Birthed from the collective creative minds over at Cyanide Studio and Nacon comes Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, a hybrid stealth-action RPG which is part of the larger World of Darkness series (think Vampire: The Masquerade) and is also based on White Wolf Publishing’s tabletop game. Unfortunately, although the cinematic trailers looked promising and the game ultimately has some fun ideas, it’s let down by repetitive gameplay, frustrating mechanics and some questionable animation.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (quite a mouthful) is set in American Northwest and tells the tale of 50-year-old Cahal, an eco-terrorist werewolf who is called upon after an oil company, Endron, lays waste to his former tribe’s land. As is common in the lore, werewolves, which are a fixture of classic horror, are prone to violence and fits of rage. Cahal must learn to control and use this anger to fight back against the evil empire who has plans to destroy the earth.
That’s the simplest way to explain the game’s story. The more complicated version involves explaining how the Fianna tribe (werewolf guardians) fights against the Wyrm, killing Fomori and Banes to protect Gaia, aka Mother Earth. You know, the usual over-the-top mumbo-jumbo that’s pretty difficult to follow and even harder to fully understand.
Basically, Cahal goes on various missions in Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood to undermine Endron’s plot against the world, and he does this by switching between three forms:
1. Human – which is required to operate machinery and tech, perform kills, shoot enemies and interact with other humans.
2. Lupus – an extremely fast and agile wolf with heightened senses, which allows him to enter vents and move stealthily.
3. Crinos – the big uncontrollable badass werewolf form, which allows him to annihilate anything that moves.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood requires controlling and mastering these various forms by considering different strategies when tackling missions. There is even a rage meter that builds up as you take out enemies. If the rage meter overflows, you automatically enter into the Crinos mode — which could lead to undesired results. It’s all about balance.
While this sounds like an excellent concept, a lot of it falls apart during the execution.
The game kicks off things with a simple tutorial mission which introduces players to the mechanics and characters. And, as you would expect, the opening prologue mission involves raiding an Endron facility, where things sadly go awry. Tragedy strikes and Cahal flees the tribe.
In fact, most of the game follows this formula as you go from Endron base to Endron base, attacking and destroying everything in your path in similar scenarios. It’s incredibly repetitive and tedious. Truth be told, the only reason why many players might not notice is because the single-player campaign actually isn’t that long.
The overall presentation also lacks flair, and one could argue that this feels like an unearthed game from two generations ago. The animations are sloppy at times, with the characters mouthing words off-time, and the cheesy heavy metal tunes also don’t help.
I personally had high hopes for Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood. I expected a really great werewolf game. Instead, we’re left with a mediocre experience which has a few fun moments scattered throughout.
Fortress of Solitude was provided with a PlayStation 5 code for the purposes of this review.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood is a frustrating RPG full of good ideas. It had a lot of potential but, sadly, it never delivers. That said, there's some surface-level enjoyment to the game's combat.
Sound and Music