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Good idea. The simple zoom effect (ICO) is good too : a character close enough may show some lip moves, and so on.
What would be cool would be hunt scenes.
And Wolfriders don't kill for sport : only just enough to survive.
Another good game was "A dog's life" for the sensory approach :
  in it you SEE smells around...

In fact I guess playing one (or + in a multi-player mode) wolfrider LIVING (first, then occasionally fighting or exploring or ...) in the world of two moons would be much fun.
For inst. you may begin with the lesser member Pike (the most prone to do anything silly), and then trying yourself at playing more special ones, up to Cutter...
Each one may have one (max. : 2, to stay on a simple basis) special ability (be it physical, social or mental) : what I can think of now :
. Pike : stamina to match
. Strongbow : special zoom for bow-hunting
. Redlance : tree-shaping and the like
. Moonshade : leather-tanning
. Cutter : quick slash (New Moon)

Then, there's the context question : there are many time gaps in the Wolfriders' storyline, which may prove to be interesting to live (play) in :
. Young Cutter (why not beg. with Madcoil's death !)
. Cutter in his main Quest (see how YOU deal with it all...)
. Sorrows End (7 years) : installing themselves & building a family and ...
. Cutter without his family (the long wait) :
most promising times for a game, in my sense
  ( most predictable choice for a graphic conceptor
    because the "cuties" are not here : twins, Leetah & Skywise )
( The question of the "cuties" : having characters that have a pre-known high graphic quality in a vid' game may RUIN it all for the graphist in charge may LOSE it VERY easy... - my fear )

Well, what do you think ?