Please, Just Let Me Be The Dog

Illustration for article titled Please, Just Let Me Be The Dog
Image: Cyanide / Kotaku

There’s a new game out. It lets you play as a dog (or wolf I guess, but whatever). But then, throughout the game, it turns you back into a human against your will. Hey, stop that. Video game. Stop. Let me be the dog, please.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood isn’t great. It’s a lot of dumb action and silly cutscenes. It’s entertaining for sure, but it’s not something you should go out and buy. I do recommend, however, reading Fahey’s wonderful post about it and how it made him feel.

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The best part of Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood, or Earthblood as I will now call it to save us all some time, is without a doubt the ability for the main character, Cahal, to become a dog. You know, you think about how popular dogs are these days online and it seems wild that we don’t get dozens of dog videogames every year. Well, at least we have Earthblood.

Or so I thought!

You see, while it is true that you can shapeshift into a dog, the game constantly rips you out of dog-mode and turns you back into a human. Now sometimes I understand why it does this. If I need to turn on a computer or drive a vehicle, I get it. Dogs are great, but they can’t do everything. So in those instances, I understand.

Gif: Cyanide / Kotaku

But other times it makes less sense. For example, if I want to attack a human guard the game shifts me into human-form. What the shit? Dogs can bite and attack as well, maybe better even, than most humans. Let me take dudes out as a badass wolfhound, not a lame dude cosplaying as Matthew McConaughey in Reign of Fire.

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Some areas even FORCE you to be a human. WHY?
Some areas even FORCE you to be a human. WHY?
Photo: Cyanide / Kotaku

Another strange time Earthblood turns me back into a human happens whenever Cahal talks to himself. This isn’t him monologuing in his own mind, but him actually talking out loud, sometimes near other people or guards. Why do it this way? Instead, have Cahal think about how much this letter reminds him of his dead wife and stop ripping me out of dog-mode. Dogs can think! And this isn’t a normal dog, it’s a weird magic-werewolf-human dog. I totally bet it can have its own inner monologues.

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The more the game shifts me between the cool, fast dog and the boring, slow human, the more I begin to think about little things. Where do all the items Cahal carries go when he enters dog-mode? At one point I entered a vent as a dog and someone spoke to me over a radio earpiece. Is that in the dog’s ear? Or Cahal’s ear? Cahal can also drink booze in the game. Does that mean the dog is drunk sometimes? That would explain all the weird leaping and jumping.

Illustration for article titled Please, Just Let Me Be The Dog
Screenshot: Cyanide / Kotaku
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Game developers its simple: If you give me the option to play as a dog, I’m going to play as a dog. Don’t take that away from me because you didn’t want to break new ground in a game and have a dog who can drive, use computers, and open doors.

I guess I’ll just wait for modders to fix this horrible injustice.

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Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

coasterspaul
CoastersPaul

Where does Twilight Princess fall on the “let me be a dog” scale? You eventually unlock the ability to switch back and forth at will, but I felt I was being a human* most of the time near the end.

*or Hylian, I guess? Pretty sure some of the games still refer to them as humans, though, regardless of the pointy ears.