Written and Media by Paul Anderson.
The Wolf Among Us is an episodic graphic adventure game developed by Telltale Games. For those unfamiliar with Telltale Games, they’ve adapted several series into adventure games; most notable is the adaptation of The Walking Dead series. For those who are familiar with Telltale Games The Walking Dead video game series, The Wolf Among Us plays much the same borrowing gameplay elements from The Walking Dead video games and improves upon the formula.
Advanced warning to those who dislike strong language and violence in games – this is a series to be avoided. The game has a mature rating, which it more than earned from my experience in the first episode alone.
During Christmas break, I received an Xbox 360. I know I’m a little late to the game. Since I didn’t have a lot of money to purchase very many games, I took up a friend’s recommendation to play the first episode. The first episode of the game at the time was free to download, so I gave it a try. I was going to play it for an hour, get a feel for it and finish it some other day, but after an hour I couldn’t stop playing. The story is quick to engage you. You’re forced to make your first decisions within minutes. As an indecisive person, I normally hate games where your decisions change the outcome. The brief, yet adequate, response time forces you to make choices, while giving you enough time to make a decision that you find agreeable. The game varies though. Actions aren’t always without severe consequences, as I found out. It makes the experience just that much more captivating.
Admittedly, the gameplay felt a little awkward at first, but it only takes 15 minutes or so to become acquainted with the controls. After I got a grasp on the controls, the gameplay was incredibly solid. Quick time events during fight sequences are easy to follow, choosing your responses with the face buttons during cut scenes, and on occasion you are free to walk around interacting with people and the environment using the face buttons. It has a simple control scheme that flows really well.
The cel-shaded style of the game contributes to the detective crime drama nature of the story. The story is based off of fairy tale characters, referred to as Fables, living in the real world and using enchantments known as “glamour” for the non-human Fables to blend in. To keep the peace between the large variety of characters, villains and heroes, Bigby Wolf (aka the Big Bad Wolf) was made sheriff of Fabletown. A reformed villain, Bigby’s past still causes the other fables to fear and despise him.
Lasting just long enough to give the audience a solid setup of characters, setting, and plot, all the while leaving you in perfect suspense. The first episode was satisfying enough to make the $5 it normally sells for perfectly justifiable, and convinced me to drop $15 on the season pass. It was highly engaging in plot, the characters were complex, and the tone was perfectly gritty and suspenseful. The game is also available on Steam, Xbox 360, PS3, and iOS. If you’re looking for an inexpensive story driven game, look no further. The Wolf Among Us is worth every penny; I give the first episode a 9/10.