Title: Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
Genre: Action, Role-playing
Release Date: February 4th, 2021
Available On: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Tested On: Xbox One
I’ve always wondered what being a werewolf is like. Possessing the savage strength and senses sounded awesome. We’ve heard the stories about ‘big, bad wolves’. But what about the wolves that want to do good? Instead of a bloodthirsty animal, one gets to be the hero of the story. Sure, it’s not being a hero in the traditional sense of the word. But Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood still makes one’s decisions feel like they have weight.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood Gameplay
As soon as I saw this title was being released, I was excited to play. And I had one hope: that the transformations would look phenomenal and function properly. Turning into the wolf form was interesting. It allowed me to take cover behind otherwise small objects. Because I wasn’t the size of a human, I could hide behind three-foot boxes. This form, known as Lupus, allowed me to sneak through vents as well. Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood makes sure to put heavy emphasis on the use of the Lupus form.
And what we know as the ‘werewolf’ is referred to in-game as ‘Crinos’. This form is how Cahal wages war. He turns into a hulking were-beast that slashes at enemies with his vicious claws. In addition, Cahal’s third form could change stances. One was for agility and the other was for power strikes. While the power strikes helped with armored enemies, the strikes felt way too sluggish to seem useful. Zipping around the environment with the agile stance worked just as well. It was also way more fun. This style also allowed me to fight mech suits without leaving myself open to their strikes. The ‘power’ stance made it nearly impossible to dodge attacks at close range.
I did have a problem with Cahal’s movement in human form. Sneaking around as a regular wolf was easy and felt fluid. But when this guy ran, he felt very ‘tanky’ in his movements. Earthblood also failed to add in the ability to maul as a regular wolf. That would have made the experience that much better.
A Story of Earth’s Protectors
The story of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood isn’t simply about bloodthirst. As a member of the Garou, or werewolf clans, it is your duty to ensure that Gaia is protected from evil. And that evil comes in the form of the Endron Corporation. Their fracking has begun to upset the spirit world and has even begun to hurt the Earth itself. Only a group of shapeshifters stand between this company and the health of nature itself.
As Cahal, you fight for a clan that you were exiled from. Many do not want your help. And some feel that the group’s efforts are only hampered by the outcast’s presence. Many of his interactions also showed that his temper is what got him cast out. And he is often given the choice of whether or not to maul someone mid-conversation. Navigate each conversation with care and consideration. One might feel compelled to kill simply to stop hearing certain characters talk.
Being a werewolf in such a human-centric world is not easy. In addition to fighting to stop pollution, there is infighting amongst the 13 tribes of the Garou Nation. If the Earth is going to be saved, can the tribes all work together to ensure such?
Earthblood’s music may not be to everyone’s taste. But the ‘thrash metal’ feels right when fighting in Crinos form. Another part of Cahal’s arsenal was something called Penumbra Vision. This would allow me to see through walls. But it also made the choppy walk cycles of NPCs super obvious. Another issue I didn’t anticipate was the ‘hang time’ of the Lupus form. Any time I jumped off somewhere high, the wolf form would hang in mid-air for a half-second.
Also, I saw some fairly odd glitches. The first glitch was with alerted enemies. When I was gone for more than five minutes, enemies in a previous location were still stuck. None had stopped looking left or right for me. Another weird glitch was with the woman in the above image, Victoria Vokes. At one point, Werewolf: The Apocalypse gave me the chance to knock her out. After proceeding to clear the rest of the room, I noticed something strange. I went back to Vokes’ body and saw her floating with half her face stretched towards the floor. Not what you’d generally expect, needless to say.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is everyone’s chance to be a hulking werewolf. The game definitely wasn’t what I expected. And while some areas needed improvement, the game was still pretty solid. With a little more polish to mechanics and character models, it would look amazing. It is available now for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.