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Blood of the Werewolf (Video Game Review)

Blood of the Werewolf is a new indie game from developer Scientifically Proven and publisher Midnight City that places players in control of a werewolf named Selena. The game first released on Steam as part of the Steam Greenlight campaign earlier this year before making its way to Xbox 360 and other platforms this month. The game pays homage to classic 2D platformers and features a tough difficulty spike not every gamer will appreciate. The game's main protagonist and her ability to transform to a wolf make the game a unique title that helps separate it from other games in the genre, and it features a great art style that helps make the game that much more enjoyable. Blood of the Werewolf is a fun game that can be picked up for a discounted price on Xbox LIVE Arcade new this month.

Selena is the star of Blood of the Werewolf. The character is a werewolf and sets off to rescue her child and avenge the death of her husband after the family is attacked by a pack of monsters. The game's storyline is played out between levels with Selena talking to her son and telling him about the adventure she is on and why she is so desperate to bring him back alive. The game doesn't feature the best storyline, but it does a good enough job to keep players interested in learning about Selena's past and why the family was attacked in the first place.

Blood of the Werewolf features very simplistic gameplay that only uses a few button to perform every action in the game. In her human form, Selena wields a crossbow and can duck or jump to help avoid obstacles. Selena's werewolf form is activated when outside in the moonlight and allows her to double jump, cling on to the edge of ledges and use charged and uncharged claw attacks. Selena also unlocks some special abilities a little later in the game that allows her to fire multiple arrows at once as a human or to violently dash through enemies or pound the ground as a werewolf.

There are many unlockables to earn throughout the main story mode in Blood of the Werewolf. There are sigils located throughout stages that can be collected to earn health boosts and similar unlocks. There are also hidden areas that can be accessed to find healing items, sigils or even permanent upgrades and new skill moves. Typically, the hidden items and upgrades in a game is a good thing, but Blood of the Werewolf is difficult enough to the point that some upgrades are almost vital to succeeding in the later levels in the game, so it's frustrating and almost seems unfair to hide away such important items from the player.

There are plenty of obstacles attempting to stop Selena from reaching her son throughout the game's Story mode. Enemies include fish that spit water, bandits that throw bottles of acid and bats that are difficult to hit but will fly into Selena and make her fall into hazards. Blood of the Werewolf doesn't become too difficult until a bit later in the game when traps appear that can instant kill Selena by smashing her in a trap or causing her to fall onto spikes. Certain areas of the game can be a bit frustrating to progress past, but unlimited lives does mean there is no harm in dying hundreds of times in the same area as long as the level is cleared once.

In total, Blood of the Werewolf includes over 30 monsters to encounter, 15 different levels and 5 exciting boss battles. The levels in the game obviously get progressively more difficult, and enemies start taking more damage before dying further in the game as well. Boss battles in the game are really interesting and offer some of the most fun players will have with the game. The bosses in the game include classic movie monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein, and each will require different tactics for the player to overcome the foe. Expect to die a few times on each boss before that happens though.

Blood of the Werewolf features online leaderboards, and Story mode is also the game's speed running mode. All that matters towards the best ranking in the main Story is how fast a level is cleared, so get ready for some speed running. Score Rush mode is also available and gives the best ranking for collecting the 50+ sigils hidden on most stages. Endless Challenge is Blood of the Werewolf's most unique game mode that places players in a randomly generated arena that never ends but always looks different from the last playthrough. Each mode offers a different challenge and

There are good and bad qualities with the presentation of Blood of the Werewolf. The game's graphics are top notch for the indie genre with nice animations, character models and drawings to help bring the world to life. Blood of the Werewolf fails in the sound design department though. The voice acting in the game is bad and drags the mediocre storyline down with it. The game's soundtrack is even worse with short themes that constantly repeat through stages, and they restart with every death and respawn to make deaths even more annoying in the game. The game isn't tutorialized very well either with hint messages only appearing for a second and then disappearing forever if the player moves past a certain area.

Blood of the Werewolf doesn't do everything right, but it's a solid platformer available at a discounted price. The game is a good looking one, and when you're not stuck on a certain part of a level, the game can be pretty fun. Boss battles offer the highlights of the game, while the game's soundtrack is more likely to annoy you than help make the game more immersive. There have definitely been worse games to release on Xbox LIVE Arcade in recent months, and yet Blood of the Werewolf costs half the price of some of those games. Look for Blood of the Werewolf on Xbox LIVE Arcade or your downloadable marketplace of choice today!

Blood of the Werewolf is now available for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade and Steam and can be purchased for $6.99. Blood of the Werewolf is rated T by the ESRB for Blood, Violence & Mild Language. For more information on the game, check out the official Blood of the Werewolf website.

Game Information:
Publisher: Midnight City
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: June 11, 2014

Score: 7 out of 10

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