Based on the award-winning Fables comic books by Bill Willingham, The Wolf Among Us is developer Telltale games’ (creators of 2012 GOTY: The Walking Dead) newest title to be released. Featuring a dark and twisted take on fairy tale lore and its characters, TWAU will tell its tale (pun intended) across five episodes. The first episode titled “Faith”, starts things off.
Story & Characters: TWAU is a prequel to the Fables comic books. Bigby Wolf (formerly known as the Big Bad Wolf), is the Sheriff of Fabletown who is tasked with protecting its inhabitants; fairy tale beings known as fables. The story told so far is one full of intrigue, mystery, and tragedy as Bigby attempts to solve the grisly murder of a fable. His investigation will lead to encounters with several different fairy tale characters; from the volatile Huntsman to the foul mouth Mr. Toad. Most of them are rather interesting in their own way, thanks to some great dialogue and acting. The story isn’t all doom and gloom by the way as the writers did a great job balancing in humor and not making it feel cheesy or out of place.
One of the best things about this tale, is the fact that it tailors to how you play. Anyone who has played past Telltale games such as The Walking Dead will be quite familiar. The Wolf Among Us follows the same premise but to an even greater effect. This time around, this story doesn’t just play out based on how the player acts but also when they choose to.
I’ve played through the Faith episode twice. The first time my choices were more organic; as I chose based on my feelings and how I would react in those situations. This resulted in Bigby being kind, cool headed and understanding at some points. Others he was mean, ill-tempered, and a straight up d*ck. The second time, opposite choices were made and some of the differences are major and very impressive. I won’t go into them as to avoid spoilers. Just know that no two players will walk away with the exact same experience. The choices made don’t just affect how the story plays out in episode one, they will have consequences that will carry throughout all five.
Graphics, Glitches & Engine Performance: Seeing as it is based off of a comic book series, the game features a similar art style. It’s not one that everyone will like, seeing as the characters and environment won’t be as detailed as say GTA V, but it looks great and works within this particular universe. It looks even better than last years’ The Walking Dead.
There are no major glitches to report. After two play-throughs, the only noticeable issue was a drop in frame-rate whenever the game would load a new chapter. Thankfully it only lasts for about 10 seconds at the most. Nothing game breaking.
Gameplay/Controls: This plays pretty much exactly like The Walking Dead. For those of you who are unfamiliar, you control Bigby with the left analog (for consoles obviously) for movement. The right analog controls the cursor. This cursor allows Bigby to interact with certain objects of interest within the world around him after pressing the corresponding button. It is not a control scheme that everyone will love but those who’ve played The Walking Dead will feel right at home.
When it comes to conversing with the different characters in this game, the players are presented with four different choices or things for Bigby to say. Just hit the corresponding button to perform the choice, though you have to be quick about it as your time to react is limited. It’s a rather simple control scheme but it results in some very engaging gameplay.
The story and characters are what drive the game. Due to this, players will spend most of their time interacting with the world around Bigby and the characters he meets; discovering clues and piecing together the puzzle in an attempt to solve the mystery.
While there aren’t many, the game does throw in some action sequences to break up the investigating. Combat is basically a quick time event, as the player must hit the correct button or perform the proper action with the analog stick to survive. As with the conversation system, your time to react in a fight is limited as well, resulting in combat sequences that really keep you on your toes. Failing to perform an action won’t result in instant death, unless you fail to dodge a killing blow, the sequence will just play out differently. The fights I engaged in during my two play-throughs are proof of that. Overall the combat was brutal and satisfying.
Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: The voice acting is very good It is quite obvious that the voice actors really enjoyed the roles they played. The Wolf Among Us features some memorable characters because of it – Chuck Kourouklis’ Mr. Toad being the real stand out. Audio is great, the sound effects were top notch, and there were no issues to report. The music really captures the dark tone of the game. It’s the type of music that sticks in your head even after you’ve put the controller down. Eerie stuff.
Replay Value: High. Similar to The Walking Dead episodes, Faith only takes about two hours to beat for the average player. That being said, with multiple choices to make and ways the story can play out players will have an incentive to go back and replay it. A great art style, sound, brutal combat, memorable characters, and unlockable extras also help.
Final Verdict: Faith is an amazing start to what is shaping up to be another gem of a game from Telltale. With a captivating story and great characters, it is an experience that is hard to put down. In 2012 they delivered one of the best video game experiences with The Walking Dead. If the next four episodes maintain this level of quality or even exceed it, then this will end up being their best game yet. Episode 1: Faith of The Wolf Among Us earns a Gold 9/10 rating from RealGamerNewz.
Overall Score: 9/10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer / Publisher: Telltale Games
Available On: Xbox 360’s XBLA, Windows PC, Mac OS X, & PS3’s PSN (Oct 15th). Episode 1 for $4.99 and $14.99 for a Season Pass which includes the forthcoming episodes 1-5*.
Played On: Xbox 360
*Editor’s Note: The season pass for the PSN version covers all episodes for $19.99.
Review Copy Info- A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.