Written by Twisted Ideas
We have reached the conclusion of the Telltales’s newest comic book adventure. Based off the acclaimed comic book series Fables, for the first time we got to see the world of Fables in motion. Does The Wolf Among Us succeed as its comic book cousin The Walking Dead or does it fall short like the overlooked adventures games like Back to the Future or Jurrassic Park?
What is it about?
For the uninformed, Fables is about fairy tale and folklore characters who are forced out of their Homelands by the Exodus into the mundane world. The Fables built a home for themselves called Fabletown in New York. It’s an apartment complex where Fables can live in comfort. Those who can’t afford to live there are forced to live among the mundies. Fables who can’t blend in with the humans or “mundies” and cannot afford glamours from witches to change their appearance are forced to live on the Farm to protect themselves from the eyes of the mundies.
The Wolf Among Us takes place several years prior to the start of the comics. Sheriff Bigby Wolf aka The Big Bad Wolf maintains peace and order between the Fables. Bibgy investigates the death of a Fable who is left at their doorstep. Fables are difficult to kill and have eternal life. The death shakes the Fable community and needs to be solved. As Bigby travels down the rabbit hole the mystery becomes bigger and more dangerous than expected.
What do I think?
The Wolf Among Us accomplishes different things than The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead was designed to put you into difficult moral decisions with no right answer. Lee was essentially a blank slate and with timed decisions it made choices feel more personal. The Wolf Among Us is a noir story in the world of Fables. It’s L.A. Noire with fantasy and magic. The story is more grounded like the early stories in Fables and focus more on Fabletown. Bigby’s character is also in transition between his violent past and where he ends up in Fables.
The Wolf Among Us operates the same as The Walking Dead. You explore areas looking for clues to advance story. It’s dialogue heavy with timed decision-making thing on your feet. It’s more focused on advancing the story. It’s more straight forward and you’re rarely stuck searching for the one object or puzzle that halts progress.
Bigby is the game’s strongest suit. He’s a great character and they nail his personality. He’s often challenged between the violent side and the side trying to become a better person. The decision mechanics suits Bigby well. This feels like what would go through his head after he joined Fabletown and became sheriff. He’s more involved with the other Fables despite his desire to be left alone. How he’s viewed by the Fables is a large part of his character in the game. The writing and the voice actor sells his character. They infused his sarcasm in speech as well as his passiveness when doing good deeds. He’s easily embarrassed and rattled when showing his soft side. His scenes with Snow White are humorous at times as she’s not afraid to give him glares to put him in his place.
The Wolf Among Us doesn’t have that much gameplay outside of the decisions and action scenes. They are done very well but to some people may find the lack gameplay uncompelling. Personally, this is a game that I can play when I don’t want anything too intensive. There are multiple ways scenes based on your decisions and entire scenes can change depending the order you visit certain areas.
My biggest problem with the game is my knowledge of Fables. At least where Bigby is concerned, I know where his character is and his relationships with the characters from the comics who appear in the game. This doesn’t spoil very little as the story is original and uses several new characters. My problem is that I know that ultimately how he acts towards doesn’t change what happens in the comics. I feel that less guilty for being rude or aggressive and am less inclined to weigh my choices.
Some characters from the comics have small roles. They feel like pieces to advance the plot or create conflict. They’re forgettable which doesn’t do them justice. Fortunately, the glut of new characters are mostly well explored and are essential in the story. It’s a colorful cast and makes the game and the world more compelling.
We get to know more about Fabletown and the community more than in the books. There is a darker side for the underclass who struggle to get by in the mundane world for them. This is where a lot of the focus lies in the plot but the game doesn’t beat you over the head with it until maybe in the last chapter.
Should you get it?
The Wolf Among Us is an excellent game and serves as a great prologue to the comics for those interested. It won’t move you like The Walking Dead did but that wasn’t their intention (they got season 2 for that). Telltale told strong and meaningful (albeit familiar) stories that are compelling to see all the way through. While it lacks a lot of gameplay this is a game where you can sit back and relax. You can replay chapters for those curious to see different outcomes to the story. If you enjoyed The Walking Dead then you will probably enjoy The Wolf Among Us too. You maybe might find yourself reading the comics too.