cynical reporter for an occult magazine.  The young woman receives a letter from the mother she’s thought dead for years.  It simply says, “Meet me in the Village of  Doolin.” Meanwhile, the reporter receives a mysterious phone call imploring the same of him, “Come to the village of Doolin.”  Doolin, as we see in a cutscene is a town thought to be haunted.

That’s as far as I’m going with the story.  You get to pick whether you want to play a chapter as the girl or the reporter.  If you’re familiar with the old (and classic) King’s Quest series, Folklore is merely a mentally challenged, graphically beautiful descendant of that series.  Gaming has come a long way since King’s Quest, but Folklore’s programmers didn’t quite realize that.  Aside from the beautiful scenery, you cannot manipulate any of your environs.  Want to talk to a bar patron?  Can’t.  Want to go behind the bar?  Can’t.   Want to go check something out that doesn’t pertain to the immediate quest at hand?  Can’t.  I hate that type of linear crap in this day and age. There is nothing to do but run from scene to scene and incur significant loading times between each screen.  On a PS3, in a game that does not even come close to challenging the PS3 pixel and frame rate, that is completely unacceptable.

I got far enough to engage in some minor combat.  Like the game, the combat system is intriguing in concept (you suck out the Id, or energy of your enemies and use it to attack others), but fails in execution.  It’s just old school hack and slash using one button at a time.  Square Square Square, enemy dead!  Oh the thrill.

I’m sure the story is interesting, but I simply don’t have the time or inclination to suffer through endless load times, non-manipulative environments, repetitive quests (see Greg’s review again, you have to play each level w/ both players—lame), and constant running back and forth.

Sorry Folklore people.  You had a great story, but you botched the execution.  Folklore is a loser.


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