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The Wolf Among Us: Episode one review

I’ll huff and I’ll Puff and I’ll bring your arse in!

That’s right, there’s a new sheriff in town and it just so happens to be everyone’s favourite house blowing, grandma eating villain; the big bad wolf!

The town is Fabletown, a district in New York City where our well known and beloved fairy tale characters now live. Refugees in a way, they have been forced out of their happy ever after world and into our harsh reality to live among us. Some like Snow White and Beauty easily fit in, others such as Beast and Mr Toad need to use magic to morph into their human form. It’s up to sheriff Bigby Wolf, who has gained a clean slate in this brave new world from his past transgressions to keep peace and order in Fabletown.

Based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic series, The Wolf Among Us acts as a sort-of prequel to the comics. You don’t have to be a fan of the books to enjoy the game, as Episode One doesn’t really delve into the back story at all. Instead it thrusts you straight into the action, one minute you’re answering a disturbance call from Mr Toad, the next minute you’re going head to head with this “disturbance” that happens to be a very drunken Woodsman, looking for a fight! The story soon evolves into the classic lawman on the hunt for a very disturbed serial killer, with film noir style added to this point and click adventure.

Brought to you by Telltale games, who have over recent years revitalised the point and click genre with classics such as Monkey Island, Back to the Future and more recently and notably The Walking Dead, carry on their award winning magic with this title. 

Using the same graphic style as The Walking Dead (both based on comic series’), The Wolf Among Us is beautiful to look at, the detail that has gone into the characters seems to be slightly improved upon in this title and the action and choices have also been vastly improved. Like I mentioned earlier, The Wolf Among Us, throws you straight into a brutal fight, with a choice of weapons to be used and places around the room to throw your enemy, unlike The Walking Dead which was a bit of a slow burner to start off with in its first episode. The game also features a couple of big decision making choices that gives the player the option to decide where to go and who to chase. While The Walking Dead had big choices in conversational pieces, here you’re actually deciding which location you’d prefer to check out and which villain you want to catch; making the player feel more in control of the story and the chance to replay the episode in another way if you feel like it. As well as the graphics and the game play, the musical score is brilliant as well; it has a very John Carpenter feel about it, with what sounds like a classic electric score that fits in very well with the film noir style of this game.

My only slight disappointment with the game itself has been the same one I’ve had with most of the recent Telltale outings, and that’s the challenge. The action is great and it’s getting better with each title, but for me these point and click adventures seem to be lacking the puzzles that made the genre a hit back in their PC hay day. Instead I just seem to walk from location to location and choose the dialogue to make the story move forward and that’s about it! If I’m paying a few quid to play an episode of this game, then I really wouldn’t mind scratching my head over a certain puzzle for a while, just so the experience lasts a little longer.

Also like most of the recent Telltale games that buggy frame rate that seems to stutter in the middle of a scene is still there, doesn’t really ruin the experience of the game, but wouldn’t mind seeing it cleared up in future episodes.

Overall, episode one was a great way to open the season, for someone who has never read the comics, I suddenly became fascinated in this world and have gone on to purchase the novels; that’s how good this game hooks you in! From its haunted, chain-smoking anti-hero to one of the three little pigs crashing in your pad, you’ll quickly grow fond of the citizens of Fabletown and soon want to find out who really is badder than the big bad wolf?

Episode One is out now! Episode Two is out end of November!

Tom France.

Platform reviewed: Playstation 3
Also Available on: Xbox 360, OSX, Windows
Coming soon to: iOS & Playstation Vita

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