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The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 Review

Developer: Telltale Games | Publisher: Telltale Games
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 10/15/13 | Genre: Adventure

In the follow-up to Telltale Games’ epic The Walking Dead Season 1, we are treated to a new tale based on Bill Willingham's Fables comic book series. This story is played out in an updated version of the engine that powered The Walking Dead and further immerses the player in a story, with plenty of action, that creates a unique Adventure Game to set the tone for the remaining four episodes in The Wolf Among Us.

In The Wolf Among Us, fairy tale characters live amongst real people, known as “mundies,” and you control the Big Bad Wolf--better known to fellow fairy tale characters as Sheriff Bigby. It is his job to keep the peace between characters. The problem is, he has a bad reputation and nobody likes him. The good thing is that Fairy Tale characters are very difficult to kill and there hasn’t been a death of any of the Fairy Tale characters until early on in the game. It is your job to investigate the murder and figure out who it is and to stop them.  

During the course of our reviews of these episodes, I will try to not spoil any major plot points. Though some may feel mentioning a death, that takes place within the first 25 minutes of the game, is a spoiler, this simply sets up the episodic adventure. 

The characters found within our world are not living out a happily ever after. They are impacted by the same problem our society has and the world is extremely dark, gruesome, and filled with as many adult themes as possible. The world of The Wolf Among Us is not for kids, minors, or anyone who isn’t an adult. In fact, you will encounter sexual themes, frequent use of “F Bombs” and other profanity, and violence that minors shouldn’t see. Even within the dark themes, there is still some humor. Sheriff Bigby smokes “Huff ‘n’ Puff Cigarettes and there is a store seen called the Glass Slipper Shoe Store. Other than that, this is a dark tale.

Playing on the PC, the game defaults to a very low resolution.  After changing your settings, assuming your system can handle them, the game looks gorgeous. The engine powering the world of The Wolf Among Us oozes with personality. Each and every environment is dark and gritty and all of the characters you encounter have a ton of personality.

Gameplay has the user controlling the mouse and cursor, on the PC platform.  As you move your mouse, icons will appear on screen showing you things of interest. There will be different locations within a circle you can click on to perform various actions. When an action sequence takes place, players have a few moments to get the mouse cursor over a particular red circle and click the mouse.  This is a big improvement over The Walking Dead Season 1 and I hope to see Telltale Games further refine this as they move forward with other episodic games.  I found myself completely engaged in the action with no frustration over using my mouse or keyboard in action sequences.

The dialogue also flowed much faster. I found that in The Wolf Among Us, you only get a fraction of the dialogue choices that you had in The Walking Dead.  While I could before go through and choose several options, they have refined the system to only let you go down a single dialogue choice. This is said to impact the story going forward as characters will remember your responses and how you react to them.

Overall, I went into The Wolf Among Us hoping to have a fun title that would tide me over until The Walking Dead Season 2 was ready. However, after Episode 1, I am left with a mystery that I am completely hooked on. I highly recommend this game for any adult looking for an interactive graphic novel or adventure game. It has action, mystery, and plenty of character development. Hurry up and give us the second Episode!

By Kaleb Rutherford - 10/18/13
ESRB Details: Contains Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobaccoand 
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