I purchased The Wolf Among on a whim; I have not paid too much attention to Telltale games, the creators of the hit Walking Dead games, as I am not really into the show or comic, so I have passed on their games even with the hugely positive response they received. Now I am beginning to think I’ve made a huge mistake, because if they are anything like Wolf, it’s definitely another must play series for me. I happened upon a lets play video of Wolf Among Us while randomly perusing Youtube, got as far as the introduction, and knew I had to play this game. Luckily for me, it happened to be the last day of the Steam Summer Sale, and Wolf was available for a fantastic price, so I snapped it up. I have now finished the first episode, and started the second (as well as a second run through the first, with entirely different decisions), and I have to say I have been absolutely blown away by this game.
Set in 1980’s New York, and based off of a comic book series called “Fables,” we step into the shoes of one Bigby Wolf. He is the sheriff of Fabletown, where creatures and characters from fables and legends reside in secret. Each resident must purchase an enchantment called a “glamour” in order to remain concealed from the normal humans. Bigby Wolf is of course the Big Bad Wolf, now reformed and trying to maintain order within their community. It isn’t too long before fables (the characters that is) start to show up dead, and it’s our job as sheriff to unravel this mystery and find the killer.
Like Walking Dead, Wolf is a modern take on the classic point and click adventure game. Interaction with the environment is mostly limited to checking out clues and the occasional quick-time event fight (which are AWESOME). Dialogue is where you are going to spend the majority of your time, and I’m happy to report this has been fantastically done by Telltale. The story is dark and gripping, and most of your decisions carry heavy consequences. Bigby’s moral compass is, at best, very grey, and it is left up to the player whether you want to continue on the reformed path and attempt peaceful resolutions and gain the respect of your fellow fables, or if you want to bring forward more of his darker side. With the darker story and the high stakes, it can be a difficult choice, and I often found myself jumping back and forth across the line as necessary, doing what I had to do to get to the bottom of events. This may have led to some justified hatred by many of the fables, but it’s for the greater good. Right? The only thing I would like to see removed is the rather silly windows that pop up reminding you of the effects of your actions. I don’t need to be told each time that this character will “remember” my actions, or that they noticed something I did. That should be up to the player to pick up, as it can break immersion a bit.
Suitably, the art style is very obviously comic influenced, and it is beautifully done. The world is grimy and magical, with lots of color in an 80’s styling. Every character and location is perfect, and I would be quite happy to have a print of about any random screenshot from this game. If you are a fan of more of an artistic, hand-drawn look, this should be right up your alley.
Any fan of The Walking Dead games should definitely check this out, as should anyone looking for a dark, story-driven game that would feel right at home with a Neil Gaiman novel. The beautiful art, awesome fights, and questionable morality all combine perfectly into a great noir fantasy/mystery game, and make Wolf Among Us is a no-brainer. There are a couple small things that prevent this from being perfect, but even still it is absolutely one of my favorite games I have played this year.
Wolf Among Us is available for almost all major consoles and PC. You can find it on steam here.