Platform: PS4, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC
Werewolf: The Apocalypse ? Earthblood starts off with a really flashy intro movie that is almost guaranteed to get you pumped up for the game. Wolves stalking around the screen, splashes of red against dark backgrounds, glistening fangs — even if you?re not a fan of the tabletop game on which this is based (and I?ll be honest, I didn?t even know there was a werewolf tabletop game until I started playing this), it?s hard not to get sucked in.
Unfortunately, that opening cinematic is also the game?s high point. It?s all downhill from that point on.
And it?s not even a gradual downhill. Right after you actually start the game and you see the first cutscene, it?s laughable how bad everything is. The characters look like they stepped out of a PS3 game (albeit a mostly above-average PS3 game). They move in the most bizarre ways imaginable, with lots of weird hand gestures — though, sadly, that movement doesn?t extend to their faces. And when I say laughable, I mean it literally, because the dialogue made me laugh out loud — though I?m not sure if I was laughing because it was so incredibly cheesy, or because the voice acting was so awful that I couldn?t tell if it was people or a computer reading the script.
It doesn?t get any better once you get into the action, either. Your character, Cahal, is one of those titular werewolves, and he seems to spend all of his time either skulking around warehouses, either as a human or as a wolf, or going on rampages through those same warehouses, annihilating everything around him. It shouldn?t surprise you to learn that both options are terrible, albeit in their own unique ways.
Let?s take the skulking. Cahal needs to be stealthy, for reasons that are only vaguely explained — and even then, he doesn?t really need to be that stealthy, since the soldiers he?s silently stalking have got to be some of the dumbest in the world. This is a game where you can kill them with a takedown and leave their bodies lying in plain sight, and no one will ever notice. The soldiers also have zero peripheral vision, since unless you?re literally right in front of them, they won?t notice you.
Mind you, apart from certain sections where you have to be stealthy for…reasons, in general you can also just turn into a werewolf and massacre everyone, and it won?t make a huge difference. They?ll radio for backup, backup will arrive, you?ll kill everyone, and then you?ll go to the next room, where they?ll be completely oblivious to the screaming and gunshots that happened one room over. You then kill everyone all over again.
Now, I?m not going to pretend it?s never fun to be an unstoppable killing machine, because there?s a certain dumb charm the first few times you get to do that in Werewolf: The Apocalypse ? Earthblood. The problem is it?s insanely repetitive, and your moves don?t change all that much, no matter how many upgrades the game offers you.
It also doesn?t help that whenever you get into fights, you?re battling just as much against lousy camera angles as you are opposing soldiers. Cahal has a fun lunge attack, except he moves faster than the camera, so it?s pretty common for you to be running back at enemies you can?t see while the camera struggles to keep up. Writing this out, I realize that done well, this could actually have been an interesting way of showing action — but is there anything else in this review that makes you think Werewolf: The Apocalypse ? Earthblood can do anything well?
The sorta-good news about Werewolf: The Apocalypse ? Earthblood is that it might just be one of those games that?s so laughably bad and over-the-top stupid that it?s almost, kind of, in a way…fun. I wouldn?t ever suggest paying full price for this game. I wouldn?t even suggest buying it unless it?s down to well, well, well below $10 (or maybe even under $5). But if you can get it for, say, two or three dollars? Then the laughs you?ll get out of all of this nonsense might just be worth it.
Nacon provided us with a Werewolf: The Apocalypse ? Earthblood PS5 code for review purposes.