IS IT AT ALL POSSIBLE TO ZOOM IN ON NOTES? : THEFOREST

There are several ways you can approach a game in an established world. It’s a spectrum, and at one end of it is the Knights of the Old Republic, treating its chosen universe with reverence, and at the other end is Kinect Star Wars. The World of Darkness, which incorporates Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension and – in this case – Werewolf: The Apocalypse, has seen many games, each falling at many different points on that spectrum. Just recently, we were treated to Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, which fell towards the Kinect Star Wars end. It was a ramshackle action game, garnished with barely a sprinkle of World of Darkness storytelling. Now, we have Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest, which zooms far, far up the other end, aiming for Knights of the Old Republic-style reverence to its subject matter. Bizarrely, considering the proximity of the two launches, Heart of the Forest bears no relation or ties to Earthblood. Our first assumption was that this was a Dead Space: Ignition-style release to support Earthblood, and we’re happy to report that it’s both standalone and much better than its predecessor.

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Players tumbling out of Werewolf: The Apocalpyse – Earthblood, expecting a spin-off will be disappointed. Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest on Xbox is laid-back and wordy, instead trying to capture the spirit of the original table-top roleplaying game. Some might bemoan the lack of action, but we got lost in it: Heart of the Forest revels in storytelling and character-building, presenting you with choices to make, adding consequences to those choices, and then growing your character based on those consequences. It could have done with a bit more bite and certainly more Garou-bloodletting, but the tale it tells will leave you over the (full) moon.

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There are several ways you can approach a game in an established world. It’s a spectrum, and at one end of it is the Knights of the Old Republic, treating its chosen universe with reverence, and at the other end is Kinect Star Wars. The World of Darkness, which incorporates Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension and – in this case – Werewolf: The Apocalypse, has seen many games, each falling at many different points on that spectrum. Just recently, we were treated to Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, which fell towards the Kinect Star Wars end. It was a…
Pros:Extremely well-written visual novel and roleplaying game with real-world relevanceSome lovely artistic flourishesPlenty of divergent paths that encourage multiple playthroughsCons:Perhaps a little mild-mannered and small-scaleReplays would have benefited from a skip functionThe best storylines are reserved for players who pick extreme character choicesInfo:Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to – ‪‪Walkabout Games‬‬Formats – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PCVersion Reviewed – Xbox One on Xbox Series XRelease date – 24th February 2021Launch price from – £12.49

Pros:Extremely well-written visual novel and roleplaying game with real-world relevanceSome lovely artistic flourishesPlenty of divergent paths that encourage multiple playthroughsCons:Perhaps a little mild-mannered and small-scaleReplays would have benefited from a skip functionThe best storylines are reserved for players who pick extreme character choicesInfo:Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to – ‪‪Walkabout Games‬‬Formats – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch, PCVersion Reviewed – Xbox One on Xbox Series XRelease date – 24th February 2021Launch price from – £12.49

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