Review – Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood

Werewolf: Apocalypse – Blood of Earth is the latest game from the Cyanide developer of Call of Cthulhu. If there is one thing Cyanide has to offer, it is a passion for dark fantasies. The only thing I miss is the talent to turn that passion into a product. That doesn’t mean they are bad, not in the least. I’m just saying that if the vision is flattened, this team could have something on their hands.

Until recently, I would say that Bloober Studio is a good parallel to cyanide. Both studios have a palpable passion for their genre, but their bar always seems to be set high on “good.” Medium, however, proves that an intentional homage to the games of the past can lead to something special. The occasional miracle, thanks to quality, is not so great.

Bark to the moon!

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is a video game set in the universe of the board game Werewolf: Apocalypse by White Wolf Publishing. You play as Kahal Garual, defender of Gaia, former lieutenant of your whey (your pack), and resident of the generic badass motorcycle gang. During the mission, you lose control of your anger and injure your friends. Too overwhelmed with grief and too afraid to lose control again, you go into exile, leaving your well and your daughter behind for fear of hurting them. Five years later, you find the family you left behind. While your pit is happy to have you back, your daughter is not so forgiving.

Gaia, also known as Mother Earth, is slowly dying. The Wyrm, a spiritual being prone to destruction and decay, is only growing stronger as corporations drain and destroy Gaia. She grows weaker by the day, while the Wyrm grows stronger. The tangible enemy of the game is called Endron, a mega-corporation that is destroying the planet and is apparently directly connected to Wyrm, helping them create super-soldiers. Their core is a loyal ally to the planet and is fighting to keep Mother Earth from extinction. But as they slowly lose, they begin to accept help from people who believe and fight just as hard for the planet and its resources.

The universe, the story and the characters can all stand on their two, or rather four, legs. It is only after the initial interest in a great story that you begin to realize how “not” the current generation of this game is. This game by itself can hardly be considered the “latest generation”.

Thank you.

You play in one of three forms: Human, Wolf or Werewolf, which you can freely change into all three. The human form is used to access action buttons and dialogue options; the wolf form is best for sneaking around, and the werewolf form is used when you are spotted and the fight begins.

If you press LB, you activate the ghost image. This is a classic radar mode that allows you to see enemies through walls and such. You can also see ghosts, which you can then absorb to raise your level, allowing you to spend points on skills from the RPG story. In addition to general skills, you can focus on combat skills, agile werewolf skills, heavy werewolf skills, rage, etc. As with most RPGs, it’s about when you want a skill, not what skill you want.

At the beginning, you have access to a crossbow. It is only used to help with stealth. First, get rid of a guard who may be a detection threat. Later, by using ghost points along your skill tree, you can gain the ability to use bolts to disable surveillance cameras. It’s not much use, but it helps a lot when a dull camera is pointed directly at your path to the exit.

The good old RPG boom.

For some reason, your camp is probably three blocks away from a large Endron company. On the first mission, you go inside, and by that I mean literally “right into Endron,” before you get distracted and start hiding in plain sight. Each room goes the same way: you enter the room, you go from human form to wolf form, you sneak in, you find the security room to turn off the cameras and you open the doors or the elevators, you sneak out to the exit, and then you leave the room. Throw it out from time to time, and that’s basically how each room is laid out on each mission.

All guards have predetermined parameters that they will parry. Some remain stationary, some are conditionally activated according to a preset pattern, and some are only activated when you get close enough. When a guard sees you, an icon with a white eye appears above him. When this eye fills the white eye, it turns yellow and forces him to investigate. If he finds nothing, he returns to his post. If he does find something, others are alerted and come looking for you. I didn’t find this to be a nuisance, but rather a strategy to keep people off their posts, because once they’re on their guard, they don’t stop. They move into the area and stay there.

In addition to the guards, there are several spawn points in the room, which look like vault doors. You can sabotage these points, but when the guards are alerted and the results of the fight, the guards come from these points as well. But that’s why we play the game, right? ! To the exit!

My love for you is like a truck, BERSERKER! They want…

When the fight happens, you automatically transform into a shapeshifter. To begin, transform into an agile werewolf. This method is faster and is best used against most human opponents, as it allows you to strike quickly and jump into areas. Quick attacks take out easy enemies, while more brutal attacks are used against the heaviest armor. There is a quick attack that allows you to quickly close the gap or dodge enemy fire. They change to a heavy form when super soldiers and former armored soldiers show up. It is a much slower and heavier form, but its attacks are much more brutal. If you’ve bottled up enough anger, you can unleash it with devastating results. The cyanide makes the soundtrack, which was changed to heavy metal during the chaos, all the more terrifying.

But because the game is a string of oddball pieces, it feels empty. Even when you are spotted and the room fills up with guards, there are no guards on guard after you beat them and move on to the next room. None of the “room staff” knows what the other is doing. Each mission is like a series of rooms in which you have little to fear from being caught, except for the horde of enemies inside.

And this cut…

Werewolf: Apocalypse – Earthblood looks like a PS3-era game, and that spills over from AI to graphics. The animations of the characters look extremely old, right down to the voice that is never in sync with the mouth movements. Each room is designed as if the same square area was placed in a random generator, so it has X screens to hide in, Y boxes lying around, and Z cameras. The hack of the room system is that you click everything that was off, and everything that was on.

Fortunately, the soundtrack fits perfectly with the rest of the game, as it is very eccentric. It was more of an excuse for the team to use heavy metal, especially when the two main characters in the game could be roadies or extras from Sons of Anarchy. Once the metal starts moving, it definitely stands out, but I’m not sure it stands out for the right reasons.

Werewolf: Apocalypse – Earthblood is a casual tribute to a time better left to nostalgia. The games of the PS3 era were great, despite their obvious limitations. This game exists in a time when those limitations have all but disappeared, but it still seems irrelevant because, although it plays like them, it wasn’t designed for that.

Sometimes during interludes it’s good, but for the most part it feels like the PS3-era graphics should all be obsolete today. A simple role-playing game, a simple ruse, and a werewolf game that doesn’t seem to want you to be a werewolf other than “damn, I’ve been seen.”
Not great, but surprisingly appropriate voice work. The soundtrack takes an aggressive but strange metal turn when you turn into a werewolf. The mission rooms within the missions make the game focus less on the object and more on navigating each room over and over again.
Final Verdict: 5.0

Werewolf: Apocalypse – Earthblood is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Tested on the Xbox Series X.

A copy of Werewolf: Apocalypse – Earthblood was provided by the publisher.

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