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Focus Home and Cyanide were busy showcasing their upcoming tabletop-based CRPG Werewolf: The Apocalypse at this year's E3, and that has led to the availability of two new previews and an interview with Cyanide's own Julien Desourteaux. We begin with the first preview over at RPGamer:
The first lesson I learned from Julien: forget everything you ever thought you knew about werewolves in popular culture. World of Darkness follows its own strict designs and ruleset on the subject. In this universe, werewolves — Garou, as they are called in the lore — are the guardians of nature, "eco terrorists" as Julien jokingly calls them, whose goal it is to preserve nature and protect it from its imminent destruction at the hands of Homids — humans — amongst others.
The next thing I wanted to know is what was putting nature in such danger in this world? This question is not easily answered; the vast World of Darkness universe sees humans and supernatural beings exist side-by-side, and includes certain metaphysical concepts that have taken on an almost tangible shape — living metaphors. For example, the balance between man's expansion and nature has come to be called The Great Wyrm, and it is precisely this Great Wyrm that has turned its back on creation and engineered the game's titular apocalypse. This threat to existence, as well as mankind's general ongoing destruction of nature, is what the werewolves are sworn to protect.
Before taking in the other preview at DreadCentral:
Gameplay will split between three main werewolf forms. There’s the humanoid form, best for diplomacy and trying to interact with the human world. Then you have the wolf form, which gives you increased mobility and tunes you in more acutely with the spirit world. The third form is for combat, a hulking mass of flesh and fur that’s great for ripping things apart. A core element between the forms is managing your rage, which will cause you to frenzy when it boils over. Frenzy turns you into the ultimate unrestrained killing machine, unstoppable in combat but unable to distinguish between friend and foe. It isn’t the same, “hand your character sheet over to the DM,” that it was in the pen-and-paper, but rest assured that there will be consequences to letting the beast take over.
I also got to see a working mock-up of Werewolf: The Apocalypse‘s map, which you’ll be able to explore in a semi-open fashion. Rather than a true open world, you’ll be able to tackle each zone and resolve its issues in an order of your choosing. Each will be its own instanced area with a border, but that doesn’t mean that what happens in one won’t effect the others. It’s all glued together by a central massive forest hub, where the Garou will roam freely and commune with the spirits. The example Julien gave me of how this communion would work was a hypothetical quest given to you by the spirit of a waterfall. If you do what it wants (say, shut down the coal mine polluting the river), it will let you travel up the waterfall like a super industrious salmon.
And then finishing things off with the interview at GameWatcher:
GameWatcher: You mentioned there will be combat, exploration, interaction, and stealth elements. How will these various mechanics come into play and interconnect in Werewolf?
Desourteaux: So in Werewolf, progression will be based upon how you play. Moreover, the core mechanics are each bound to a special form. For example, when you fight, you’ll take your Garou form. It’s obviously better to be in that massive build when it comes to taking and dishing out damage. Meanwhile, in exploration, you’ll be in a wolf form that allows you to move much more quickly and efficiently. We’re building it so you’ll be able to move between forms pretty seamlessly based on what you need. For instance, if you take a long jump and then attack, you can move from wolf into Garou for a vicious lunge. We want it to be visceral in many ways, but we also want it to be dynamic.
GameWatcher: As an action-RPG, how will players progress in Werewolf? What goes into your character’s strengths and evolution?
Desourteaux: We will have skill trees in the game. Players will choose between various archetypes that determine certain strengths and weaknesses. There is no bad way to choose. We supply the tools to play how you want. A good part of the core will be based around combat, but that’s also sort of a fallback when other tactics don’t work. If you fail a stealth sequence, we give you tools to fight, or you can simply skip the stealth and jump right into the fight from the get-go. - See more at: https://www.gamewatcher.com/interviews/werewolf-the-apocolypse-interview/12854#sthash.mUYt0RB6.dpuf