Werewolf: The Apocalypse
The details have been unleashed, and it’s a fascinating beast
World of Darkness tabletop RPGs brim with intelligent, subversive reimaginings of horror archetypes. Its compelling mythos helped vamp-punky RPG Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines grow into a cult classic on PC, and now Werewolf: The Apocalypse is taking us back to that world, heading inland from the sleaze of Bloodlines’ West Coast to a US wilderness eroded by corporate greed. Werewolf is set in a series of hubs dotted around US states like Nevada, California and Arizona. Each of these areas are being exploited for natural resources by Pentex, a megacorporation corrupted by an entity known as the Wyrm. If you’ve heard anything about the original pen-and-paper RPG, you’ll know that it’s effectively raising a green finger to capitalism.
It’s your job as a werewolf to stop the carnage. You’ll be able to roam these hubs; chatting to the locals, infiltrating outposts and taking on missions that I can only hope will be as memorable as those from Bloodlines. Eventually, you take on the main quest mission in each area, approaching it in a number of ways.
Werewolves in this world are guardians of nature, so they can communicate with spirits of rivers, trees, fires and so forth. Using ‘Penumbra Vision’, you’ll be able to take on challenges from these spirits, sometimes even travelling to alternate dimensions. Succeed, and you’ll get to imbue your weapons with elemental powers – water for your bolts, for example, to knock out electronics.
Not that you’ll be spending all your time in human form. You’re a shapeshifter, and will be able to switch seamlessly between three forms – Wolf, Human, and the big one, Werewolf (or Primus).
On the prowl
The Wolf is a great scout – fast, silent and deadly if it needs to be. But it also addresses some ubiquitously awkward systems. For example, instead of crouch-walking behind cover or shuffling through vents, you’re much better off shifting to wolf form, letting you stay out of sight while swiftly flanking your enemies, then blasting them away in human form. Or you can dash through a vent and leap for the throat of a guard.
The Primus form, meanwhile, abandons all subtlety in favour of tearing enemies apart with clawed paws. You’ll need to be wary of controlling this form however, as abusing it could lead to a state of Frenzy where you lose control and can no longer distinguish friend from foe ( Bloodlines players will get fond flashbacks to countless bloody rampages caused by low Humanity).
So we have distinct hub worlds, seamless werewolf transformations, and a righteous battle against environmental destruction. There’s a long way to go, but this one’s already pricked my ears.
new info it’s effectively raising a green finger to capitalism
“What do you mean you forgot the marshmallows?”