Telltale Games is coming off of the back of quite possibly one of the most successful downloadable episodic games, The Walking Dead. It received countless awards from sites all over as well as an award at the VGA’s. The Wolf Among Us takes concepts and mechanics from their previous title and uses them to tell a new type of story surrounding the Aesop’s Fables universe. Since the game is episodic, we will be adding to the review as the episodes come out. Each episode will get its own score as well as a final score for the complete collection once all of the episodes are released. Can this new title from Telltale grab the same amount of attention as its zombie counterpart, or is it the universe of The Walking Dead that carried the game to its popularity?
|The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 Review|
The Wolf Among us does a good job telling you exactly what you are getting into right away. The opening sequences with a character named Toad, from the familiar Aesop’s Fables stories, spouting swear words and general cowardice really set a tone for a dark intense story immediately. It doesn’t take long to get to know the characters around the game as they are routed in a darker side of many childhood stories that should be familiar to most. Characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, which is your character, along with Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood and more mesh together well in the universe Telltale is building because they are all set in the same universe as Aesop’s Fables moved to a new location.
The main character in The Wolf Among us, The Big Bad Wolf, is basically a cop/detective that protects different Fables as they live in the normal world. The Fable characters, such as Toad, Snow White, Beast and others use some kind of magic called Glamour to hide their real identity from normal people in a normal New York. Characters that can’t hide their identity are sent to live on “The Farm” that seems to be almost like a punishment to the Fables that live there. The first episode really is an introduction to a lot of these world building block ideas and then leads into the murder mystery.
The most stunning thing about the game is probably the art style that has returned from The Walking Dead game last year. The art style and Noir themes worked really well in The Walking Dead and almost seems to pop even a little bit better in this game. Multiple times throughout the story I caught myself staring at animations, characters and the surrounding just to take in everything to its fullest. I have always been a fan of the cell shaded art style and the visuals in this game do not disappoint.
Many of the same mechanics from The Walking Dead are back and still feel relevant. The game follows a similar path and is surrounded by telling a story first and having basic sound mechanics backing it. Much of the interactions are dialog sequences that give players a choice on what they are going to say, if they choose to say anything at all. Based on your interactions with characters events will change drastically around you and certain characters will react to your actions and words. There was a few times when I felt like the inevitable was going to happen, but I still felt some agency in exactly how things were going to go down which is an important feeling to get out of a story based game.
The Wolf Among Us is Telltale using experience from all of its past games, but is obviously influenced by the recent success of The Walking Dead. And you know what? I think that is pretty darn ok. The story telling is rock solid and the game behind it, while basic, is more than serviceable for the experience that is to be had. I don’t know if this game will be able to get out of the shadow of The Walking Dead or if it can keep up an interesting story throughout later episodes, but as for now, I am sold. The characters are interesting and the plot is gripping. I wouldn’t ask for anything else for now.
The Wolf Among Us has started off strong and has a good base to be another smash hit.