E3 2019 Preview – Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is set in the World of Darkness (same universe as Vampire: The Masquerade), and is based on White Wolf Publishing’s tabletop role-playing game Werewolf: The Apocalypse. I have never played the tabletop game or anything from World of Darkness even though I heard great things about Vampire: The Masquerade. Despite not being familiar with the source material or even the universe, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood intrigued me a lot.
The story follows Cahal, an eco-terrorist werewolf who has been banished from his werewolf clan and who fights against the vampire-led Pentex corporation. They have unleashed an evil entity called “The Wire” that infects people and takes them over. It uses your inner demons and rage to slowly take you over and if you can’t control it then you become its puppet.
I unfortunately didn’t get my hands on the demo myself, but a representative from Cyanide played it while he talked a bit about the game. It started with a mission to destroy some intel and clear a couple Pentex bases. Right off the bat, the graphics were eye catching using the beautiful Unreal Engine 4. Character models and environments looked great, but the animations are a bit stiff still. Cahal has his normal human form that will help him blend in with other humans, a wolf form that can help him get around quick and sneak through small spaces, and the hulking bloodthirsty werewolf.
The bases offered plenty of opportunity for varied assaults with stealth or force. A few options include stealth killing a guard and then stealing his outfit and key card. You can also use the wolf form to climb and sneak through air vents. Or go full rage werewolf and take everyone out. One thing to note, and it plays a very important role, is your rage meter. Most everything that has to do with aggravated dialogue, stealth kills (or any type of kills), and getting attacked will increase your rage meter. Once it is filled, you have no other option than turning into your werewolf form.
Once the werewolf comes out, things get a bit bloody. Normal enemies are dispatch quickly with various power attacks and slashes from your claws. You will pick them up like rag dolls and toss them around like they’re nothing. In fact, you can throw enemies at the turrets to damage them. Normal enemies might not do much, but the turrets will tear you up handily. When in werewolf form you still gain rage, but this time if you let your rage build up, “The Wire” will take over and kill you.
After the base was cleared of regular enemies and turrets, the boss (who is also a werewolf) came out to play. The Cyanide rep gave us fair warning he might die during this fight and he almost did. The fight looked intense! While the battle was visceral, the animations being so stiff brought it down a bit, especially since with both werewolves were using similar moves on each other. The demo didn’t last long after that; we were shown the hub area around a massive tree that the werewolves gain power from. This hub is where you’ll plan various missions and plan attacks with other werewolves. The story telling and progression is mostly linear, but will have freedom in what missions you complete first.
One thing that was mentioned, which could lead to some interesting situations, is the dialogue. During interactions, depending on dialogue options and reactions, Cahal could become enraged and turn into a werewolf mid conversation and slash the other person’s face off. While Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood was a bit stiff and rough around the edges, it has a lot of potential to be a deep RPG with a unique focus.
Release Date: 2020
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4