TellTale games have become well known for the successful adventure game The Walking Dead, a game based on the television series of the same name. The Wolf Among Us is their newest release and is based on the Fables comic book series. Like The Walking Dead it is a episodic adventure game, episodes one to three are already out now with two more episodes to be released this year. It is out on the PlayStation 3 and there are plans for it to be released on the PlayStation Vita.
The game is set before the events of the comics but you don’t need to have read them to enjoy the game. I’m sure there are a lot of nods to fans of the series in the game but I had never heard of Fables and played through the episodes without feeling like I was being completely left out.
The story is set in the 1980’s in New York city where characters from well known fairy tails have had to escape their own land and live in ours. Using spells they hide their true forms from us mundane people or ‘mundys’ and struggle to live their lives in our reality, calling themselves Fables. Those who can’t afford to hide their true form are sent to live on a farm where their secret won’t be found out. You play as Bigby Wolf, a reformed Big Bad Wolf who acts as the sheriff for the Fables.
To me this sounded very similar to the television series Once Upon A Time, but the Fables series came before this and is a lot darker. Once Upon A Time borrows their fairy tale characters mainly from the happier, Disney versions of each tale, characters from The Wolf Among Us are taken from the original fairy tales.
The voice acting is great and while I didn’t really notice the music within the game playing a large role, the menu music really fits the tone of the game well. The art is is excellent and has a great comic book feel to it. The animation isn’t anything special, the characters movements feel stilted but it is what you’d expect if you’ve played The Walking Dead.
I didn’t come across any game stopping glitches but twice the volume of the characters seemed to change dramatically and between each scene all characters freeze for a few seconds before continuing on their conversation. It isn’t as bad as when characters would freeze in The Walking Dead and their conversation would continue to go on but it is still a noticeable issue.
The controls can be a bit irritating too, in action scenes you are required to move a red circle with the right analog stick over to another red circle before another button like R2 or L2 will appear on the screen for you to press. In all the scenes this happens in I never found it added anything to the action, it just seemed annoying and out of place each time. Other movements in each scene fit well, prompts appear on screen such as swipe up on the left analog stick to jump over an obstacle or rapidly press X when struggling with an enemy to gain the upper hand.
Aside from the action scenes you also get to make several decisions that will affect how the plot plays out and control what response Bigby gives in conversations. The choices you make will carry over into future episodes and I know at least two of my decisions are going to come back on me in the later chapters…
You can rewind chapters and replay it if you want to see how else the scene could have played out or if you aren’t happy with your choices and want to change it before playing the next episode but I’m sticking with mine for now to see how it all plays out in the end. Those interested in collecting all the trophies will have to replay certain scenes to get them all. It is by no means difficult to collect all the trophies but it isn’t be as simple as The Walking Dead where all you had to do was finish the game to get a platinum trophy.
You can buy a season pass for €19.99 which gives you access to episodes one to three now and then will let you play episodes four and five when they are released. The episodes are to be bi-monthly releases so episode four is expected to be out in June, though there is no date confirmed yet. There is a demo out now too that gives you a brief taste of the game’s first chapter.
At times I felt the story was over the top with how dark it went, expect prostitutes, strippers, drugs and murders, but then this is already a long running series that must already deal with these themes. Overall I think The Wolf Among Us is an interesting game so far and look forward to the final two episodes. In the meantime I’ve ordered the first book in the comic series which I plan to read before the release of episode four.