The Wolf Among Us - Episode 1: Faith Review

In the dark future of 1996... MONGOOSE!

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: 11 October 2013
  • Time Played: 3 hours

After being blown away by Telltale's adaptation of the comic book series, The Walking Dead (which is probably more well known in its TV series format) I was excited to hear that Telltale were going to make a similar game except with some new IP. The new IP in question was another comic book series, this time by Bill Willingham called Fables. In the comics, fairy tale characters or "Fables" are refugees of sorts that come to the real world and live amongst us in secret. Telltale's adaptation of the Fables comics is based on the adventures of the Big Bad Wolf and is aptly named The Wolf Among Us.

Plot (5/5)
The Wolf Among Us is set during the 1980s in New York City. Fairy tale characters now live amongst normal humans (called "mundanes") in their own immigrant neighbourhood known as "Fabletown". Some fairy tale characters, who can afford it, use "glamour" in order to disguise their true appearance from mundanes. Those that cannot afford to disguise themselves are sent to "The Farm" in rural New York. You play Bigsby Wolf aka The Big Bad Wolf, whose job is sheriff of Fabletown. Consequently it's your job to keep the peace and in this first episode, you soon discover that there is a serial killer on the loose. It soon becomes your job to solve the mystery and bring the perpetrator to justice.

While this game doesn't have the plethora of ethical dilemmas served to you in The Walking Dead, it does have some interesting decisions you have to make with respect to your investigation which make it different but no less entertaining. The Wolf Among Us plays more like a neo-noir film where your character is a hard-boiled cop or detective following any leads you can find in a race against time. Where choices in The Walking Dead were usually pitting compassion versus survival, choices in this game are more to do with remembering facts, noticing clues and trying to see through the lies.

While it's too early to tell if the story leads to more or less the same conclusion, I'm pretty certain it will. There is a branching narrative in this game so conversations will be slightly different based on your relationships with other characters or certain clues you notice. At the end of an episode, you're also able to review whether you sit with the majority or not when it comes to pivotal choices in the game (e.g. lying to a character or not).

The game has brief moments of comic relief like this one.

Gameplay (3/5)
Just like The Walking Dead, gameplay may be seen as minimal by some since it basically consists of very simple puzzles ala the adventure game genre incorporated with visual novel elements (e.g. conversations having an impact on character relationships) thrown in with a bit of Quick Time Events (QTEs) for action sequences. For those valuing gameplay over plot, you have been warned!

Sound (4/5)
Voice acting is great but that's to be expected from veteran voice actors – the only issue I had was that the audio was sometimes too loud or too soft.

Music (4/5)
The game has some moody 80s-style synth which fits the game perfectly (this is a neo-noir game set in the 80s after all). Nothing too memorable but top quality stuff all the same.

Graphics (4/5)
The graphics are on par with The Walking Dead and since this game is also based on a comic book, it has incorporated a similar style. The only issues I had was the occasional framerate jumps and the occasional animation glitch.

Replay (3/5)
Just as it was in The Walking Dead, replaying The Wolf Among Us will reveal a slightly different narrative depending on the choices you make. My first run I tried to take a more stoic and professional approach, well as much as you can playing as the Big Bad Wolf! However, for a second playthrough, I'd like to see what happens playing a more aggressive role.

Also like The Walking Dead, there is still not a very large variety of achievements. Most achievements can be gained simply completing the game. However, at least this time they have one achievement where it requires you to get all Book of Fables entries which probably means exploring the game a bit more which in turn invites replays.

Polish (4/5)
Unfortunately, as it's a Telltale game, it uses the most recent Telltale Tool so the interface is a very console-friendly one, not a simple point 'n' click adventure. The game also has the annoying Type 1 save system where progress is autosaved but you never know when the next save point is.

Score – 8/10

The Wolf Among Us, besides the different reference material and tone, is very similar to The Walking Dead, and that's a good thing. Once again, Telltale eschews complex puzzles to focus on a mature branching narrative with awesome comic-style visuals and it works.

If you want to get the game, you can get it on Steam or Telltale Games .

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