Review: Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood – The werewolf is a figure that is used relatively less in games. That in itself is quite strange, because it is an impressive fantasy beast that seems to be an ideal figure for action games. This may have been the thought of Cyanide Games when they were brainstorming for a new project. This eventually resulted in Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood. In the run-up to the release, several trailers were released, showing a game with an extremely serious tone. Now that the game is finally in stores, little of this seems to be left.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood– BIO
|Release date||4th February, 2021|
|Genre||Action, Adventure RPG|
|Platforms||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S|
The game is described as an action RPG and when you start the game, it also seems to present a world of levels that has an open character. Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is an old-fashioned adventure game with levels, with a kind of open feel. You can roam freely to find collectibles, but the tasks you have to complete to progress through the story are a near-linear experience. You are Cahal, a werewolf battling the mighty Endron, who is on the side of all evil. Because you can change into a wolf, you can sneak past people unseen and as a werewolf you can also tear them to pieces. As a human being you can enter into dialogues and interact with objects again.
Keep it nice and simple
During your adventure you will be given various assignments to fulfill and that means that you have to infiltrate buildings to find your target there. It seems that you can decide for yourself how you can move through these buildings, only that is not the case in reality. There is almost always only one route to your final goal. Very occasionally, for example, you can use a ventilation lock to get further or you first have to go to a room to switch on or off cameras or something similar via a computer, but that is where it ends. Where to go is constantly indicated by a ‘marker’. So you never have to search. This is a bit old-fashioned. The advantage, however, is that the flow of the game is never interrupted and you never spend a lot of time figuring out exactly where to go.
To spice things up a bit, the developer gives you the choice to get to your end goal unseen or to fully attack. If you choose the ‘stealth’ option, it quickly becomes a fairly boring intention. The levels are not special and that also applies to the AI of your enemies, so the game offers little fun. It’s much more fun to fight. Now you don’t have a huge arsenal of attacks, but it is enough and more importantly, it offers wonderfully chaotic action. This is not only because you have to beat more and more opponents at the same time. As a werewolf you can adopt two combat stances, so the game offers just a little more than usual. One makes you react faster, but your attacks are weaker and the other makes you stronger but slower. You will constantly switch between these and that gives the game a thin strategic layer. The only thing that is a shame is that the camera occasionally does not cooperate and takes away your view.
What completes the cool fights is that the game runs at 60 frames per second – which unfortunately is turned down to 30 fps during cut scenes along with a lower resolution – which makes the fighting feel really nice. Since as a werewolf you sometimes literally tear your enemies to pieces, that also becomes a bloody spectacle. When you defeat a group of opponents, the area will be covered with hundreds of liters of blood. Now that blood doesn’t look super realistic, but it does make you feel like a true king and that gives satisfaction. Now these fights are starting to feel somewhat monotonous towards the end. Still, it never gets to the point where they get really bored because after eight to 10 hours the adventure is over and that’s just enough to keep the fights engaging to the end.
Back in time
The fighting is very cool, but the quality is mixed in the graphics area. The main character looks good and is very detailed, but the rest of the characters you encounter are often not very well put together. In addition, there is also the wooden animation and levels that are not displayed to a high standard. The bottom line is that Werewolf is not a game that you show your friends / girlfriends to show the power of the PlayStation 5. Yet it does fit in with the overall atmosphere of the game. The setup of the game can be compared to an early adventure game on the PlayStation 2. This in combination with the somewhat rickety graphics creates a B-movie-like atmosphere. Now I don’t know if this was the intention, but it works and is secretly quite cool.
The acting and voice work therefore fits perfectly with the rest of the game. This means that it is usually not very good here either. Occasionally the voice actors do a decent job, but they also regularly provide very clumsy moments. Especially when a lot of emotion has to be put into sentences, this can lead to pretty lousy or laughable moments. The often wooden animations again provide strange movements that do not exactly match what is going on at that moment. Unraveling the story isn’t much better either, including characters switching emotions within a shit and fart. Where the game also makes some mistakes in graphics, is that the main character as a wolf regularly glides through environments with his head or floats above the ground, or sinks into the ground with his legs. That is of course not good,
This also applies a bit to the gameplay. As you have read before, the game feels like an old adventure game on the PlayStation 2. The simple level design and almost linear adventure contrasts with the complex games of today. But let’s face it, why does a game always have to be so complex with large open worlds and multiple ways to complete a level? A game can also offer fun by offering a nice old-fashioned linear experience with a lot of wonderful fighting moments. Just a game where you don’t have to think too much. This is exactly what Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood offers.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood – Conclusion
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is anything but a special game at first sight. The game offers a near-linear adventure that is reminiscent of an early PlayStation 2 title in terms of design. Graphically it also fails to impress. The voice work is nice at its best and the course of the story has many strange moments. These seem to be ingredients for a bad game, but Werewolf does provide quite a bit of entertainment. The aforementioned points give the game a B-movie-like atmosphere, making the game secretly fun. The fights, however, are the star of the show and offer some really cool action, which ends with environments full of blood. Werewolf is certainly not a Game of the Year candidate, it is still a special game because of its overall – perhaps unintended – atmosphere.
Positives of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
- Fighting provides wonderful chaotic action
- B-movie atmosphere
- Liters of blood after a fight
- Wonderfully stable 60 frames per second …
Negatives of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
- … but cut scenes have a lower frame rate and resolution
- Camera sometimes does not cooperate
- Stealth gameplay is boring