*Slight Spoilers in the review*
We’re not alone in this world. We may think that our neighbor is just the nice young lady next door and that the guy across the street is just a friendly person, but do we really know who they are? We strike up friendships with people around us and even though we have communication with them, people have plenty of secrets. What if these secrets are so life altering? The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1- Faith makes the player wonder about this during its two-hour run-time. There are Fables living among us. These are the Fables that we all know. There’s Beauty, Beast, Colin (one of the three pigs), Snow, Ichabod Crane, the Magic Mirror, the Woodsman, Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and of course Faith, the girl who the episode is named after.
All of these people live in Fabletown, a community where the Fables are allowed to exist with one another. In Fabletown, Fables are under the spell called Glamour. This spell allows Fables to be in human form so that they can exist with the humans of our world also known as Mundys. Besides this, they all live in New York City. Having lived in the Bronx, (where The Wolf Among Us usually takes place) I can say that there is a pretty realistic portrayal of New York in the game. Whenever a Fable can’t afford more Glamour or if they really break the rules, Bigby Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf) is ready to send them to The Farm. The Farm is a place that you don’t want to be and from what other characters described The Farm as, it seems like some sort of prison.
After saving this girl, we find out that she’s a prostitute. Her and Bigby have tons of chemistry together and through my dialogue choices, I found out that this mysterious girl was charming, cool and full of beauty. It almost didn’t matter to me that she was a prostitute. I just wanted her and Bigby to meet up again and continue their new friendship. Little did I know that the episode would be able solving her murder. I found out that this young prostitute who had such a promising life ahead of her was named “Faith.” It all started to make sense, but upon seeing her dead lifeless head on the floor, I became enraged. Who would do such a thing and murder faith? I needed to find out the answer to my question.
This is something brilliant that The Wolf Among Us does. It makes us care for a character so early in the game just to take them away from us. Despite being about Fables, there is something very real about the themes that are scattered throughout The Wolf Among Us. Betrayal, Murder, Love, Friendship, Fear, Respect and Protection are some themes that The Wolf Among Us deals with. It’s a game, but it feels all to real at times. Some moments hit hard because of all the current events happening in our world lately.
Telltale Games has become an expert at delivering well written and gripping stories. The Walking Dead was a magnificent game with an emotional storyline. It was actually my favorite game from last year. I was completely surprised to find myself even more attached to The Wolf Among Us after only being 15 minutes into the game. It includes everything a fan of Telltale Games expects. Twists, turns, memorable characters, shocking moments and edge of your seat suspense.
The amount of detail in The Wolf Among Us is spectacular. From the environments, to the characters (reactions, appearances, etc.) and the items they use, The Wolf Among Us is a well thought out game full of treats if you look out for them. Bigby Wolf smoking Huff n’ Puff cigarettes is a cool nod to the Three Little Pigs fable. Seeing a character’s lifestyle also says a lot about the character development in the game. Mr. Toad loves his son. He may be a foul-mouthed toad who occasionally gets in trouble, but if something starts threatening his family, Mr. Toad would protect them. Snow is dedicated to her job. While she may not always get along with her boss and she disagrees with some of his actions, Snow is determined to get the job done. She wants justice to be served.
Then we have Bigby Wolf. He’s the sheriff around town. Bigby has different ways of getting answers. If we are nice, Bigby will remain a human and if we truly want answers, we can let our inner beast out for a little while. We can play a game of good cop, bad cop. We can investigate crime scenes. The player can let Bigby search for clues such as bloodstains, bullet holes, signs of confrontation and more. While he could do everything by the book, we can make Bigby Wolf really be the Big Bad Wolf. Through dialogue/action choices, Bigby can rough up suspects to get answers. How we play is completely our choice, but that is part of the intrigue in The Wolf Among Us.
Just like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is essentially a choose your own adventure type of game. Every instance of dialogue will affect your playthrough. I had a moment where Beauty asked me to keep a secret. I obliged and when I was asked about her whereabouts from her boyfriend, I lied and said that I had not seen Beauty. That will completely change the story dynamic later on and the game made me aware of that. The Wolf Among Us has plenty of choices that must be made on the spot. The problem is that I actually regretted some of my choices and now I must wait to see the consequences of my actions.
The action in The Wolf Among Us is revamped too. While a majority of The Walking Dead’s combat revolved around moving to the “hit area” in order to press the trigger, The Wolf Among Us adds some variety. In addition to attacking, there are moments that require us to dodge. Every evasion is tense because it happens way too quickly. The great thing about this is the fact that it makes the player always be on guard. The combat is also intense and extremely brutal at times. The combat was very immersive and I hope that Telltale will expand the combat in later episodes.
While The Wolf Among Us is one of the better games I’ve played this year, I have one HUGE problem with it. Just like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is plagued with frame-rate issues. I thought that Telltale Games would have learned from their experience with The Walking Dead, but that’s not the case. While the frame-rate didn’t ruin my experience with the game, it was a problem that always took me out of the game. When the action heated up, there was slowdown and that’s disappointing. Intense moments should be fluid, but that’s not always what will happen. Besides this negative, The Wolf Among Us is an amazing experience throughout the two-hour run time.
The Wolf Among Us had a lot of pressure leading up to its release. How could Telltale Games top the best game they ever made? Many people thought that The Walking Dead would be their highest point and that everything else would not match the excellence of The Walking Dead, but those people are wrong. During my time with The Wolf Among Us, I witnessed character growth, jaw-dropping moments, beautiful scenery, an excellent cast, fun combat and a cliff-hanger ending that has me begging for episode 2 to be released. I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, but within 2 hours, Telltale Games converted me into a Fables fan. I’ll leave you with this statement… Telltale Games has already made a game that’s better than The Walking Dead and it only took me 1 episode to be sucked in. The hard part is waiting because I NEED to know what Bigby and the rest of the Fables are up to. The wait will be the biggest enemy of all.
[alert size="alert-block" variation="alert-success"]Score: 9.0/10[/alert]