REVIEW – Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is such a game that lost its plot and release timing by about fourteen or so years. In 2007 or so, it could have been a decently selling title, but nowadays, it only seems like an outdated thing altogether. The basic idea is alright, but once again, it’s the execution where the whole thing falters.
I am not knowledged about the World of Darkness, which this game is set in.
…is the name of the allegedly eco-terrorist werewolf that we can control. He’s part of a pack (duh, we’re talking about part-wolf people after all) to eliminate a giant corporation called Endron. Everything was going according to plan until Cahal’s uncontrollable rage ruined everything, resulting in him leaving the pack, but he had to come back to get rid of the company and save the remnants of his family. This corporation subject is also in Cyberpunk 2077, but compared to that game, this one… damn it, so WTAE until the end, is quite clichéd. If its presentation was at least somewhat better, I’d have not pointed it out this much, but even the voice acting felt below average to me. Several scenes that were meant to create emotions felt like dry scenes that had no power behind them. Thus, the whole thing felt hard to be believed.
So the story and the audio are already subpar, to begin with, and the gameplay doesn’t help matters either, even though Cahel has three forms. As a human, he can interact with computers as such. As Lupus (this would be his wolf form), a stealthy approach can be achieved (which is almost necessary to be used), while as Crinos (this would be the werewolf form), melee combat can be utilized in case you can’t use your crossbow to get rid of the enemies that will come at you in waves. There are issues, though, as artificial intelligence, simply put, is stupid. You have two types of enemies while in stealth – one is standing still, looking around, and the other one walks around. I’ve already seen such things in a Polish budget game in 2008 (Agent/Detektiv Rutkowski). I almost forgot to talk about the inconsistency aside from the stupidity. Try doing the same thing twice in the same scenario. You will see that one time, you will get caught and thrown back to the previous checkpoint, and in the other case, you will pass the part in question. The stealth could be good, but it flopped – this is where the game essentially loses a point from its score.
It drops another one when I ended up yawning during combat, no, not because I happened to play the game at 11 PM. Instead, it happened because the game felt so basic that even the ragdoll made me think “oh… that doesn’t surprise me.” The RPG skill tree didn’t even seem to change the combat whatsoever, and the boss fights have the usual ordeal of them having more HP and dealing more damage to you. It’s going to be a repeated thing over and over. Like what Pécs FM does on each Saturday evening. (And they don’t care.)
So I’ve defined WTAE as something quite average, but it managed to drop the ball even more due to the lack of polish. For instance, there are some doors only the enemies use to walk through to avoid seeing them spawn in. Yes, this is still a thing. The problem is that they pop up in front of these doors, and their look also seems to remind me how the game has missed its release time by about 14 years, as these character models seem to resemble either a late PS2 or an early PS3 game. While the visuals of the game are subpar, the game’s cinematics seems to be much, much better.
Don’t tell me that the devs spent the budget on this! I’ve rarely seen such a thing happen. Maybe in Rogue Warrior in 2009, but the voice acting was decent there. Also, WTAE is pretty short. No joke, you can beat it under six hours, and I’m sure you can chop 30 minutes off that, too. I expected more from Cyanide, but then I remember they also made Call of Cthulhu a couple of years ago. If only they stuck to Styx. Those two were at least entertaining, even if there were not action-RPGs but platformers. With… stealth.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood gets a 5/10 because it does what it needs to do but without any flavour. Nacon, formerly known as Bigben Interactive, will not get a lot of money out of this outside the fans of World of Darkness – for them, this is a 6/10 game, but not more. It’s seriously average in almost everything: story, graphics, audio, gameplay, maybe its ambience is a bit above all, but even then, I’m not sure. Expect this game to be an Epic Games Store freebie in 6-12 months. I’d also add that if you don’t know the background lore, this game won’t make you look for it. This is something that should have been done: get people’s interest in World of Darkness. It’s a missed opportunity by Cyanide and Nacon, as that would have made players interested in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. But they won’t be.
+ The cinematics were alright
+ The ambience felt good
+ Stealth can be good
– …but not always if the game doesn’t make sense
– Average in almost everything, and its visuals are outdated
– It doesn’t brew attention in the background lore
Publisher: Nacon, Bigben Interactive
Release date: February 4, 2021