Fancy a walk in the woods, readers? Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest, a howling World Of Darkness narrative written by former Witcher devs and Wanderlust creators Different Tales, has opened its winding, text-based trails with a limited demo this weekend. Just try and stick to the paths while hiking, yeah? I hear there are beasts aplenty in the darkest depths of the forest.
Yes, last night’s trailer is doing the influencer reaction vid thing. But it’s also our first proper look at Heart Of The Forest, following a vague announcement earlier this year that can only be described as “a hoot”.
What we’ve got, then, is a narrative roleplaying game – a supernatural mystery set in the deepest, darkest forests of Poland. Main character Maia comes with a sheet full of stats, each of which will rise and fall as you untangle a text-based story concerning her family’s “dark secrets” and pore through the secrets of Europe’s “last great wilderness”. Also, werewolves will be about to tear shit up. Obvs.
This weekend’s demo lets you bite (sorry) into the first hour or so of Maia’s descent into the woods, playing through a few choices and getting a feel for how the stats shake out. As a werewolf, Rage is the big one – letting you perform acts of massive brutality and physical strength – but the devs warn against pouring all your points into it and blinding yourself to the outside world. It’s a timed demo, annoyingly, which means you’ll only be able to play it until Tuesday, September 1st.
Heart Of The Forest is just the latest in an apparent explosion of World Of Darkness adaptations. The biggest of these, Vampire: The Masquerade 2 – Bloodlines (of which former RPS bud Cara Ellison is a narrative designer) appears to be in a particularly rocky spot right with the firing of narrative lead Brian Mitsoda following yet another delay into 2021.