Telltale’s latest episodic adventure series, The Wolf Among Us, takes on the Fables comic series with a thrilling debut that has us excited to see where the rest of the season will take us.
What Is It?
For those that haven’t heard of the Fables comics, they take place in a modern New York City community where classic fictional characters that many of us grew up on have been forced out of their realm into the real world. In The Wolf Among Us, you take control of Sheriff Bigby Wolf a.k.a. The Big Bad Wolf. Wolf is tasked with enforcing the rules and laws of Fabletown and dealing with their delinquents. The plot of this episode has Bigby and his assistant Snow White investigating the first murder to occur in Fabletown in decades. If you’re worried about The Wolf Among Us spoiling plotlines from Fables, there’s no reason to fret. This season is set 20 years before the comic series even begins, so it’s about as good of a way to get into the universe as it gets without reading the comics.
Why Should I Care?
The model that Telltale uses for The Wolf Among Us is heavily based on what worked with The Walking Dead that earned many, many Game of the Year awards last year. As Bigby Wolf, your decisions regarding how to tackle this murder mystery have great ramifications not only on your relationships with other characters, but also on the way the story unfolds. Gameplay is designed so that can only take on one lead at a time, which means you have to choose carefully or else face a wasted opportunity from the lead you didn’t take. If you thought the hard decisions that you made over the course of the season in The Walking Dead were gut-wrenching, this first episode pulls several punches of its own that lets you know that they’re not messing around when they say your decisions are important. Just comparing this first episode to how The Walking Dead started, I felt that The Wolf Among Us really does a better job of setting up its narrative hooks right away to make that wait for Episode Two all the harder to bear.
The first episode of The Wolf Among Us definitely deviates a bit from what Telltale has done recently with their other series. There’s an big emphasis on keeping the story moving along, and all the scenes feel as if they’re pushing you make a decision immediately instead of letting you sit there forever. However, all this urgency leads to this first episode being easily finished in about two hours.
The combat has also been overhauled to be more of a straightforward QTE system with some nice uses of the triggers and analog sticks to perform special moves like poking eyes and other blows to the head, which is more of a result of this series being more action-heavy than The Walking Dead.
One thing that wasn’t changed from Telltale’s last series is that The Wolf Among Us has some small framerate stutters from time to time, but fortunately I experienced none of the other bugs that I dealt with during the first season of The Walking Dead.
Why Is It Worth My Time And Money?
If you enjoyed The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is going to be right up your alley as another great series that introduces you to characters you’ll like while forcing you to make decisions regarding their fates that you’ll hate. It suffers from some of the same technical issues that plagued their previous series, so we can only hope that the bugs are kept to a minimum as this one progresses. As much as The Walking Dead got me to grab the first compendium collection of comics to see more of this universe, I could see the same thing happening with me and Fables in the near future. The crazy thing seems to be that the second season of The Walking Dead will be out soon enough to make sure that there’s no shortage of emotionally destructive episodes coming over the next six months or so. You can get the season pass on PSN and XBLA for $19.99 or $24.99 on PC/Steam with individual episodes on the consoles at $4.99 each. The Wolf Among Us will be out on Vita and iOS later this year.