Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood - Review, howl or yelp?

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Valery Aloyants
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To put in hand an important license such as that of the World of Darkness in the hands of a fluctuating developer is certainly a good risk, which can lead to success derived from a surprising qualitative leap, as well as to a project that is too difficult to manage. Let's talk today about Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood, work by Cyanide Studio, which you may have already heard for undoubtedly valuable productions, but much discussed due to glaring flaws that did not allow them to stand out. Some examples are the stealth-themed saga of Styx is Call of Cthulhu (among other things, part of an even more complex narrative universe).

The title made its debut on February 4th, su PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, PlayStation 4 e PlayStation 5; precisely the latter is the platform where we had the opportunity to experience the adventures of a somewhat wounded wolf, who did not know how to growl enough as hoped. We can already anticipate that - although it is wrong to define Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood a complete failure - the work is far from what most players have hoped for, and has several very important shortcomings. Let's discover them together, also studying the strengths that manage to marginally save this production.

The (little) fury of Werewolf The Apocalypse: Earthblood

The opening of the game will hardly make you shut your mouth, while it will keep you in a few seconds immersed in a plot apparently really compelling, narrated with graphically spectacular and engaging sequences. The three entities that rule the world, Wyld (chaotic creator), Review (order) e Wyrm (destroyer who takes away the old for the new) have lost their integrity, since humanity ended up corrupting the Wyrm. The player plays the role of Garou, a werewolf that fights to preserve Gaia, that is the whole creation. These premises undoubtedly trigger a not indifferent curiosity, which however ends up making the crash with this product quite devastating, due to the gaps in the graphic and playful sector. We can at least confirm that, albeit with a roughly structured rhythm, the story continues to be interesting, and is also enriched by some choices - almost useless - in the dialogues, which only materialize with a question near the end. The protagonist finds himself living with really terrible situations, while his character is also outlined by the player, and events prove it more from time to time.

The man will have to turn in limited areas for all 8-9 hours in the countryside, with the possibility of carrying out some secondary tasks and deepening the lore of the game only between one mission and another. For the rest, it is simply a matter of going to areas that are teeming with enemies, trying to infiltrate to defeat the final boss of the turn. Garou, in addition to his normal human form, he can turn into a wolf when he wants, in order to gain speed and increased stealth capabilities related to infiltration. Then there is a fighting form, which sees the protagonist take the form of a ferocious werewolf, which in turn features two alternating combat tactics and a fury mode. The goal is not necessarily to act stealthily, given that the game leaves full freedom in this area and allows you to start aggressively right away, or to activate the form for combat only after being discovered.

The fact is, however, that what seems at first glance a varied and fun gameplay, is unfortunately overwhelmed by the shyness - and the low budget - that invalidate each of the sections present and the entire level design. Calling the artificial intelligence that governs stealth sections rudimentary is a compliment, and the presence of the crossbow allows you to "break" the game in these cases, getting out of the schemes of the levels and quickly taking out the enemies. In the event that you are caught, rather easy given the presence of myriads of enemies in the more advanced stages, then the angry phase is triggered, the one that should make the idea behind Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood shine.

Playful and technical moaning

Alternating between its two phases, with the final fury that can only be activated sporadically, the gameplay is configured as a quite fun and adrenaline-pumping hack and slash, at least in the early stages. The werewolf fury really comes to life in the player (although there are no features of the Dualense), and with playful sequences that are not too reasoned, the work simply lets itself be played, without too many pretensions. Artificial intelligence also leaks in combat, and is also extremely weak, a factor that the developer has tried to remedy by adding hordes of enemies. At the end the clashes, however, take the footsteps of the musou, and they end up getting bored after a short time, also thanks to a shallow progression system and a really poor variety of skills and combos.

Technically Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood is very stable, at least on the PlayStation 5, and holds its own Granite 60 FPS in all sequences. Unfortunately, however, the graphics sector is extremely limited and is positioned at the level of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generation, considering that it would also disfigure on Nintendo Switch. Facial animations completely break the dive, the locations and the enemies are all the same and made approximately, without particular creative flashes. An exception is made for the most characteristic elements of the World of Darkness and for the cutscenes, sporadic moments in which the adventure shows some muscle.

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