The Wolf Among Us: Another Story From Telltale

Playing computer games is not always easy. Sometimes you have to deal with boring and unpredicted moments where it seems right to simply press the ESC button and leave the game before it officially kills the interest. Well, I can say with a firm that Telltale Games have managed to find a secret recipe and created a formula that comes without the disturbing element of boredom. Do I have to mention the breathtaking Walking Dead saga that simply blew gamers’ minds all over the world? I still remember myself staying late playing episodes one after the other until I realized it was bright outside. By the way, if you are interested – you can check the reviews of the First and Fourth Episodes. But today I won’t be talking about the Walking Dead. Today I am honored to present you another masterpiece from Telltale Games that goes under the name The Wolf Among Us. Why am I so excited? Well, you are about to find out.

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The Wolf Among Us is another project that will kind of remind you the previously mentioned Walking Dead. The game mechanics is the same and so is the graphics. I am pretty sure that Telltale Games used the very same engine to create the new title and I can’t blame them for that – it looks great and familiar. Those who’ve completed the Walking Dead won’t find it disturbing to get used to the new title. Well, treat the Wolf Among Us as you will treat another great story from you author. You will definitely catch the style, even though the heroes are different. But this statement does not mean (in any possible universe) that the game is somehow connected with the zombie series. They will have their own Season 2 pretty soon. The Wolf Among Us is another great detective story that will surprise you, shock you and turn your vision of games upside down.

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The Wolf Among Us tells a story of a sheriff who has pretty strange and definitely not cop-like methods of solving the problems. Sometimes, those methods cause him trouble, sometimes – they work and work really great. Though, following a good tradition, you will be the one to find that out all by yourself. If you wonder about the name for this – you won’t be surprised to hear that people call you Wolf. Ye, just Wolf. Nothing more. Well, maybe, sometimes, creatures call you Sheriff, but that is too official for your personality. I bet you wonder why I used the word “creatures” and not something else. As a matter of fat, the reason is quite simple.

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As it appears – you are not a regular Sheriff and you do not keep your eyes on the world of people. Your job is to make sure that everything is good and by the rules in the world of Fables. If you do not know – the world of Fables is an alternative universe for the most popular fairytale heroes like Show White, Prince Lawrence, King and others. But the problem is that the world of Fables coexists with the real world of people, thought – the human have no idea that the fairy tale characters live among them, mostly because the unnatural created do their best to hide from their eyes. Also, magic spells pretty often do their job well.

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But what exactly Fables are doing in the world of living? Well, not much, actually. Once upon a time they’ve been expelled from their own world and now are trying to do their best to live the people’s lives and not to get caught, which is not that easy, by the way. Sure, if you look like a man or a woman – no worries, just keep your mouth shut. But what if you look like a bgt Frog? How would you explain someone all the clothes on your body and pretty dirty talk? Just as I thought. And here’s exactly THE moment where the Wolf (meaning – you) comes in. Your task is to keep all the fables from being spotted and, of course, regulate relations between them, because very often those might get pretty tough.

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If you think that in the real world everything looks good and fairy – you are more than mistaken. No matter the effort, the life out here is pretty dark and sad. In order to make their living, pretty much every Fable is now occupied in some kind of human work. Some work different jobs to provide their family like the Beast for his Beauty, King is now the mayor of Fabletown, Prince enjoys his life and happens to be a gigolo, and some princesses work as streetwalkers (I really did my best to find the most neutral word).  As you can see yourself – things are pretty sad in here.

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As I said before – you will be playing as a wolf. Even despite the common fact that all of you’ve been pretty tough with each other in the Fable World and, for instance, wolf has always been a bad character, in here your past does not matter. In the world of people you try to stick together, helping out each other because after all – the small group of Fables is the only thing left from the previous life and if you try to act like total strangers – you can count on getting into trouble. I bet you do not want that. At least – this is not something people do, even when they have their own misunderstandings. In order to make my point I am going to share a moment from the first episode of the Wolf Among Us that almost made me cry. It was full of irony, sarcasm and tricky but tough friendship. Just imagine the Wolf (meaning – you) talking with the Pig (from the Three Little Pigs) and drinking whisky. Sounds ridiculous, right? Not if you play the Wolf Among Us!

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I have to admit that it was kind of strange to see Wolf playing the justice role. At least – it looked like a joke. Until I figured out who I really was I haven’t paid any attention to my name. But when finally the puzzle was back together – it felt controversial but good. And I do need to admit that everything you are going to see in the game will be controversial (but only in the best possible meaning). A guy (or a character) who is supposed to have grannys for dinner is not allowed to walk in Sheriff’s shoes. First of all – because he law mark does not look good on his face and second of all… no, actually that’s all. But I do have to admit and take my words back because Mr. Wolf played it well. Too well, I would say. By the way: to hide his identity and to become more human-social, Mr. Wolf also calls himself as Bigby Wolf. Not much of a change but his half new and half old name has both – the mystery and the expression.

