Review: The Wolf Among Us

From Telltale Games, creators of the widely acclaimed The Walking Dead game comes The Wolf Among Us.

Based on hit comic book series Fables, The Wolf Among Us is a re-imagining of classic, much-loved fairytale characters and the life they lead in modern-day Manhattan. The game is set 20 years before the first Fables comic, and it is briefly explained that the characters have had to vacate their fairytale lifestyle to relocate to their own community in New York, Fabletown. In order to blend in with normal citizens (referred to by the Fables as “mundies”), the less human Fables have to take an enchantment known as “glamour”.

The Wolf Among Us follows protagonist Bigby Wolf, also known as the Big, Bad Wolf, who is the appointed police detective of Fabletown. Dressed in a trenchcoat, Bigby is a man of few words, and definitely a man of action. The game opens with Bigby attending a callout to a fellow Fable, Mr. Toad, and the player is able to see from this early encounter and an altercation with the Woodsman, that Bigby is not a man of the people.

Game mechanics are identical to The Walking Dead, with quick-time events forcing players to make quick decisions and act instinctively. The game’s art style also heavily influenced by the game’s predecessor, though having now picked up a copy of the first Fables graphic novel I can see that the design of the characters and set are very loyal to the source text.

Though the first episode, Faith allows the player a short window of time with the game, it is more than enough to get you hooked. As the episode played out, I began to feel myself building an affinity with Bigby, just as I had done with Lee Everett in The Walking Dead. I was sad when Bigby was sad, angry when Bigby was angry, happy.. well, Bigby isn’t ever really happy, but I relished the brief glimpses of happiness that Bigby was shown.

The game plays out as a noir style detective game, with the first episode introducing you to the case you will have to crack over the course of the game. Other well-known fairytale and children’s story characters make appearances, helping and hindering Bigby as he goes on his way. The strands of the case begin to unravel, as you find yourself as Bigby having to investigate smaller cases which may or may not influence the bigger picture.

Like The Walking Dead before it, The Wolf Among Us is near perfection. It is everything I want in a game, and episode one has definitely left me wanting more. Though I don’t have the patience to wait for each installment of the game, the episodic feel really impacts on you, as you have to live with the decisions you have made. I can’t wait to jump back into Bigby’s world. Episode two can’t come quickly enough.

9.0

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