Folklore - hands-on

Folklore opens with cheese-o-rific melodrama; troubled young lady Ellen nearly catches her death when she dives off the fishing boat taking her to the small Irish village of - clever, this - Lemrick when its captain decides to turn back. There she hopes to figure out exactly how her dead mom managed to send her a letter despite being, y’know, dead, before embarking on a totally surreal adventure through seven netherworlds. It’s a stunning looking introduction and we were a little worried that Game Republic had blown the game’s budget on it.

The town acts as a hub for her and the game’s other playable character, Keats and it’s very easy on the eyes - set on the coast, complete with quaint fishermen’s cottages and a country boozer. Lovely. But by night, things take a turn for the weird. Appropriately enough, the seemingly mundane pub becomes the focus of the madness, being full of an array of colorful, if slightly disturbing, living dead.

This is no depraved survival horror game, though. You saunter around Lemrick taking in the sea air, admiring the view of the ocean, stopping to shoot the breeze with townsfolk every now and then. They provide you with the information you’ll need to push on with your trek through the worlds of the undead, and investigating the village offers some welcome respite from lamping weird and wonderful monsters.

There are over 100 creatures to wallop, and each one poses its own challenge. Just after entering a new world, you’ll face the lowlier foes, the foot soldier types which don’t pose too much of a threat and can be taken care of easily with the abilities you gain as you go. Often you’ll need to mix and match two or three attacks to take larger creatures down, and there were one or two moments when we were left scratching our heads as we tried to figure out exactly how to dispatch some beings - but in the absence of conventional puzzles, these instances provided their own test of the old gray matter.


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