“Werewolf: The Apocalypse” video game storyline & game mechanics preview

Zoe Delahunty-Light of Games Radar recently spoke to Julien Desourteaux and Guillaume Blanchard of White Wolf about the status of the upcoming and widely-anticipated Werewolf: The Apocalypse video game.

The interview was conducted as part of publisher Focus Home Interactive’s yearly press event, “Le What’s Next De Focus Home Interactive”. Delahunty-Light explains the concepts and mechanics of the W:tA universe (Wyrm, Weaver, Pantex, rage, it’s all in the game) and outlines what the game proposes to do with those ingredients.

This action RPG has you step into the shoes – or paws – of a member of the Fianna tribe, an Irish group of werewolves who prize family over everything. Yet you’re an outcast, a veteran of battle that has turned into a lone wolf (literally). After spending some time alone in the wild, you’ll be called back to help your ex-pack out of a spot of bother, as something’s happened to your son, which probably doesn’t bode well. At its heart Werewolf: The Apocalypse is a story of the bond between a father and son, but you’d be forgiven for forgetting about your son thanks to all the general devastation in the world around you.

The franchise’s tagline “when will you rage?” is a literal game mechanic. Environmental elements and plot points will max out your rage meter, which you can ameliorate through anger management techniques or through the less stealthy (but more fun-sounding) practice of killing everyone around you… including, if you take it too far and wind up in a Frenzy, your allies.

“You have to kill your allies as well,” [Desourteaux] says, “because you see them as a threat. When you go into Frenzy, you’re not able to recognise everybody – everyone looks like a threat”. Like an awkward family reunion, the game will remember that you massacred your friends. Your brutality will affect future quests, the ways NPCs behave towards you, and even what kind of enemies you face.

Everything about the game seems designed to satisfy the Wt:A super-fans out there. I, for better or worse, am not among those folks, being a reprehensible “casual” gamer and, frankly, increasingly disenchanted by Wt:A as a property and a delivery mechanism for the werewolf content I crave. That said, I’m happy on behalf of folks who have been waiting for the franchise to receive a proper video game adaptation – it’s long overdue.

No screenshots or gameplay footage have been shared – maybe a tiny bit worrisome, since the game’s been in development for a year. No release date has been announced, either, but with expectations high, I think it’s wise for Focus and the developers to take a “when it’s finished” approach.