Werewolf: The Apocalypse is just one of many tabletop RPGs created by legendary developer White Wolf. With games like Vampire: The Maquerade, Mage: The Ascension, and so many others, the company built a legacy of gothic horror RPGs dealing with the troubles of human existence when one is a monster hiding their true selves from society.
Occasionally these games have been adapted from the table top to video games, with some noteworthy titles such as Hunter: The Reckoning, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. For many people those games, despite burrs and rough edges, stand out as beloved titles that have stuck with them due to their atmosphere, writing, or just the way they present the World of Darkness concept in general.
However there have been peaks and valleys regarding the activity of these franchises. Video game releases have varied in quality, and there have been periods where there have been no releases at all, though they seem poised to claw and bite their way back onto consoles and PCs.
For vampire fans, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 looms on the horizon, hoping to stand tall next to the monolith of its elder sibling. For those enjoying their monsters a bit more fuzzy and canine though, a new title is slinking its way out of the shadows.
H2: Tactical Canine Action
Developed by Paris-based independent studio Cyanide, and being published by Nacon, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is set to come out February 4th, 2021 for current and next gen consoles, as well as PC via the Epic Store. Taking the role of Cahal, players are set upon the adventure of bringing punishment to those who defile Gaia, Mother Earth.
On its store page the game is described as such:
“A unique experience full of savage combat and mystical adventures, inspired by the famous role-playing game.
You are Cahal, a powerful Garou who chose to go into exile after losing control of his destructive rage. You can transform into a wolf and a Crinos, a huge ferocious beast. You must master the three forms and powers of human, wolf and Crinos to punish those who defile Gaia, Mother Earth. But your worst enemy is yourself: if you don’t contain your rage, it can destroy you once again…
Each form has its advantages: the wolf can sneak around undetected, Cahal as a human can interact with other people, and the Werewolf can unleash its rage to tear enemies apart. This rage is your greatest asset but also your weakness…
On his quest for redemption and blood, Cahal plays a crucial role in the great war between the Garou and Endron, a powerful oil company that serves the Wyrm, a destructive spirit ravaging the planet.”Via Cyanide’s store page for Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
A recent trailer shows off the latest gameplay, giving quick highlights of the game’s main three modes of play. Gameplay appears to be a mix of exploration, third person stealth action, and more high octane character action, each one reminiscent of franchise greats like Metal Gear Solid, and God of War. It will be interesting to see how those disparate elements blend, but there is something to be said about the game’s ambition to even attempt to blend those things together meaningfully in the first place.
With the emphasis on having to balance Cahal’s rage in much of the marketing, it would be of little surprise if the brutality of the Crinos form is one that should be reserved as a kind of treat for big bosses or set-piece moments. Elements such as a rage mode or super mode in other games are familiar and serve well to limit players from just abusing their systems to shred through enemies willy nilly.
All in all things look promising, and those familiar with the game’s vast lore will recognize various terms and nods to the themes Werewolf: The Apocalypse covers on the tabletop. Cyanide as a studio has been growing steadily since its inception, and has developed several sports titles and well-received licensed games based off of other tabletop games like Warhammer 40,000. That growth seems to coincide with more and larger games that edge closer and closer to premier AAA experiences. Hopefully it pays off, and Cahal’s journey becomes one to howl pleasantly at the moon about when it releases.