The Wolf Among Us: A Telltale Game Series – Season One Review

  • Developer:  Telltale Games
  • MSRP:  $29.99
  • Rated M
  • Released on November 4, 2014
  • Platforms:   PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Playstation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC,  iOS, and Android
  • Review:  ★★★★★

The Wolf Among Us: A Telltale Game Series – Season One Review

Telltale Games is known for crafting elaborate, story driven point and click games.  Calling The Wolf Among Us simply a point and click game, however, feels like a disservice to the title, as it is an emotional rollercoaster you will be joyfully strapped in for until the end.  Based on the Vertigo comic series Fables, Telltale has pushed the limits of the genre once again that they have made their own.  There is no doubt that The Wolf Among Us is one of their best games to date, and one of the best narrative experiences you will be part of all year.

A prequel based on the Vertigo comic series Fables, The Wolf Among Us puts you as Sheriff Bigby Wolf, better known as the big bad wolf of fairy tale lore.  He polices Fabletown, a community in New York where Fables come to live in the real world, appearing as normal human beings through magic.  Working under deputy mayor Ichabod Crane and assistant deputy mayor Snow White, one murder turns into two, leaving Bigby to uncover the seedy underbelly that has been brewing in Fabletown under their noses.

As with previous Telltale games, you move your character around the environment and interact with various items and characters during the course of your investigation.  During your conversations, you have the option to select from various dialogue options, all which can have an effect on the story as you play.  Will you play the nice cop or bad cop to the residences?  The amount of things to say and way to do things becomes staggering. When things become heated during fights, you go through a series of quick time event button presses for your actions.  Even in these quick time events you will be given certain options such as finish the fight permanently or let the person live.  This can affect the direction of your game too, depending on how frightened the residents are of you, whether they will cooperate with you or not.  In the end you are the big bad wolf, so it is up to you whether to fight against your nature or not.

If you are playing any game from this developer at this point, you know you are playing for the story.  On that mark alone the game succeeds in leaps in bounds. The story is an emotional journey which becomes increasingly so as you are given the decision on how things play out.  You are Bigby and allowing you the freedom to choose puts you in the game in a way that few others can.  You have Snow White as your love interest;  will you choose to nurture that to look good in her eyes so she trusts you, or will you not care about her.  When you do unleash the beast during fights, it is preset, but no less impactful.  The first time you start to change, I literally had goosebumps and huge smile on my face.  Once you get in the heat of the moment though, do you decide to fully unleash the power you have or will you be merciful?  A part in one of the later episodes serves up one of the most intense moments I have ever experienced in a video game, including cutting off my finger in Heavy Rain.  After one particularly nasty encounter, you are forced to pop your exposed bone from your forearm back in place;  to be sure it is not for the squeamish.  Everything adds to this fantastic narrative that you help create, making it become your story which you feel throughout.

The game’s atmosphere in the final piece to envelop you in this world.  The music and neon colors actually help give the story a bit of a noir feel to it, working perfectly for this detective piece.  The color scheme specifically had been used before in The Walking Dead, but being used in the world of Fables, it actually feels much more in place here.  The opening for each episode, typically not something that even warrants mentioning, is surprisingly entertaining as it further puts you into the world you will be inhabiting.

The Wolf Among Us is another shining example that no one can tell a story quite like Telltale Games.  They detail the game so well you will feel like as though you are Bigby, along with all of the baggage and most of all, power that comes with it.  There is a fair amount of quick time events so even those not typically won over by point and click adventures will be on their toes.  Whether you have actually read Fables or not is no concern with it being a prequel, but be warned you will want to pick up the series afterwards to get as much of Bigby’s adventures as possible.  Telltale Games has created another fabulous tale for us to join, which just happens to be one of their best to date.

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