Guise of the Wolf – Review (PC)

Witty pun about Twilight

Guise of the Wolf touts itself as a “mystery action adventure”, an unsubstantiated claim if ever there was one. Besides navigating endless tunnels, there are only five instances where you will be tasked with doing something different. Yeah, we counted.

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The game’s trailers gave the impression that you are being hunted down whilst trying to find a cure for your affliction- an interesting premise that the game never truly delivers on. During the few sections where the wolf turns up, in search of a midnight snack, you must run to safety and hide. These sections are overly-long and boring; don’t even think about reading your notes during this time though, your controls are frozen until the wolf is out of sight. As a matter of fact, any scene in the game involving werewolves is an arduous and boring affair. Each time you transform, you are forced to watch a cinematic of your character sprouting hair and claws. Reversing back to your human form is even more painful as you have to find some arbitrarily dark spot and wait for the game to take notice, and then watch the aforementioned transformation in reverse. Where is the action that the game’s trailer promised?!

Guise of the Wolf is annoyingly formulaic in its design. The entirety of the first act is spent entering rooms, solving a simple puzzle, collecting ingredients, and then repeating the same tasks all over again. The developers tried to pad out the threadbare action in later sections of the game, when you are tasked with destroying “lunar stones”; a painfully apparent attempt to add longevity and variety to the game. The only “highlight” – if you can call it that – is the lockpicking minigame, just let that sink in for a moment.

The developer, FUN Creators, haven’t been around long. In fact, Guise of The Wolf is their first commercial game. This inexperience is apparent in many areas, perhaps, most significantly in the poor level design. The attention was put on funnelling the player towards the goal with the vague concept of freedom but with strange layouts, numerous locked doors and dialogue boxes that refuse to let you advance, Guise of the Wolf ends up feeling much smaller than it really is.When we  first saw the map (In act 2 when we had to check the walk-through) we didn’t believe the map was as big as it claimed.

As you make a potion that prevents the wolf from finding you in act 2 the game loses any of its remaining appeal. The  boring fetch quests were  became even duller as the werewolf isn’t even able to show up any more. Though an interesting little bug with the statue in the main hall did occur that had us looking over our shoulder for a while.
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Guise of the Wolf, like most adventure games, focuses its effort on its story. Unfortunately it is too difficult to take the story seriously as the voice acting is on the same level as House of the Dead – sans the self awareness. One character, Filch, we were unable to listen to because his dialogue was so quiet that the background noises drowned him out. An affliction we wished would affect the main character whenever he had a monologue.

The art style in Guise of the Wolf  is worth talking about as it is a nice step towards creating a cartoonish look on a budget. To create a cell-shaded appearance the models all have black lines around their edges, giving them a carttonish look. That is, until you look closely as the black line disappears like a frightened rabbit, taking the comic effect off of some objects and suddenly creating a Roger Rabbit world of real and cartoon. This would be forgiveable if it wasn’t for the terrible bugs that cause the thin veil of skin worn by these cartoon guards to fracture and reveal the void beneath their shell.

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Guise of the Wolf seems to have been released far too early with little to no play testing, with a plethora of bugs, poor audio quality and boring game play, only get this if you desperately need a story about werewolves. Though even then you could get Blood of the Werewolf for £6.99 on Steam…

 Guise of the Wolf is available to purchase on Steam for £9.99.