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The Wolf Among Us Review

by Diogo Miguel April 6, 2015

Telltale released so many of its episodic video-games in recent times, that it probably meant many have not experienced The Wolf Among Us.

The Wolf Among Us serves as a prequel to the popular Fables comics. This comic series tells the story of fairytale character,s such as Snow White, who have been banished from fairytale land by a great evil. Unfortunately, the only place they could escape to was planet Earth. These unfortunate souls are now condemned to living a miserable existence in a safe section of New York city they called Fabletown.

Well, those who are fortunate enough to look human can at least live in a safe zone within New York city. Anyone who doesn’t look human in appearance can either purchase glamour spells or end up being shipped to a place called the Farm.

The Wolf Among Us puts the player in the control of Bigby or the Big Bad Wolf as he was known back in fairytale land. Bigby is trying to redeem his evil ways and has been given the role of sheriff in Fabletown.

It’s actually quite interesting to play as Bigby since his character is naturally feared by everyone else in town. Yet there are many opportunities to demonstrate that he’s actually trying his best to look out for the other characters.

As with other Telltale games, the story is moved forward by interacting with objects and other characters. Players are given the freedom to choose how they go about interacting with others. It’s entirely possible to make Bigby as mean and scary as his fairytale old self or a decent guy just trying to make amends for his past.

Regardless of how Bigby goes about dealing with the various situations throughout each episode, what matters is that it never feels forced. His actions always have consequences further down the line and it’s not always easy to guess what will happen.

Unlike other popular Telltale games, such as The Walking Dead, everything isn’t all doom and gloom in the world of Fables. Obviously, the main focus is on finding out clues to solving the main case that Bigby is working on. But there are chances to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the other characters too. It’s a lot more interesting to see what will happen when it isn’t guaranteed that characters will still die regardless of the choices – like on the Walking Dead video-games.

What matters the most is the the cast of The Wolf Among Us is not only diverse, but also it’s not always clear who has good intentions. Ever wanted to see how fairytale characters would survive in the human world? The world of Fables provides many unique situations where characters that were once good and treated like royalty have to resort to prostitution and similar to survive. It’s ironic that one of the villains who caused the most trouble in fairytale land, is the one that also does his best to keeping these characters safe. The fact that character roles aren’t as clear in the human world is definitely what appeals the most when playing The Wolf Among Us.

This version of The Wolf Among Us is far superior to those released on the previous generation of consoles. The game no longer seems to start to stutter whenever busier moments, such as fight scenes, are happening and it makes for a much better experience. After all, quite a lot of The Wolf Among Us involves following on-screen prompts to press buttons or move the analogue stick in the right direction. It was quite frustrating to press a button only for it to register too late because the prompt took longer than expected to appear on-screen.

The game also used to take a substantial amount of time to load between areas. This is no longer the case and it comes in handy when having to retry some of the more complicated action scenes.

Due to the visual style used in Telltale games, it isn’t exactly easy to notice any major improvements. The character facial expressions are somewhat clearer when they are reacting to Bigby’s actions. However, not much else has changed and it’s not necessarily bad, given that it already looked quite impressive when it first came out. In fact, those that read the Fables comic or just comics in general, will enjoy seeing just how close the visual style resembles the little squares in those comic books.

It was a painful experience to have to wait weeks and sometimes even months for a new episode. So it is very lucky for new players to just experience the whole story in one or more sessions. There’s many twists to look out for and it’s not easy to see some of them coming. Even better is the fact that there are episodes where making one decision results in a different outcome. So, it’s appealing to go back and choose the other option to see what would happen. Sometimes even different pieces of information are obtained when going for one choice.

The Wolf Among Us is easily the best interactive experience that Telltales Games has offered so far. A story that has meaning and that will make players feel like their actions really had an impact on actions further down the lines.

The original version had a few technical hiccups that have been fixed in this version – thus making this the definitive version of The Wolf Among Us.

We would like to thank the team at Xbox who have kindly provided review code.

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