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The Wolf Among Us Review

By James Gilmour, on December 9, 2013
Last modified 4 months, 1 week ago


The Wolf Among Us
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • A twisted and vibrant take on familiar fairytale characters.
  • Successfully transplants film noir sensibilities into a unique fantasy world.
  • An interesting investigation to kick off the series.
  • Solid voice acting, and handsome character designs.

CONS

  • Still suffers from those jerky Telltale transitions.
  • Seriously, guys - those transitions. Wtf.

 

VERDICT

The Wolf Among Us isn't an evolution of The Walking Dead formula, nor does it have the emotional heft of the Bafta Award-winning series. But that shouldn't stop from diving into this colourful and engaging exploration of the grim side of fairytales.


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So, you've created one of the most critically-acclaimed comic book adaptations in the history of videogames. Where do you go from there? Well, in Telltale's case, the answer is straight back into the comic store to find inspiration in another fantastical tale of desperation, death, and moral ambiguity.

The Wolf Among Us puts you in the gumshoes of Bigby Wolf, the cigarette smoking, ill-shaven sheriff of Fabletown. While he looks and speaks like a classic film noir protagonist - a gruff voiced, hard-smoking, hard-drinking hardass - Bigby's everyday appearance is merely a glamour; a disguise to hide his true identity. Underneath his human exterior, he is the Big Bad Wolf, the same Big Bad Wolf who tried to lure Little Red Riding Hood to her doom.

Based on the Fables comic book series, The Wolf Among Us draws you into a world where fairytale characters co-exist in an American-style city. As you investigate the murder at the heart of this first episode, you'll cross paths with familiar faces like Snow White, Ichabod Crane, and Mr Toad from Wind in the Willows. However, the characters have been forced through a decidedly sweary prism, with Mr Toad dropping cockney-flavoured F-bombs in a manner that would make Danny Dyer blush.

But, though the universe is very different to that of The Walking Dead, you can feel the legacy of Telltale's zombie opus at every turn. The conversation trees and quicktime combat sequences will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has spent time keeping Clementine safe from undead hordes.

Despite addressing similar themes of death, hopelessness, and betrayal, however, The Wolf Among Us is a more traditional story than The Walking Dead. Rather than stumbling from one scenario to the next in the hope of surviving another day, you are chasing up leads and investigating crime scenes. In many ways, the game feels like a more linear version of L.A. Noire, albeit with talking frogs instead of 40's mobsters.

Nonetheless, though the narrative thrust of The Wolf Among Us helps to separate it from its rotting predecessor, the game is very much a product of The Walking Dead's success. In many ways this is no bad thing, with the game's decent voice acting and well-paced drama proving once again that Telltale has got a real handle on the interactive storytelling medium.

It isn't an evolution of The Walking Dead formula, nor does it have the emotional heft of the Bafta Award-winning series. However, that shouldn't stop from diving into this colourful and engaging exploration of the grim side of fairytales.

Screenshots

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Comments

Avatar
DarkScience 4 months, 1 week ago

For some reason I must have been asleep for the past few years, as I have only just discovered the walking dead (shoot me I know) now I see this is out and it looks amazing, and they also have a Telltale/Borderlands story on the way too, and you can only imaging what thats gonna look like!!!

Avatar
istako 4 months, 1 week ago

For once, I dissagree with you, James. I think this is very much an evolution, not because it is radically different, but because it is tweaked. I can't deny that I haven't played the iOS version, but I've played it on PC and I think this is better than The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead was great, but it was very dramatic and hard to play, though interesting. I believe this game is better, but that might be just because I'm a sucker for noir mistery tales with a fantasy twist. Either way, I don't really know what are the minus points you have stated, since I haven't played the mobile version, but from what I've seen - I think this might turn out better than TWD.
Still, a great review as always.

I can give just one more reason to say this game has a big downside - the pricing. The pricing on the Telltale games is absurd, especially for a mobile game.