icon Author: Vexwryn
We'reWolves Review

As an enormous fan of what one would lovingly call “action rogue-like bullet hell” games, I was beyond thrilled when I stumbled upon We’reWolves- a self proclaimed “Bullet heaven inspired by Vampire Survivors”. At a year and a half later, and at nearly double the price tag of it’s “inspiration”- I had high expectations while sinking my teeth into this title, looking to sate my appetite for hours of dopamine-filled game play.

However- if you have any hopes of immediately diving into We’reWolves, you may find yourself frustrated, as you will be met head-on with walls of unskippable text. An EXCEPTIONALLY vague backstory, NPC explanations, introductions, controls and the boasting of 5,500 different items, skins and “shinies” are all here for your IMMEDIATE consumption. While the information is insightful to have- it’s presentation is beyond obnoxious, and really puts a damper on any excitement one may have to jump right into the game.

Just one of the numerous walls of text you'll encounter prior to play.

Once you’ve managed to wade through the immense bog of text, you will finally find yourself able to wander your main HUB, Beasthaven Stronghold. Effectively, this acts as one big graphical interface to boost your abilities using coin earned in-game, or to change your appearance. This is spread between four “merchants”, as well as providing a NPC to change your class. While the concept of this is not bad by any means, I feel as though the execution suffers. The four merchants are scattered at each corner of the needlessly large stronghold, while the Class Select NPC rests in the center of the room. No other filler characters roam about the looming hall (despite a “busy tavern” ambiance track thrumming away) - as well as any visually interesting bits are minimal, so it feels quite forlorn. Despite some of it’s shortcomings, it is functional. Heading north in Beasthaven, you’ll find an archway leading out, presenting you with a Level Select, giving you several stages to pick from- though initially you will only have one stage available to play.

The dim, empty halls of Beasthaven Stronghold. 

The three currently available stages to pick from.

Game play in We’reWolves is what you would come to expect from the Vampire Survivors-esque genre that’s sprouted up since the titles wild success, but there are a few more “niche” elements the developer has tossed in. One such element that gives this game it’s title, is the ability to transform into a werewolf. As you play, you will collect Moon Fragments scattered throughout the stage- and once enough have been collected- you will turn into a werewolf- granting you additional speed, better movement, and life steal attacks. This drains stones while you are in werewolf form- so time is limited.

Another added element is the Moonstone System. Upon leveling up, or finding chests during game play, you are presented with either 3 (on level up) or 9 (on chest opening)“Moonstones” (Akin to picking new weapons, or leveling them up in Vampire Survivor). While at level, you can openly see your choices, during a chest opening the stones are shown to you for a mere moment before they go black. Essentially you are forced to play the Shell Game- as they shuffle 3 times before allowing you to pick. You get to select 3 stones of the 9, and you will absolutely go cross-eyed whilst attempting to keep track of what you potentially may want. You are able to re-roll and banish Moonstones as well- though nothing quite makes it worthwhile, as you’re holding on to a hope and a prayer to get anything useful.

You'll only have about 1.5 seconds to see your choices, and decide which Moonstones to "follow" as they're shuffled. 

As expected, at predetermined times boss monsters will roam, providing you a greater challenge to tackle. Amidst swarms of bunnies, worms, pigs, bats and severely cranky trolls who yell at you for messing with their dinner pots- you’ll have your hands full at the rate the enemies are churned out, and the bosses who can quickly stack up. Easily put- it is just about what you would expect from something pitched as “Vampire Survivors Inspired”. The real question is, how does it hold up?

While the size of aspiration in this title is to be commended, the execution is poor. Attempts to make the game “it’s own” fall flat- as niche mechanics are good and well- IF implemented appropriately. Becoming a werewolf holds no immense value and is not integral to the game play, as well as the Moonstone ability system is frustrating and needlessly punishing for no good reason. In a game genre where intelligent ability and equipment choices are crucial to survival- it’s turned into a lottery. Sloppy coding lends to getting hung up on just about every item you can think of (Trees, pots, campfires, and crates)- often leading to untimely deaths. Melee attacks seem to be a coin flip if they actually hit or not, and just feel sloppy. The “hardest” class to play, Stormbringer (Magic AOE), feels like a walk in the park when compared with the “easiest” of the classes, the Monk (Melee). Besides the underwhelming game play mechanics, the poor art that can be disturbingly pixelated in an otherwise smooth world is jarring. This becomes horribly obvious in Beasthaven Stronghold- and a mild annoyance in the battlefield. The music and sound effects leave much to be desired- as they quickly turn into a repetitive drone- lacking any real excitement, which unfortunately seems to be a commonplace for We’reWolves.

A typical early game run.

Overall, while We’reWolves boasts bright, eye-catching graphics and near unlimited character customization, it did very little to hold my attention when it came down to the core of the game itself. Game play feels tired, worn and poorly implemented- not nearly enough to keep an audience interested- let alone for the amount of grind this game brings to the table. At the end of the day- with it’s price being double that of Vampire Survivors itself, or other well crafted titles in the same vein such as Hall of Torment- We’reWolves is unfortunately passable, easily eclipsed by other games at half the cost, and double the entertainment.

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