The Wolf Among Us is one of my recent purchases from the Steam Winter Sale and one of the games I’ve been most excited about playing. Developed by Telltale Games, The Wolf Among Us is a point and click game set in the world of Fables, a Vertigo comic series. Just imagine Once Upon a Time had a baby with Taxi Driver and you’ve got Fables. The game is available as a digital download on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC/Mac.
The comic book series tells the story of all the famous fairy tale characters we all grew up with who have been exiled from their home kingdoms and made to start their lives from scratch in New York City. In this game, Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow fame is running Fabletown, the underground community that the Fables reside in. He is very unpopular with the Fables, so he is aided by Snow White as an assistant.
You play as Bigby Wolf, also known as the Big Bad Wolf, who is the sheriff of Fabletown. One day he busts up a fight between the Woodsman and a call girl named Faith. Later on in the evening, Faith’s severed head is found on the doorstep of Bigby’s apartment building. With the help of Snow White, Bigby must crack the case to find out who did it. Was it the Woodsman, or did someone set him up?
If you’ve never played a point and click game before, the way it works is you control the choices that the main character makes, in order to drive the plot forward. For instance, you make a lot of dialogue choices. You can be nice, you can be intimidating, or you can say nothing at all or anything in between. The characters you interact with are smart and can form opinions based on your actions that might have consequences later on in the story. For instance, my relationship with Toad got off to a bad start early on in the game, and later when I needed information from him, he wouldn’t cooperate and had plenty of choice words for me.
Since this is a murder mystery, there is a lot of clue collecting and scene investigation that you click your way through. Sometimes you control Bigby’s movement. There is also some combat that is controlled by quick time events such as pressing Q, T, or E or clicking on a certain area of the screen at the right time.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics reminded me of Borderlands because of the cell shading and rough outlines. It really makes sense for the game, since it is based on a comic book. The colors are bright and vivid, but I still got a sense for the gritty, dark environment that the Fables live in. The incredible voice acting in The Wolf Among Us makes the characters seem more real, instead of cartoon-ish comic book characters. When I chose the more intimidating, violent dialogue options, I actually felt guilty about the responses I got from the person I was roughing up.
The Wolf Among Us is an episodic game, much like The Walking Dead, which is also made by Telltale Games. Although I finished the game within two hours, this game has high replay value. Because of all the different choices you make on how to treat people, you can come up with many different outcomes that will carry over to the next episode.
When you beat the game, you get to see statistics on what percentage of other players made the same major plot choices as you. I thought this feature was interesting because it gave me a chance to see if I made popular choices or not. It also showed some inconsistencies to my play style. For instance, I accused one person of a crime, but arrested someone totally different.
The game ends on a major cliff hanger, so I can’t wait to see how my murder investigation progresses. Although there is no official release date, Telltale Games considers Episode 2 to be nearly finished with a possible release at the beginning of 2014.