Wonderful are the moments when you simply have to stop what you are doing and just smile and awe. While playing the first of Telltale’s newest adventure series, The Wolf Among Us, I couldn’t help to be happy. I was playing yet another great game in my personal favorite genre – and it was just the first episode.
Based upon Fables, the comic series published under the Vertigo DC Comics label, The Wolf Among Us dives into Bill Willingham’s wild idea of folklore and kids’ tale characters living among us in the real world.
The story circles around New York and its secretive Fabletown refuge for fantastical, where the Big Bad Wolf is the active sheriff and things are going toopsy turvy, thank you very much. And not entirely due to Wolf, although throwing criminals out of windows certainly doesn’t help.
And while that might sound silly at first, the world of Fables quickly grows on you the further you go in The Wolf Among Us. A handful of known fairytale characters are quickly introduced into the context of the game and are incredibly enough, very believable – among them, a failed hero and more than a couple of princesses that make do in their new lives in the big city.
This isn’t a particularly long game. Even with that in mind, it’s easy to see that Telltale’s found its stride in terms of flow and rhythm in their games. Not one moment is wasted with fetch quests or dumb item combination puzzles. Dialogue choices don’t always end in characters parting ways, nor do consequences seem so obvious. Certain decisions are clearly marked by a text box that cannot be turned off – but let’s admit it: that wasn’t a particular fault in The Walking Dead, as it served as a red herring most of the time. On the other hand, it would’ve been nice to have the option to do so, regardless.
Like its gameplay, The Wolf Among Us shares its visual presentation style with The Walking Dead. In fact, Fables’ conversion to videogame form looks even more like the comic book than its sibling series. Colors bloom the screen and characters look and animate incredibly well. Long gone are the three or so sets of emotional animation cycles we’ve got used and sick of seeing in previous games from Telltale – The Wolf Among Us‘ cast is extremely expressive and ridiculously well acted.
The Wolf Among Us is a detective game, and through Wolf’s investigation, you’ll get to chime in and mold the story much like you did in The Walking Dead. Bigby is a loose cannon, being a wolf after all, and his aggressive nature is carried quite well throughout the opening episode. Thanks to Telltale’s experimentations in their previous series, The Wolf Among Us also does action scenes in a terrific manner, fitting fights in well in the tone of the game and the context in which Wolf approaches his job. Not all fables are happy to oblige the reformed villain, nor are they shy about it – push comes to shove sometimes, and depending on your approach, Bigby will be happy to oblige.
As a start to a new series, ‘Faith’ does a tremendously brilliant job. Not only at introducing some of the big players within the story, but also at leaving plenty of questions in regards to whoever else is involved in a now growing conspiracy within the world of Fables.