Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us is less of an emotional roller-coaster theme park that is Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and more of a carnival celebration of characters. Snow White, Bloody Mary, The Big Bad Wolf and more, all go down a path of secrets in a “who done it” case. Even if you are unfamiliar with the Fable comics, you’ll enjoy this stylish dark fairy tale that blurs the line between right and wrong.
The Wolf Among Us is a five-episode interactive point-and-click drama game that thrives off of its storytelling and character building abilities. Episode one starts off by creating the mystery that your character, Bigby Wolf has to solve. As the story progresses throughout the episodes, the enigma gets deeper and more complicated with a lot of different parties involved.
The biggest strength that TWAU boasts are its colorful cast of fictional characters. Most people know Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and the Big Bad Wolf, but if you aren’t familiar with the fable comics or with this game, it might be a shock to see these fairy-tale characters in such a grim place. Beauty and Beast have marital issues, Snow White and The Big Bad Wolf work together, and one of the three little pigs is basically homeless.
You’ll discover that this crime can and will affect everyone in the community, and it is your job to find the killer, and prevent further corruption within Fabletown. The folks you come across on your journey range from suspicious to downright crooked. You can’t rule anyone out, but you’ll find yourself with a list of suspects who you distrust the most.
The dynamic between Sheriff Bigby and the characters of Fabletown are very enjoyable to watch play out. The vitalizing connection between Snow White and Bigby is particularly fascinating. Snow is his boss, but it is often hinted that they obviously have some sort of deeper bond between them, but that story-line never goes anywhere. In fact, Snow White is the only character that doesn’t get represented that well in episode five, leaving her story-line feeling unfinished. She is the exception though, every other character, regardless of importance, gets a nice ribbon wrapped around their plot-line.
Audio & Visuals: 9/10
Since this is an interactive drama game, the standard press a button to interact with the world is also unsurprisingly implemented into the game, and it works well here. You get plenty of time to think about your decisions in-between prompts so it isn’t twitch/reaction based as other games can be. Sure, it won’t get your blood pumping like action games do, but action scenes flow well enough to give off a feeling of a cinematic spectacle.
The choices in The Wolf Among Us are direct and personal. How you approach your detective work is completely up to you, and you are free to change your style whenever you chose. You can be an ass towards Toad, nice to Beauty and the Beast, and you can even chose to get violent against Georgie. Bigby is a physical character, so when he hits, as a player you should figuratively feel the hits. It was so satisfying to see and feel how hard the Fabled Wolf can hit, and how much damage he can take in return. It can be rewarding to be a calm and observant detective, but sometimes you need to flex the strength of the Big Bad Wolf; it’s just too delightful.
Other choices come down to where you’d prefer to go first. Be wary of who you suspect the most and cater choices towards that, because choosing to go one place first means you might miss something that is happening at another place of interest. This opens up the option to go back and replay an episode or sequence to see what would have happened if you chose to go to “X” instead of “Y.” TWAU has several plot-lines that branches off as the story continues, and to fully grasp the entire picture, you’ll have to go back to replay certain sections to see the difference in outcomes.
Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
The Telltale curse is also unsurprisingly present in this game. Just like The Walking Dead games, Telltale’s Wolf Among Us is also plagued by long loading times. I played the title on Playstation 3, and every time I started a new episode or finished a scene, I had enough time to get up, walk to my refrigerator, make a sandwich and get back before the next part started. This is no exaggeration by the way. I literally got up to do something else once I realized that every loading screen would take at least four minutes of my time. Maybe this was just for my version of the game, but it was still a major issue that broke up the pacing of the game.
Despite its sluggish toad-speed loading issues, The Wolf Among Us is one of the best interactive drama games out there. Instead of toying with your emotions this time around, Telltale seemed to be set on telling a solid gray tale, with no right or wrong answer. When you reach the remarkable end of episode five, Fabletown will be different thanks to you, but whether the change is good or bad is yet to be seen.
Overall: 8.75 out of 10