Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us is like a competent murder mystery drama TV show. It’s got enough in place to make it intriguing, but it couldn’t really be called edge-of-your-seat stuff. The mystery isn’t really the centerpiece anyway, it doesn’t matter whodunit – where it excels are the characters involved in this “world” like the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Bluebeard, the Tweedle bros, the Little Mermaid and other such familiar children’s stories characters. That’s cool. It’s like if you wanted to know what happened to Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk after that adventure was over – well, he became a low-life grifter. Everyone in this world is either sour or douchey.
The story is atmospherically dark, gritty, and violent, and sometimes a character would say “Fuck” or rip off someone else’s arm and I would go, “Whoa, this is atmospherically dark, gritty and violent”. For a cel-shaded cartoon-esque game that is. The artwork is tight though – dig those opening credits, man. The controls feel a bit janky at times, especially walking around in the world, but the clicking stuff is alright.
As this is an adventure game with multiple paths, you get choices. The choices are not bad, you get to say some cool stuff, but for the most part, this is a self-contained story so the outcome at the end of the five episodes is not a groundbreaking gamechanger, just some “I learnt some deep shit about the characters of this world and myself”, and a “nice job Telltale Games for bringing the Fables series to life.” The final “puzzle” to the mystery at the end of the final episode feels a bit confusing and throwaway though.
Look, The Walking Dead Season 1 is the best shit ever for a reason (and won Game of the Year – which I predicted). The story was crazy good, it didn’t use characters from the main canon series, so Telltale Games could fuck ‘em up if they wanted to. And then your choices in that game had deep implications moving forward into Season 2. The Wolf Among Us had to be a self-contained story because it is supposedly a prequel to the comics series.
But you should play this game because 1) it is better than a lot of the other shit out there 2) the Fables world is cool, and 3) Telltale Games is legit.