‘The Wolf Among Us’ surpasses expectations


Austin Bruce, Reporter

The first of five episodes in Telltale Games’ new storytelling game “The Wolf Among Us”, a prequel to the Fables comic book series by Bill Willingham, was released October 11, 2013. Telltale Games was the studio that brought last year’s “Game of the Year” award winner, “The Walking Dead”, to the Spike Video Game Award. I had the chance to play “The Walking Dead” and was in awe of how good it was. I could only hope that “The Wolf Among Us” would live up to “The Walking Dead’s” standard.

“The Wolf Among Us” takes place in a part of Manhattan referred to as Fabletown. Fairy tale creatures and characters have escaped their world and now live in Fabletown, hidden from the mundane world. In “The Wolf Among Us” the player character is the Big Bad Wolf, now in human form and going by Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown. As a player, you are in charge of keeping Fabletown a secret and making sure that the Fables keep in line.

I received an email when “The Wolf Among Us” came out and immediately bought the first episode of the title. As soon as I got to the start screen I knew that it was love at first sight. Bigby Wolf, a roughneck sheriff, walking down a street covered in purple haze where all the people around him are merely shadows with a slow hypnotic beat playing all the while. I won’t spoil the game, but I will go over the highs and lows of the first episode.

Visuals: The art style was absolutely marvelous. The game was designed like a three dimensional comic book. The colors of the world are very vibrant without ruining the dark tone of the story. All the character designs look very comic book-esque and the environments are quite beautiful. The characters’ emotions were also displayed very well graphically, which added a lot to the feeling the game gives.

Audio: The soundtrack thus far is stunning. It fits the setting so well and sets the mood for certain emotional parts of the story: the main theme is particularly evocative. The music in itself is worth looking up even if you don’t enjoy video games. The voice acting is also impressive, aside from a couple bugs with the voices playing before the game had gotten back from the loading screen.

Gameplay: The gameplay is just as entertaining, if not more, than “The Walking Dead” was. The choices that the game has you make are very difficult, and this makes you question the morality of your character at times. The quicktime reaction scenes when a fight or chase is happening are very exciting and keep you on the edge of your seat without being too easy. The gameplay feels very fluid and fun.

Story: Here comes the most important part about the review; Telltale Games’ true focus is to tell a compelling story that you as a player shape based on your decisions. The story of the game most definitely lived up to the standards Telltale set with “The Walking Dead”. I was deeply enthralled in the mystery surrounding an event that happened in Fabletown. I felt an emotional connection with all the characters whether it was hatred or compassion. The ending left me dying for the next episode.

Overall the premier of “The Wolf Among Us” was more well received than the premier of “The Walking Dead”. “The Wolf Among Us’” first episode received an average Metacitic score of 84.6 while “The Walking Dead’s” first episode received an average of 81.6. Though the difference doesn’t seem statistically big, I, as a gamer, thought that “The Wolf Among Us” was much more successful. “The Wolf Among Us” is an amazing game so far and I cannot wait to see what Telltale Games has in store for us down the road.