Telltale Games, the critically acclaimed studio behind the 2012 Game of the Year – The Walking Dead, releases yet another one of the most exciting stories turned into a video game. The Wolf Among Us is based on a comic book series titled Fables by Bill Willingham. Knowing Telltale was behind the game, I immediately knew that this title will be worth the wait as Telltale didn’t disappoint but instead set the bar high for the narratives in video games with The Walking Dead.
Telltale’s games feel like you’re watching a very interesting show on TV that has you hooked to every second of it with the difference being that you yourself are in control of the main character and your choices and decisions can shape the story you want it to play out leading up to an end already written out by the writers. Kicking off brilliantly with their season premiere, “Faith”, the first episode of The Wolf Among Us sets up the narrative and the story for the series, giving you some of the insight on the background of the characters, and let me tell you, seeing the characters we loved from our childhood right there on the screen with amazing detail and re-imagination brought back memories.
If you’re hesitant that the game is for the ones who have read the comics, fear not as the game is designed to be a piece of untold story canon. Not having read the comics myself, I’m pretty sure there are references present as well that will cater to the readers of the comic book series. In The Wolf Among Us the story revolves around the fairy tail characters known as the “Fables” who, after being exiled from their Homelands, traveled to our world and formed a clandestine community in the city of New York known as “Fabletown” which is located away from the normal people who are referred to as “Mundies” by the Fables.
Building and improving upon the formula used by The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is splendid in its art form. With even more deep cel-shading technique used along with the instantly noticeable improved lighting, The Wolf Among Us gives the look and feel of the comic book right then and there complete with a mesmerizing musical score that fits right in with the narrative. The main focus is of course the story which is brilliantly crafted by Telltale Games inspires and I’d even say is brainwashing to the point that it will influence your decisions and actions based on how you receive the narrative, and like The Walking Dead, it is up to you to shape up the story based on your decisions, however the end result is pretty much scripted but some of the subtle choices lead to various consequences which in turn provide a great experience. Like I said, the game’s like a TV Show, with you in the shoes of the main character.
If you have played The Walking Dead, you’ll feel right at home with The Wolf Among Us. The control scheme is nearly identical to The Walking Dead with some subtle improvements and additions. Thankfully the controls are more forgiving hence not frustrating you to achieve something accurately in a smaller period of time given. The control scheme is easy to adapt to whether you’re on a Controller or using the Keyboard & Mouse combo. The first episode of the season doesn’t offer you many great choices but it is understandable as the episode is building up and setting the environment of the narrative to be told in the coming episodes. The choices you make are remembered by the characters and are carried over the episodes. If you haven’t played The Walking Dead, you need not to worry as the game requires nearly no learning curve on your part and everything comes naturally.
Taking the form of a noir detective thriller, The Wolf Among Us stars the infamous Big Bad Wolf known as Bigby, who is made Sheriff of Fabletown in order to uphold and maintain the law among the Fables living in the human world. As the story unfolds, it is established that this task ain’t a walk in the park and Bigby has to take certain measures to tackle the issues but it is up to you to act as a bad cop or a good cop. Being a detective thriller means that this time around you’ll be asked with searching for clues to help you with your case(s) or by questioning characters. The game also includes well-placed action-oriented quick time event or QTE sequences which give you ample enough time yet requiring fast reflexes in performing them.
The Voice Acting or VA of the game was one of the terrific ones I’ve heard. The voice of deep, grungy voice of Bigby suited him pretty well as well the voice of other characters. The VA breathes life into the game, the scenes are performed well by the voice actors, pouring in their emotions on to the characters they’re portraying.
Telltale’s games have always picked the path to unpredictability and this game is no exception. Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us establishes the fact that Bigby’s career will be one hell of an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. The subtle references, that everyone may know, are a sure way of keeping things interesting for the players and an ingenious way of keeping them hooked. The Wolf Among Us is shaping up to be yet another masterpiece by Telltale Games and with the amazing cliffhanger at the end of Episode 1, it is clear sign that Telltale Games will mess with your mind and judgement when you’re leading the control of Bigby. We commend Telltale Games for their impressive mature take on an adult-grown story about Fables.