The game is a third-person action RPG with both hand-to-hand combat and dialog-heavy sections of role-playing. The story itself, however, is not an immensely twisted, branching undertaking based on player choice and consequence, but rather a bit more on the linear side with two distinct endings available. The hands-off demo incorporated two scenarios, the first of which saw Cahal under the merciless Nevada desert sun, approaching a power plant that is corrupting its surroundings with the intention of disabling it. Using a special Penumbra vision mode, Cahal is able to determine what areas and buildings are spreading the bulk of the corruption, and focus his sabotage efforts there.
Combat in Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is a brutal and bloody affair. At any time, Cahal can shapeshift to lupine wolf form for its speed and agility, and, of course, into werewolf form for its lethality. Taking advantage of the werewolf’s strength, however, comes at a cost since it also opens Cahal up to the corrupting influence of the Wyrm. Shifting back and forth in short bursts, we watched as he took out the hapless armed guards at the power plant, eventually running afoul of a surprise adversary: another werewolf, this one corrupted by the Wyrm, a servant to the enemy. This battle was quite a bit more feral, with faces bashed in and limbs snapped and severed left and right.
Werewolves like Cahal wage a never-ending war against their inherent rage, represented by an on-screen meter. Should Cahal indulge his ferocious side, or come across a particularly egregious offense against nature, his Rage meter will rise, eventually causing him to lose control of his animal side and be unable to change back into human form. This can lead to some troubling complications down the line as it restricts his ability to communicate verbally, so the game is very much about walking that tightrope of emotional restraint.