Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, is an action adventure stealth game. You play as a fighter for one of the wolfpacks named Cahal. There are a few stereotypes common in media for the human forms of werewolves and Cahal fits in one of those to a T. He’s the “bald guy with a massive beard and a vest with unnecessary buckles”. He also has the tough guy loner mentality that is also common. Oh yeah, he’s also too tough for sleeves. Cahal isn’t the only stereotype amongst the werewolves; Radko has an eye patch, long hair and doesn’t wear a shirt under his trench coat. These are the kind of guys you would expect to be werewolves and it’s unfortunate that Cyanide Studio went that route. Is it a big deal in the grand scheme of things? No, but I would like to see a werewolf similar to George in Being Human.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is set in Washington state. A group of humans and werewolves have teamed up to take down Endron, a massive corporation that has it’s fingers in many pies including energy. The energy research Endron is conducting is all a cover for genetic engineering the perfect soldier. The werewolves and the group of humans called The Human Lambda’s, are ecoterrorists whose sole mission is destroying Endron and exposing their crimes.
Does this seem a bit tired and overplayed to you too? Overall, the story was fine. While it was, as I said, tired, it was written well enough. The dialogue could have used some more fleshing out. I’m not a man of many words, but the characters really don’t say more than they need to, or sometimes not enough words. Also, the emotions the characters display are often very brief and don’t really match up to how someone would act in the same situation. For example, there were a few times when something terrible happens to Cahal, he mutters a line or two and then acts like he just finished lunch and nothing is bothering him. This struck me as really odd. Life changing events normally warrant more than a half dozen words. I also noticed that the characters shrug A LOT when they talk to each other and at times that it didn’t make sense for one to shrug in. I don’t know if Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood was rushed in development or if Cyanide Studios isn’t used to making narrative driven games (previously, they made a lot of sports management games). Either way, there could have been more time put into making the story less barebones and better planned out. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything special.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is broken into two parts: infiltrating Endron facilities and destroying everything, and searching for spirits. Infiltrating the facilities is the main part of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood. At times, you have to turn into a wolf (not a werewolf, but the four legged animal) and crawl through vents to unlock doors and disable security systems. The rest of the time, you are dealing with mobs of enemies. You can use stealth to subdue the guards. If you manage to subdue all the guards in a room without being seen, you won’t have to face several waves of guards. However, this is easier said than done as your main way of taking guards out is through choking them out. You do have a crossbow, but with a very limited supply of bolts, it’s not really something you can rely on. When you do get caught, that is when the fun begins. This is when the rage of the werewolf comes out. Playing as the werewolf is a lot of fun and left me with a shit eating grin most of the time. You have two stances in werewolf form, agile and strong, each with their own sets of moves. You are nearly indestructible as the werewolf, nearly… You need to watch out for silver bullets of course. It’s not that they deal massive damage to you as werewolf, but they do lower your overall health pool. Think of the werewolf form as a combination of the Incredible Hulk and Wolverine. You are massive, fast, strong and have very sharp claws. You can also pick up guys and execute them after you deal enough damage. While you battle waves of enemies, your fury meter fills up. Once it’s full, you can REALLY go off. Playing as a werewolf is really the highlight of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood.
The other part of the game play is looking for spirits. If I’m being honest, the spirits weren’t really well explained, or planned out. As I made it through, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, they really pissed me off. These spirits are hidden for the most part, but once you know what to look for you can find them easy enough. While in human form, you will see random items, usually plants or mushrooms, that blink white, There is a spirit there. In order to free it, you need to use penumbra vision (similar to detective mode in the Arkham games), walk up to them and click the button on the prompt. The penumbra vision is poorly executed. If you take more than a few steps with it active, it stops and you need to restart it. If you walk up to a spirit and it closes, you will have to reactivate it until you are right in front of the spirit to free. You can unlock a skill for the wolf that allows you see the spirits at a long distance. They are highlighted by a white orb. Of course, if you take more than a handful of steps, your penumbra vision drops and you have to reactivate it. Of course, Cyanide doesn’t tell you about these until you find one and free it, so I made halfway through my first playthrough before I found one. Being your primary form of XP to unlock skills, these are kind of important and deserved at least a little attention in the tutorial.
They May Have Ruined the Game for Me
What pissed me off about the spirits is that there is no mechanism to track which ones you have collected besides the PlayStation trophy tracker, I played the whole game on PlayStation 5. You have no idea how many spirits there are, or which ones you have collected. There is no chapter select either, so if you missed the ones in Washington, you are screwed. The spirits didn’t piss me off until I had finished the game. Normally, I am not a trophy hunter, but I had two trophies left, the platinum and the one for collecting all spirits. So, I did a second playthrough of Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, making sure to get all the spirits in one area before moving on to the next. Well, after two playthroughs, I had 99% of the spirits collected but damned if I know which one(s) I didn’t collect. The lack of tracking is to blame for that. There are more than 100 spirits. I know this because I collected some and the needle didn’t move, so to speak. I am so close to the platinum trophy but due to poor design, I don’t know which one I missed nor can I go back and look for it without starting over AGAIN. This whole system being tied to the platinum trophy seems like it was giant troll on the part of Cyanide Studios. Maybe it’s not working as intended and there is a bug. Either way, that second playthrough wore on my patience QUICK. At the end, I was at 99% complete on that trophy. So close… Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is a short game, but going through it twice in two days really made every little thing about it irritated me. Like I said, the trophies don’t normally bother me, but to get me so close to the platinum and have it fall short with nonsense was not cool.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is a decent game. I recognize that the spirit trophy nonsense put a bad taste in my mouth, On the PlayStation 5, the game runs very smooth. I had no frame rates drops which was impressive for the amount of stuff going on in werewolf mode. The graphics weren’t anything to write home about though. They definitely didn’t feel “next-gen” to me, If the trophy nonsense hadn’t been there, and I hadn’t been on vacation, I wouldn’t have played through it a second time. If you played the table top rpg or really like werewolves, you may enjoy Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood. I need to reiterate, playing as the werewolf was a lot of fun. It really is the highlight to an otherwise run of the mill action game. Overall, I would say this is an Okay game and not for everyone.