Why you should play The Wolf Among Us, like right now
Last week, Telltale Games released the final episode of The Wolf Among Us. For those of you already invested in the episodic adventure, this marked the closure of the first season. And what a season it was. If you’ve already played The Wolf Among Us then you already know what I’m about to say as I make my case for newcomers to play the game. For those of you meandering on the fence, here are some reasons you might enjoy The Wolf Among Us.
It plays like The Walking Dead, but waaay different
Telltale Games’ titles tend to be point-and-click adventures. To that end, The Wolf Among Us is similar. If you enjoyed the gameplay of The Walking Dead, then odds are you feel right at home with The Wolf Among Us. The only difference is that Telltale has had some time to refine the system. Not only does it feel more polished, but the mechanics -- especially during the action sequences -- are much more involved. The decisions you make aren’t just during dialogue sequences, but now also during combat. Basically, imagine The Walking Dead’s gameplay on steroids and that’s what you’ve got with The Wolf Among Us.
A gritty, noir detective story with tons of surprises
Understandably, not everyone will be a fan of Telltale’s point-and-click approach to gameplay. But it allows for some of the best storytelling in video games. With the power of Bill Willingham’s Fables universe at their disposal, Telltale has carefully crafted an original story set decades before the events of the first issue. And it’s a damn good story.
If you’re a fan of gritty, noir detective stories, then you’re going to love The Wolf Among Us. In it, you play as Bigby Wolf, perhaps better known as the Big Bad Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown responsible for hiding the community of fables from the wider world and enforcing its laws. Things in Fabletown get real interesting though when the murder of a Fable is discovered. I don’t want to spoil anything, but The Wolf Among Us is filled with all sorts of twists and surprises making it one of the best murder mystery games I’ve played in a long time.
Unique twists on familiar characters
Everybody knows the story of Snow White, or Beauty and the Beast, or the Big Bad Wolf. I grew up with those fairy tales. The Wolf Among Us takes those familiar characters and puts a unique twist on them. What if Snow White’s Prince Charming wasn’t really such a nice guy? What if one of the three little pigs was a chain-smoker living with The Big Bad Wolf? What if the Little Mermaid didn’t wind up with her prince? The reimagining of these iconic characters now living in a rundown community in New York City makes experiencing Fabletown exciting and fun. Seeing this dark twist on a character with a normally happy ending unfold is part of what makes The Wolf Among Us such a fun play. It also allows for some interesting character development, especially as Bigby.
Your decisions matter
Like other Telltale Games, the choices you make in The Wolf Among Us actually matter -- but not in the way you probably think. The story won’t really change all that much with your decisions. Telltale has a specific story they want to tell. Sure characters will remember things and react differently to your decisions by the story will largely stay the same. So how do your decisions matter? Well, they let you shape Bigby.
As I played through The Wolf Among Us I found myself making decisions not based on what I thought would be the best outcome, but how I wanted “my” Bigby Wolf to be. I wanted him to show compassion, but still have a hardened shell. So I tailored my responses to what I best thought that would entail. I found that the decisions Telltale presented me with allowed me to bond more with the character. I wasn’t necessarily role-playing, but I was creating my own version of Bigby. Because of this, he became a more interesting character to me, especially towards the latter half of the season.
No more wait!
As I already mentioned, the season finale was released last week. So really, there’s no better time to start playing The Wolf Among Us. One of my biggest complaints with Telltale’s episodic series is the amount of time in between episodic releases. It can stretch weeks, sometimes months, in between a new episode. Now that every episode of the season has been released, it means no more wait. You can play through the entire first season from beginning to end without the torture of having to wait.