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The Wolf Among Us Review
publisher: Telltale Games
developer: Telltale Games
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Oct 11, 13
|» All About The Wolf Among Us on ActionTrip|
Telltale Games was so successful with creating a point-and-click adventure game based on one comic, it only made sense that they chose another incredible comic for their next game. The Wolf Among Us is based on the Fables comic by Bill Willingham, a series of dark tales about how and where fairy tale/folklore/nursery rhyme characters are living in the real world. For the Fables who decide to leave the homeland for whatever reason, they can come to Fabletown, a hidden part of New York, to try to make a living in the real world. Bigby Wolf, a/k/a the Big Bad Wolf, serves as the sheriff for Fabletown to help Fables live amongst one another in peace during their incredibly long lives. Like Telltale’s other popular comic-based game, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us was also released in piecemeal as an episodic format across several months. We chose to wait until the series was complete and then binge on the entire story. To be honest, this is really the only way to go.
The game opens with a brief glimpse of the daily B.S. Bigby has to deal with day in and day out: Fables like Mr. Toad not using a glamour to appear human because they can’t afford it, and the Woodsman smacking around a Fable hooker after having a bit too much to drink. It all seems like just another day in Bigby’s life as the Big Bad Wolf, until a murder mystery literally falls on Bigby’s doorstep. The murder of a Fable is bad enough, but this victim also happens to be the hooker Bigby helped the night before. This one murder sends Bigby down a twisted and unpredictable path that unravels the very heart of Fabletown.
This really doesn't look good.
Put 'em up!
Telltale does not require players to know a lick of the Fables comics or remember any fairy tales they might have read or heard as a kid, but it does make the story quite a bit entertaining if you do. For instance, if you’ve read the tale of “The Girl with the Yellow Ribbon”—it’s been attributed to American folklore and ghost tales from numerous sources—then you know exactly why the hookers are wearing the ribbons around their necks. If you’ve read “Little Red Riding Hood” at all in your life, then hearing the Woodsman’s “real” version of the story adds a whole new perspective to the matter.
As expected with a point-and-click title, the story its best overall facet, but the game mechanics are sound enough to not blemish or take away from any part of Bigby’s tales. In many ways, the gameplay reminded me of a mix between Murdered: Soul Suspect and the point-and-click style of The Walking Dead. Whereas The Walking Dead had a few somewhat complex puzzles and intense action scenes, The Wolf Among Us has a stronger focus on exploration and piecing together clues. Occasionally Bigby will have to rough up suspects or chase them down, which throws the player into a few QTEs, much like The Walking Dead. However, I never once felt as stressed or on the edge of death if I made one mistake as I did with The Walking Dead. Since The Walking Dead, is about survival and The Wolf Among Us is about solving a mystery, shifting the style of gameplay around a bit not only fits the game’s tone, story, and mood, it separates it from simply being a clone of The Walking Dead.
Beautiful comic book art style, fascinating, deep characters, and the power of player choice all wonderfully blend together in this well-crafted whodunit mystery with more twists and turns than the road to the Crooked Man's house;
Gameplay isn't challenging, not even the QTEs, which is what perhaps makes this season rather short.