About a decade ago, my co-worker told me about a comic book series called Fables. It was all about fairy tale characters having to live in modern New York because the fairy tale worlds, the Homelands, were invaded by a mysterious group led by The Adversary. The stories usually follow the Sheriff of Fabletown (an apartment building where all of the “human” Fables can live) and the other Fable communities scattered around the state. His job is to not only protect its citizens but to keep normal people (the “mundies”) from learning about their existence.
I got the first Trade Paperback and I loved it! So, when Telltale Games announced they were making a graphic adventure game based on the comic book series, I was intrigued! Fable was one of those “really out there” comic series that no one’s really heard of… but I did! I loved The Walking Dead games Telltale Games made. So I had high hopes they would do the comic book justice. Everyone seemed to like it. But, as a fan of the comic, would I be satisfied?
The Wolf Among Us takes place some time before the events of the first issue of Fables. Bigby Wolf responds to a call by Toad regarding his “good friend” The Woodsman, causing a disturbance in Toad’s apartment complex. He runs across a prostitute named Faith and unwittingly falls into a web of conspiracy that will threaten the entire Fabletown.
The game follows suit like other more recent Telltale games such as The Walking Dead. You follow along with the story, search the environment for clickable items and play some action/QTE sequences. But the biggest draw of Telltale Games is how some choices you make will influence how the story flows. You may make a decision that may give immediate results but may come back to bite you! This can make your playthrough and experience in the game different from others, which is always a good thing!
The game’s graphics are incredible gorgeous, by the way. Telltale Games used this mix of bright, solid colors to make it look like a comic book come to life. I wouldn’t say the game is cel-shaded because it looks so different from the earlier cel-shaded games like Sly Cooper. If it is, then the technology is definitely a step up from its predecessors. The character designs are also very faithful to the ones from the comic. Fans who have been waiting to see your favorite Fables actually move around on a screen will be satisfied.
The actual gameplay is also pretty neat. The QTE elements are back in full force but rather forgiving, in my opinion. At least they don’t feel unfair when they suddenly pop up! The newest innovation to The Wolf Among Us, however, is the investigation mode. Instead of just searching for items, you’re also looking for clues and, once you’ve gathered enough, you can start to interrogate suspects and catch them in lies. These sequences are pretty well written but are kind of obvious given it’s going to be multiple choice.
I loved what Telltale Games did with most of the characters, particularly Bigby Wolf and Snow White, Fabletown’s deputy mayor. While pretty much all of the characters in the game had their own particular quirks that made them great and identifiable individuals, the two of them stand out among the crowd. They were the most compelling of the entire cast of characters. But that’s not to say the people introduced in the game weren’t great. Everyone gets their chance to shine in one way or another.
Like earlier Telltale Games, the voice acting is spot on! Bigby Wolf may not have an utra-deep voice but he has this gravely tone that suits the character. Snow White’s vocal performance was also pretty fantastic as there was this tone of insecurity whenever she had to make a decision, which, considering the circumstances throughout the story, was apt. But the best vocal performance in The Wolf Among Us has to come from Ichabod Crane. I have to hand it to the voice actor. He delivered a performance that was just perfect for the slender, cowardly and arrogant Ichabod Crane!
However, I have issues with the story being told in The Wolf Among Us. The entire story isn’t as tightly woven as The Walking Dead. There are some weird pacing issues and the reveal who the big, bad guy was all along seems to come from nowhere and the story seems to turn for the worse during the ending moments of Episode 4: In Sheep’s Clothing. Not that it’s bad. It’s just that it never becomes as good as the earlier episodes.
Also, being a prequel of sorts, I already knew what was going to happen to some of the characters. Fans of the Fable comic book series will probably not be surprised about the fates of some of the main players in the series. While it’s not a big thing, it took away a lot of suspense when dealing with these characters. The entire story also ends in a weird cliffhanger, which is didn’t like.
Overall, The Wolf Among Us is still a good game. The good stuff definitely outweigh the bad. It’s still a very clever adventure game but does sort of collapse on itself by the end. Still, I do hope Telltale Games make a “Season 2” of The Wolf Among Us. If they would tighten the story just a bit, it would be perfect.
Have you played The Wolf Among Us? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!