This past week I got around to purchasing the season pass for Telltale Games’ newest series The Wolf Among Us. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing. I mean, I played through Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series so I was familiar with the style and all that but was otherwise clueless as far as general content and narrative goes. For some reason I like to know as little as possible when going into most games. I like to see the initial concept, watch the announcement trailer and some view some of the art for the game but I really like to remain a bit in the dark so that I can form my own opinions of the game at hand without outside influence. The only exception is when I don’t know anything about the game and am not sure if I even want it. Before I get too off-topic, let’s get into the point of this post – my initial impressions of the game.
The Wolf Among Us is based of DC comic book series called Fables, a series which I haven’t read yet (emphasis on yet). The game takes place 20 years before the first comic book in the Fables series but obviously follows the same basic premise – The fables we know and love such as Snow White and Ichabod Crane have been forced to leave their homeland and live in ours. Thanks to some magical stuff called Galmour certain fables such as Mr. Toad can hide in plain sight without the humans noticing anything suspicious, allowing the fables to live in the depths of New York City in relative peace. If they stop taking Glamour they revert back to their natural form which has been made illegal. I suppose that is understandable though, it would be odd to walk down the streets of New York City and see a 4-foot-tall talking toad. These fables all have to work together since they are kind of an inclusive club and are the only ones who know about one another, but obviously it doesn’t always work out and that’s where Bigby Wolf (or more mythically known as the Big Bad Wolf) comes in. Bigby is the Sheriff of Fabletown and is tasked with the job of keeping everyone from killing one another. It seems like a hard job, to be honest.
The gameplay is a lot like that of Telltale’s The Walking Dead in that it features small sections of exploration, large dialog sequences and lots of quick-time events. One new feature though is the addition of more action-oriented gameplay. I was super surprised to find myself actually dodging attacks and throwing some punches myself. That being said, it’s obvious that The Wolf Among Us has a much darker spin on it than The Walking Dead did. There are some seriously sinister themes as well as an overabundance of cursing and blood. There were many choices to make in conversation which shaped the story, one of the most ingenious parts of any Telltale game series in my opinion. There are plenty of ways in which your choices shape the narrative and I honestly plan on playing through it a couple of times to see some things play out differently. The experience overall though was a big departure from The Walking Dead, which I really do want to emphasis. It’s not just like playing the same game with different characters, it’s a whole new and wonderful experience.
I know that some people are choosing to wait until all five episodes are out to start playing, but this is too good to pass up. I recommend all of you who have yet to play this to get on that immediately. The season pass is $20 and includes all planned episodes or you can buy them all separately for $5 a pop. The Wolf Among Us – Episode One “Faith” is out now on Steam, the PS3, and Xbox 360. It will soon be out on the Vita though along with The Walking Dead, which is really neat for you handheld lovers. It’s great stuff, I’m telling you!