The Wolf Among Us Review

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Let me start off that I’ve been wanting to do this review for awhile now. Seeing as how this is one of those games that are episodic, I felt it was better to wait until all episodes of the series were released before I gave my final verdict on the finished product. And let me tell you; it was SO worth the wait. For anyone who knows me, knows that not only am I pretty picky about the kinds of games I play but also I’m very particular on what I spend my money on. Nothing irritates a gamer more than spending money on a game that turns out to be a poor choice. Thankfully, TellTale Games isn’t one to put out a bad game. They won critical acclaimed for The Walking Dead series, and there’s much anticipation for their next two games, Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. And this time, The Wolf Among Us can go on the list of games that truly stands as a worth buy

PLOT

Based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series, and set in the year 1986 before the events of the first issue of Fables, the player-protagonist is that of Bigby Wolf, formerly the known as the Big Bad Wolf.  He is the sheriff of Fabletown, a community where much of the famous fairy tales creatures and characters have sought refuge after fleeing from the Homelands. It is the job of sheriff, as well as the appointed government of Snow White and Ichabod Crane, to maintain order while also keeping their presence a secrete from the humans or “Mundies”

Bigby Wolf is the sheriff of Fabletown and his job is anything but easy.

Bigby Wolf is the sheriff of Fabletown and his job is anything but easy.

Life in Fabletown is not like life in the Homelands. Fables are having to resort to take whatever jobs they can to get by, whether it be selling drugs, prostitution and if worse comes to worse, asking a favor from the mysterious loan-shark, The Croaked Man. Bigby’s usual work load sometimes consists of enforcing the law of glamours, until one night, Bigby is called to the sight of a murder at his very own doorstep. It doesn’t take long before the body count begins to rise. Someone is murdering Fables and it’s up to Bigby to sniff out just who is behind it.  Throughout his investigation, Bigby must try to gain favor with locals in hopes of gathering clues and information. A task that is easier said than done as most of Fabletown is all too familiar of Bigby’s past as the Big Bad Wolf and would must rather spit in his face than talk to him. Although reformed, Bigby finds it very difficult to keep his anger and frustration in check and at times, when pushed to his limit, his dark side will surface again.

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Teamed up with Snow White, someone who Bigby has harbored romantic feelings for since their escape from the Homelands, the two journey into the very heart of Fabletown, exposing themselves to the ugliness of poverty that has fallen on the locals, the bitterness the residents have towards the privileged, and eventually find that not every Fable is meant to have a happy ending. Ever.

THE GOOD

For anyone who enjoys a great detective story or crime drama will definitely find something to love about this game! It’s a murder mystery that hooks it’s teeth into you at the very beginning with the classic “Who dun it?” formula. The setting and atmosphere are that you would see in any crime novel; a tough as nails city where the downtrodden citizens stick to their own and do what they can to get by. You have the no-nonsense law man who smokes like a chimney, survives on very little sleeps and yet does his job for the good of city. You have the deputy mayor who wants to everything in her power to help her community and yet is completely in the dark to what is really going on. I could go on forever on the whole cast of characters in this game and gush all over on just how interesting and how complex their stories and personalities where. Everyone from Beauty and the Beast to the Woodsmen to the Little Mermaid all had layers to their characters that made them seem more than just the stories we grew up with and you can’t help but get involved with their lives. For example, I found myself practically fond of the Woodsman, who at the start of the game came off in a not-so-flattering introduction. He was an abusive drunk with an explosive temper but who also could not handle his fame as the hero who saved Little Red Riding Hood. At first glance, you see him more as the villain but the game progresses, you realize that that is not the case.

Telltale does a fantastic job of making the player feel sympathy to even the most unlikable characters, with flaws that you would see in any person in need.

That theme of “looks can be deceiving” is  played out very well amongst the characters. There’s an sense of your enemies may be your friends and your friends may be your enemies which really helps keep your suspicion level at an all time high. You don’t know who you can trust, who may know something important to your case or who may just be the man you’re looking for. All that is essential in a murder mystery and this game does it all very nicely. Especially when you’re playing someone like Bigby Wolf. Throughout the game, it was clear that the community of Fables didn’t like him and wrote him off as just another jerk. As a player, you have the opportunity to either live up to the name of The Big Bad Wolf in order to get the information you need, or you could try to establish a sort of relationship with your community and show them that you truly have reformed. It sort of reminded me of the Paragon/Renegade option in Mass Effect. In the end, how you interact with your community influences how much information you get towards your case.

Snow White and Bigby make the best detective team since Sherlock and Holmes.

Snow White and Bigby make the best detective team since Sherlock Holmes and Watson

In pure Telltale games fashion, there are multiple choices and paths that you can take that could either lead you to an important clue or quite possibly a dead end. In some cases, you will have a short window of opportunity to choose where you need to go first as the information you need might not be there when you arrive. For example, you’re faced with the choice of either investigating either a butcher shop first or a pawn shop. You could go to the pawn shop first, but there’s a chance that the butcher shop could be burned to the ground by the time you arrive, destroying any possible evidence. Moments such as this are very nerve racking at times and demand a second playthrough just to see what would happen if you choose B route instead of A route first. The entire game is has moments such as these which definitely helps the replay value.

THE BAD

Honestly, I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this game. For me, this game was perfect, from beginning to end. As I said before, there is nothing more that a gamer hates more than to find out you wasted you money on a game. But for every chapter that was released of The Wolf Among Us, I never once felt like I wasted my money. I found the game to be extremely engaging and interesting, the story had excellent pacing, voice acting was supreme and the characters were brilliantly written. This is one of those games that I pray has a sequel! I see so much potential here for it to become a full-fledge $50 dollar with an even broader story and an expanded environment if given the proper treatment. By the time the game was over, I wasn’t ready to walk away and put down my controller. I wanted more! I loved the game so much that I intend to go out and collect every issue of the Fables comic book series!

OVERALL VERDIT = 10/10 A MUST HAVE!!!

 

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