It says a lot about how werewolves are viewed that they’re most often presented in videogames as mindless, slavering enemies to be pummeled into a fine and slightly furry pulp by the hero. Compared to witches (who have become popular as protagonists and companions) and vampires (who are often charismatic and intelligent even while they’re still cast as the enemy) werewolves often get the short end of the stick in terms of their characterization. Thankfully there are still a few werewolves in gaming who exist as much more than just canine cannon fodder.
1. Bigby Wolf, The Wolf Among Us
Generally speaking when I make a list like this, I prefer not to use characters that originated outside of games. That’s why Hermione Granger didn’t get a hat tip in the witch list, in spite of how spectacularly bad her hair has been in just about every Harry Potter game ever made. But that said, Bigby Wolf demands an exception, if only because werewolf noir is such an under-explored concept. The promotional art featuring Bigby’s eyes burning as brightly as the lighter he’s holding up to his cigarette makes a pretty good case for that all on its own, never mind the fact that no one’s as well suited to be gruff and growly as a wolfman.
2. The Centurions, Altered Beast
Okay, so Altered Beast isn’t the most complicated and lore-heavy game of its era. I can’t exactly say that the centurions the players control are fascinating characters that will have you reaching for a wiki page to read all the hot details. But the transformations these characters undergo into all manner of were-beasts (wolves included) remain incredibly novel and make the centurions well worth mentioning.
3. Zoroark, Pokemon
Werewolves and werewolfish characters rarely demonstrate abilities beyond brute strength. They’re meant to embody the feral animalistic side that might be contained within just about anyone. That’s what makes Zoroark interesting, because in spite of their obviously werewolfish design they have a surprisingly sophisticated skill set that relies on the manipulation of their opponents mind as much as on claws and teeth and raw physical strength. Also, they evolve from Zorua and Zorua is precious, so that’s one more mark in Zoroark’s favour.
4. Sonic the Werehog, Sonic Unleashed
Okay, real talk: It’s no secret that the werehog levels of Sonic Unleashed are the absolute worst part of the game. Set against Sonic’s regular levels which have him speeding through some legitimately gorgeous Mediterranean scenes, the werehog levels are general the absolute draggiest kind of brawling and puzzle-platforming you can imagine. But that said, the idea of having Sonic change forms or be affected by a curse of some kind isn’t the worst. I mean he already basically goes Super Saiyan sometimes, so the attempt to give him a less pleasant transformation isn’t entirely off the mark. Unfortunately it just didn’t turn out to be fun.
5. Aela the Huntress, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Every member of The Companions qualifies for this list, as the entire guild is composed of heroic and adventurous werewolves. Although they don’t get as much glory as the Thieves Guild or the Dark Brotherhood, they’re still an interesting group of people. What separates Aela from the pack is the fact that she comes from a long line of Companions on her mother’s side. Generations of Nord women, passing down their bows and presumably also their lycanthropy to their daughters. That’s definitely not a story you hear often. As if that wasn’t enough, Aela’s also marriageable—and about a dozen times cooler than Lydia, at that.