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Now – as for the hero himself. Game’s title “Wolf Among Us” not only gives you the tip on the character’s name, but also pretty much describes his position in the Fable society. No matter where you go and what you do – you do feel like a Wolf Among Us, ships. Only a few fables like you, only a few talk to you, and only a few are being honest with you. Others try to stay away. But no matter where you go and what company you are in, you still feel the loneliness. A lot like the Wolverine from the famous X-men saga. You’ve always been a loner and even with the whole Fable world colliding – things can’t be different. You every move shows everyone that you are a loner, a fable who does his best not to contact with other fable more than it’s necessary. Your sarcastic and ironical sayings always make people feel uncomfortable. And cigarettes… You like cigarettes. You like them so much that you light one after the other and find it casual. As a matter of fact, if you were supposed to breathe cigarette smoke only, you would have been the happiest person fable in the world. Well, as happy as a loner can be. And the way you look! It seems like Mr. Bigby Wolf hasn’t seen a razor in a while as well as he hasn’t been 100% alcohol free. Bigby Wolf is a typical noire detective, who wears a cloak and has a mysterious back stage voice, who’s reading his minds out loud when the lips are not moving. Every loner slash detective slash wolverine has one – it makes them look even more noire.

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As I’ve mentioned before (and, probably, will mentioned a couple of times more) the Wolf Among Us is based on the exact same principles the Walking Dead is and if you want me to be 100% honest with you – this game is 90% interactive story and only 10% the actual game. Is it a quest? I can hardly call it like this because even if it is – things are pretty easy to find. Is it an action game? Well, you missed again. Even despite the fabulous fight at the very beginning of the game, I can’t call the Wolf Among Us an action title. After all, pushing Q constantly and pressing WSAD depending on the future outcome does not make this an action game. But, and I am not afraid to say these words 100 times, the Wolf Among Us is an adventures detective story. The world you play in is as mysterious and realistic that you can’t but feel its authenticity coming out from speakers and watching at you from your laptop’s (in my case) or Full HD (in your cases) displays. From the very first seconds you do fall inside this world and stay in it to the very end of the story.

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Another great detail that makes the world of Fables look the way it meant to look is the comic-like expression. The Wolf Among Us was performed in the best traditions of the Fables comics books. Even the color palette looks exactly the same. So, if you have some spare time, you can actually cut this game into lots of screenshots and release a few Webisodes of Fables comics – none will be able to tell the difference, I promise.

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And when the world of Fables stops surprising you, another thing pops out and continues the good tradition of great and unexpected presents. The Characters. Boy, I haven’t seen that charismatic and interesting characters in a while. When you start paying attention to the words they say, to the things they do and to the way they act, you understand that every single move and every single word was made, written and recorded with love and depth. I can say with a firm that you haven’t been in the world of Fables as well as you haven’t visited Narnia (at least – not on my watch) but while playing the Wolf Among Us you can’t stop realizing that everything is just the way it has to be. People hate people and fables hate fables. After all – why things should be any different in the world of human who are not always human…

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As you progress through the game Wolf Among Us, you meet new fables and learn about their abilities, if any. All that information and even more you can find afterwards by going to the menu. A short case on every fable is something every good sheriff has to have in his closet, right? Probably, you will find out why the huntsman hates you and why Show White is now working as a secretary for the King. All that and even more hides in the “pages” of the Wolf Among Us. I bet you’re tempted to see what’s going on in their right now.

The only thing I do need to recommend you is to stop right now and do not read a single comics book that shares stories about the Fables’ World. The trick is that the Wolf Among Us is kind of a prequel to the original story and if you’re not spoiler tolerant – it is in your best interest to stay on the safe side and be a brave man by keeping the intrigue. Though, I can’t stop you from doing the opposite.

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So far there’ve been only one episode of the game but at least four more will be released in the closest future. Telltale Games promises to release one episode of the Wolf Among Us once a month, which means – by the end of Winter of 2014 we are supposed to have the whole Season 1 with the breathtaking final and a few more season to be released in the future.

The only downfall of this game is that, as always, episodes are too short and even if you really try, you will be able to complete the game no more than in 3 hours. Also, if you look at the price tag with the 15$ sign on it, I am pretty sure that you won’t be this satisfied. Is the game worth it or not – I can’t tell for sure because in adventures perspective – without any doubt, but when you look at the Wolf Among Us from another angle you do realize that paying 75$ for the whole set if you buy episodes separately is not the best option ever. But if to get the price matter away – the game is great and I’m definitely playing it again to get the other ending.

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My personal The Wolf Among Us Conclusions

The Goodies:

– Great computer game adaptation;

– Amazing and memorizable characters;

– Great sense of humor;

The Baddies:

– Too short!

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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