[PS3 Review] The Wolf Among Us Episode 1: Faith
The Wolf Among Us is a five episode series from the creators of the 2012 Game of the Year: The Walking Dead. Fairytale characters are being murdered in this hard-boiled, violent and mature thriller based on the award-winning Fables comic book series (DC Comics/Vertigo) by Bill Willingham. As Bigby Wolf – THE big bad wolf – you will discover that a brutal, bloody murder is just a taste of things to come in a game series where your every decision can have enormous consequences.
– From the team that brought you 2012 Game of the Year, The Walking
– Based on the Eisner Award-winning Fables comic book series
– Now, it’s not only WHAT you choose to do that will affect your story, but WHEN you choose to do it
– A mature and gritty take on characters from fairytales, legends and folklore who have escaped into our world
– A perfect place to begin your Fables journey, even if you’ve not read the comics; this game is set before the events seen in the first issue
After the excellent first season of The Walking Dead, and the equally good 400 Days extra episode which bridges the gap between Season 1 and the soon to be released first Episode for Season 2, Telltale Games decided to take a stab at Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series which provides a rich and gritty backdrop to create an interesting tale that is letting us know, with Episode 1 of the new series that anything and everything is possible.
Fans of the Fables comic book series will feel right at home with this game, and for those of us that read the comics, this release is a must have. Those that have never read the comic book should not worry about their enjoyment since, as was the case with The Walking Dead, this is a stand alone story that does not require that you know what has been going on in the comic book from issue one until now.
The story goes like this: The Fables you know and love have made their way into our world to escape The Adversary, a villain who has conquered their homeworld, and have somehow decided that New York would be a GREAT place to blend in without having people ask too many questions. Most of the Fables end up using a special spell called “Glamour” to appear as regular humans to the eyes of Mundies (their name for humans, that is, the mundane) while trying to lead regular lives in this crazy world of ours. They’ve created their own part of heaven in a place aptly called Fabletown under the protection of The Big Bad Wolf himself (going by the name of Bigby Wolf) who is now fully reformed and acts as sheriff. But not all Fables have made the trip into Fabletown since there are some that would never be able to blend-in (such as, say, Giants), and they now live in “The Farm”, a rural setting in upstate New York where they are safe from the outside world.
Episode 1 of Wolf Among Us starts with a call from Mr. Toad, manager of one of the apartment buildings that hosts several Fables, who is worried about one of his tenants who is really trashing the place. Bigby arrives at the scene to find the Woodsman and, as you can imagine, things get ugly and FAST – the Woodsman was drunk and started hitting a woman (who seems to be a prostitute) for no reason other than he’s an asshole, and Bigby has to step in before things get out of hand. See that image below? That’s Bigby taking care of things in a polite way.
Gameplay is very similar to The Walking Dead with several dialog options during conversations, some action sequences thrown in here and there, and the fact that characters will remember your actions and answers, and they will potentially have an impact on what happens in the rest of the episodes for this series. One new element is that you also have to take into consideration WHEN you decide to carry out an action. Take for example a branching option in Episode 1: if you decide to take one path first before the other, this could seriously affect your chances of watching an extra story sequence, or it could affect one or more of the Fables you have sworn to protect.
The Wolf Among Us has been developed with the Telltale Games Engine, and the engine is starting to show its age in 2013. The usual hiccups are still there (some animation frames skipped here, an audio problem there) but are definitely not a deal-breaker in the end since the game makes you forget any of its problems.
As everything moves towards the climax of Episode 1, you will unlock new entries in the “Book of Fables” which allows you to find out more about the before, during, and after of the story of each Fable that you meet in this first episode. This also ties into a particular trophy for Episode 1, but that’s all I can say without spoiling a big part of the story. Rest assured that 90% of the trophies in Episode 1 are story related (as was the case with The Walking Dead) so that you can just relax and enjoy the story and gameplay.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 1: Faith is a short and sweet introduction to the series which will keep you playing from start to finish without realizing a couple of hours have gone by in a flash. The tight gameplay, new game mechanics introduced, and the rich backdrop separate this from Telltale Games previous series, and the wait for Episode 2 is going to feel longer and longer with every passing day.
[review pros=”Great Setting
Gameplay mechanics are easy to understand ” cons=”The Telltale Games Engine is showing its age