A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game deals with themes of death and the supernatural, and characters will interact with the ghosts of people who have died in the game. The game assumes that upon death souls travel to netherworld realms that are reflections of human attitudes toward death. There is fantasy violence against the denizens of the netherworld, and "folk" creatures are collected by ripping their souls or "ids" out of their bodies.
What's it about?
FOLKLORE follows the interconnected stories of two characters drawn to the creepy little town of Doolin, Ireland. Twenty-two-year-old Ellen is searching for her long-lost mother, and journalist Keats is looking for a scoop for his magazine. You play as either Keats or Ellen, with the option of switching at various points (but to finish the game you must replay each chapter as the character you weren't the first time through). They learn that the town is hiding something, and to delve deeper the must communicate with the dead themselves.
Ellen and Keats talk to townspeople, follow leads, and acquire mementos of the dead that open portals into realms of the netherworld, where they can talk to the memento's owner and gain valuable information. The netherworld is filled with aggressive souls known as \"folks.\" When a character absorbs the essence of a folk (by weakening it, then ripping the soul out of its body), that folk will fight for the character as an extension of his or her own body.
Is it any good?
If you enjoy supernatural mysteries, and particularly ones about ghosts, then FOLKLORE is worth exploring. Here, events in the world of the living and the ghostly netherworld -- where the souls of the dead dwell -- are intertwined. It makes for a wonderfully atmospheric plot, but it's a shame that the accompanying gameplay is rather ho-hum.
Combat can get dull because characters can't jump or dodge, and many of the folks have similar attacks. To make the absorbed folks strong, you must engage in tedious repetitive fighting to level up their powers. The camera is also a pain to control, which makes big (boss) battles more frustrating than they should be. It's a shame, because Folklore boasts an intriguing story that is greatly enhanced by a beautiful soundtrack.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why certain cultures have superstitions about ghosts and other supernatural beings. Which character (Ellen or Keats) did they enjoy playing more? Was it annoying to have to go back and replay a chapter as the other character or was it interesting to observe the differences? Did they play one character at a time, or prefer to alternate after each chapter?
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