Review: The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 – “Faith”
I have been a long time player of Telltale games. I began with Sam and Max Season 1, and have played many of their series since then. Something that always really attracted me about Telltale games was their focus on narrative and their innovation in the point and click adventure space. Last year, with The Walking Dead game, Telltale really reinvented their identity as a company. They evolved their game genre from a replication of the point and click adventure genre from the 90’s, to a real form of their own. They had created an experience, that at some level was really not a game anymore. There was no end goal that had to be met, the focus was on the journey that was taken as a character. Telltale took the narrative roleplaying elements of the point and click, and gave the player more vested interest in their character having players make seemingly meaningful choices as Lee in the Walking Dead game, while still allowing the story to progress in a consistent way. This well executed role playing experiment has been continued and iterated on in The Wolf Among Us, and Telltale shows that their new style was not a one hit wonder. The Wolf Among Us currently has only one episode out, so this will be a reflection based off of that. At the end of the series, I will post a full encompassing review of what I thought, and compare it to my initial impressions.
The Wolf Among Us is a prequel game to a popular comic book series known as Fables. Before The Wolf Among Us, I had never heard of the series, but after playing it, it got me to read the first volume, which should give a sense of what I thought. The game puts you in the role of Bigby Wolf, the current persona and human version of the Big Bad Wolf from the popular fairy tales. In the world of Fables, the scene is set in New York City, the fairy tale creatures all had to leave their land and move to New York. The ones that can blend in with society try to, with a spell cast on society to keep them from finding out about the fairy tale creatures that live amongst them. Bigby is now a reformed bad guy. No longer the evil wolf, he is trying to make a new name for himself. He is your classic ruggid, five o’clock shadowed noire detective. As the game starts, right away Bigby is investigating the scene of the crime. Through various conversation trees, and important decisions the narrative progresses, very similar to The Walking Dead game. The games aesthetic and feel is very different though than any of its’ related predecessors. The Wolf Among Us feels like an actual investigation. There is an heir of freedom hidden in the decisions to solve the case that is even larger than The Walking Dead. Where The Walking Dead brought to Telltale games the ability to make seemingly meaningful decisions, The Wolf Among Us brings a sense of freedom.
The style of the game is very noire comic bookish. It really fits with the detective novel sort of theme. The entire world and game is a bit darker, and really explores some darker themes. The game definitely has a more mature tone, which is much appreciated. The focus on narrative is still definitely apparent. This game is definitely a lot more action driven than some of Telltale’s other adventures though. The game is riddled with quick time events that are shown through a very appealing visual interface. The action sequences definitely get the blood pumping, which leads to the ability to better get immersed in the role of Bigby. However the action sequences are all too frequent, and a bit repetitive. The quick time events somewhat distract from the narrative.
The Wolf Among Us is a fun gritty adventure game in an imaginative reinvention of fairy tales in New York. Any fan of the Telltale formula, or that is interested in a fantasy narrative that deals with contemporary issues and gives meaningful choice to the player should definitely check out this game. It is another example of the quality storytelling that we expect from Telltale.
|Title:||The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 – “Faith”|
|Platforms:||PC, IPad, Mac, Xbox 360, Playstation 3|
|Release Date:||October 15, 2013|