Telltale Games has given gamers quite a number of episodic games adapted from popular properties such as last year’s The Walking Dead. Their newest episodic title takes on DC Comic’s Vertigo’s Fables and provides a darker, grittier side of the fairy tales we grew to love as kids. Does the first episode in The Wolf Among Us hook newcomers and fans of the Fables series? Or is it best to skip over the newest Telltale Games’ title?
You take control of Sheriff Bigby Wolf, known also as the Big Bad Wolf from both Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs, as he tries to keep the other Fables safe from normal humans as well as themselves. He’s as gruff and gritty as one would imagine the now humanoid wolf to be which has to be helpful in the setting he’s in. Especially when there’s the murder of a Fable right at his doorstep.
Newcomers to the Fables series like myself have no reason to worry about missing out on anything with The Wolf Among Us as the game is set up to be a prequel of sorts. There are nods to different things that those who read the comic but it’s not anything that you would really miss. Even after reading up a little about Fables and the characters in its world, there were some ‘Whoa!’ moments that bring a sense of self to The Wolf Among Us as the prequel to intriguing comic.
If you’ve played Telltale’s The Walking Dead, you will be familiar with how the gameplay works for The Wolf Among Us. This interactive title has you point and click on different items of interest throughout the episode. From time to time, you will be presented with a battle of sorts in which you’ll need to mash a button quickly or tap the appropriate key on the screen. Failure to do so will result in the need to redo the scene. Luckily, it does let you start over right at the beginning of the scene. As with The Walking Dead, your choices during key conversations and events will play a vital role in what awaits you in the next episodes. You can have Bigby come off as the silent type or perhaps you feel that he’s better off telling others exact how he sees things. Even your decision of which place to investigate first plays an important part. Put off one and you run the risk of missing out on learning something new for the case.
The cel-shaded look of The Wolf Among Us is a perfect fit for the moody setting and characters. Despite the world being gritty and dark, the purples, yellows, and other vibrant colors really pop. The designs for the cast of fairy tale characters are not like you pictured growing up as a kid. They have that edge to them and Telltale Games pulled it off amazingly. When it comes to the soundtrack, I found the voice actors to fit in nicely with how I’d expect the characters to sound as well as a rather impressive soundtrack that is pleasant to listen to.
Each playthrough will likely take between an hour and a half to upwards of two hours. You might not think that is a long time but considering the fact that this is just the first episode of a five part game, the length seems to be nice. Given that your decisions throughout the episode will play a role in how things turn out in this episode and later ones, some might want to replay it to see the aftermath of their choices.
Despite being fairly short, the first episode of The Wolf Among Us offers enough of a teaser to keep fans and newcomers alike wanting to see what the next episode brings. As with The Walking Dead, Telltale Games shows us that they know how to make a game worth playing. Especially if you’re a fan of the genre and source material.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1
|Platform: PC (reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, Vita
Release Date: October 11, 2013
Developer: TellTale Games
Publisher: TellTale Games
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
MSRP: $24.99 (for 5 episodes)