Over the weekend I went through my pile of digital shame and noticed I had hardly touched the Telltale Games bundle I had picked up on the Xbox One about six months ago. I had attempted to get into The Walking Dead but at the time I was so sick of zombies in games I decided to leave it until zombies became fresh again (which might be a while for me). Then I noticed The Wolf Among Us sitting there under my games and apps and thought, why not?
I’m happy to say that The Wolf Among Us is some of the finest adventure gaming there is to be had. It has been ages since an adventure game has gripped me from start to finish as this one did. Even my wife was drawn to the story and had to sit and watch me play the 8+ hours it took me to finish.
For those unfamiliar with Telltale Games adventure games you play through a story that involves Quick Time Events to help with the action sequences. You do spend a lot of time conversing with other characters and solving puzzles and I think The Wolf Among Us absolutely shines with its characterisation and story. There are five episodes to the game and your decisions will carry over from earlier episodes. It does make the game quite compelling as a result. A small warning is appropriate here, this is definitely an adult game and not suitable for younger gamers.
The story centres around Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of a special part of New York City called Fabletown to the residents. Effectively Fabletown is where a lot of the characters from various fables have ended up after the conclusion of their fairytale to try and start anew and integrate themselves into normal city life. They hide in plain sight by using “glamours”, which is magic that changes their appearance to appear human. A magic aura surrounds the section of New York which keeps the “mundies” (normal humans) in the dark about who the fabled creatures really are.
If things get out of hand though and the residents start becoming unruly, the magic aura can be interrupted, which it turn would expose the fables for who they really are. The main protagonist, Bigby Wolf has an interesting past and it is quickly known that he was the “Big Bad Wolf” of that famous fable. Being The Sheriff, Bigby Wolf, is charged with keeping the peace. One more point to note about the background to this great game; some fables can’t easily change via glamours into human form (due to their size), plus the glamours aren’t cheap. Those who can’t afford or can’t effectively use the glamours have to stay on “The Farm”, which is a remote area in America where they won’t be discovered by the “mundies”.
It is this setting which sets the scene for the fantastic adult story The Wolf Among Us provides. Half the fun is reading about all of the characters are you meet them and getting their backstory and what fable they are from. The voice over work is top notch and the art style is simply brilliant. Unlike some of Telltale Games efforts, this anime style is perfectly suited to the game engine powering the game. When you compare this to say, The Game of Thrones, you can truly appreciate the art style they’ve presented in this game. It doesn’t show the game engine’s age nearly as much as some of the more standard looking games do (like The Game of Thrones). The only downside is that occasionally the game paused for me while saving at certain points, which while annoying, but hardly a game breaker.
I honestly think, based on what I’ve played of the other Telltale games, that this is their best game. I haven’t finished The Game of Thrones or Tales From the Borderlands yet but I just think the original story (based on Vertigo comics in association with DC Comics) is just incredible. I think it also helps because, unlike the aforementioned games, your story is centred on Bigby Wolf. You are not controlling multiple characters and I think this helps you relate to the character that much more.
Just do yourself a favour and buy The Wolf Among Us. You won’t be disappointed.