Even though the famous episodic game developer Telltale’s tale ended abruptly, it has left us video game lovers with a plethora of gems. One of which is the underrated The Wolf Among Us (TWAU) from 2014. The game, which contains five roughly one-hour long episodes, is a grim, neo-noir story of once-famous fairy tale characters becoming city-dwellers and getting corrupted to the core. It serves as a prequel to Bill Willingham’s Fable comic book series. The protagonist Bigby Wolf, also known as Big Bad Wolf, is the rugged town sheriff with a grumpy face and a bad attitude. Together with his loyal and diligent partner Snow White, they must solve one of the most enigmatic crimes in video game history involving severed heads, prostitutes, body-switching trolls, an alcoholic pig and a flying monkey, and of course, a badass axe-wielding Bloody Mary. It’s excruciating to elaborate on the plot since it’s really something worth experience yourself.
The Wolf v. Woodsman.
There are many great aspects of TWAU, and it’s a shame that the most famous Telltale creation, The Walking Dead-series, tends to get more attention than this masterpiece. First and foremost, Telltale has outdone themselves with the gorgeous neo-noir graphical style of this game. The intro scene is straight out of an 80’s comic with striking violet and purple hues coupled with a gloomy, yet electrifying soundtrack. Secondly, character building in this game is done masterfully. Every character is only a faint reminder of their former, fairytale selves. The Big Bad Wolf has its own personality and demeanor suiting the melancholic and menacing atmosphere of the game. This is done so well that you can almost believe that they are actual human beings.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the best sheriff of them all?
TWAU’s episodic nature provides a clear structure to the gameplay. Every episode packs in a lot in terms of plot-advancing, but it has been paced very well gripping the player’s attention till the end. The game’s key selling point is its dialogue-trees, but there are hardly any real decisions to be made here. The story barely changes even though various dialogue options are given, and the game frequently reminds the player of the gravity of their actions. It seems to me it’s only an illusion of choice; all you’re actually paying for is the story. Also, the gameplay itself is really nothing special than moving the main character, choosing dialogue options and completing quick time events.
All in all, if you love a great mystery, The Wolf Among Us delivers perfectly. If anything, I highly recommend playing it just for the mind-blowing plot and the head-scratching twist at the end.
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Platforms: Android, iOS, MacOS, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release date: 14.10.2013 (First episode), 8.6.2014 (Last episode)
Genres: Graphic adventure
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wolf_Among_Us, pegi.info
The pictures are from the game’s official website. https://www.telltale.com/the-wolf-among-us/.