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The Wolf Among Us (PC) Review

 
The Wolf Among Us Header
The Wolf Among Us Header
The Wolf Among Us Header

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
8.5
8.5/ 10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We liked?


  • Incredibly well realised game world
  • Series based choices are used again and seem better integrated
  • Surprising and genuinely intriguing story
  • Wonderful cast of charcters

Not so much?


  • Longevity is an issue, even factoring replays
  • Handful of graphical glitches jar the experience
  • Game play takes a back seat to story telling


Final Fiendish Findings?

It’s far too early to tell, but if The Wolf Among Us continues at this level of quality then it might just give The Walking Dead a lurch for its money.

0
Posted October 18, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 has something of an impossible task.  It has to outdo one of the most compelling, innovative and well received titles of last year – The Walking Dead.  Telltale had a more than mammoth task ahead of them over the past two years.

The Wolf Among Us is based on the Fables series of DC comics from Bill Willingham.  Here, as in the comics, we are presented with an alternate New York.  A New York where fabled character from Snow White to The Woodsman from Red Riding Hood all live out their lives along side regular folk – known by the fables as Mundies (or the Mundane).

Trying desperately to keep them all inline and hold his temper is gruff sheriff Bigby Wolf aka Big Bad Wolf.   You take control of Bigby as you stumble across a grizzly murder that leads both Bigby and Snow head long in to a murder mystery.

Incorporating many of the elements from Telltale’s superb The Walking Dead series The Wolf Among Us once again has you directly control the main protagonist of the game  You can look, pickup, interact etc with object by using the mouse cursor.  During key sequences like fights or tense situations you’ll be called on to mash Q or quickly press a direction to avoid something.  You’ll also be needed to rapidly place the mouse cursor in a large red citcle at times to execute moves like Bigby punching someone for example.  Similar to the control scheme in The Walking Dead just refined a little more.

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The look of the game is fantastic.  A sort of comic book meets noir meets 80’s neon.  The same hand-drawn comic strip look from the previous game has been used again to great effect in The Wolf Among Us.  Character animation is well conceived and executed.  Environments are wonderfully understated for the most part.  Seeing the “real world” manifestation of these fabled characters as seen by the artists at Telltale and the comic book is very refreshing indeed.

A wonderful score accompanies the game with well managed and placed spot effects and environmental work too.  The voice work is of a supremely high standard.  Bigby is just he right kind of gruff yet with a mellow side that lends itself to the times you decide not to be an asshole to people.  The other characters are all wonderfully portrayed as well with Snow White putting in a wonderful performance to support Bigby.

There are a few niggles to be addressed though.  Some weird hitching or miss timed animations can lead to scenes stuttering or skipping whole swathes of animation at times.  This can not only make things look a little messy but jar you out of the wonderful world The Wolf Among Us places you in.   The Walking dead received critiscism for letting gameplay take a back seat to the story – The Wolf Among Us is guilty of the same thing – it just depends on how much that bothers you really.

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Longevity might also be an issue for some.  The game proved no real challenge at all and a first play through, not rushing in any way, took me around 2 hours at most according to my Steam play clock.  Going back and trying scenes a different way or getting the final achievement stretched things out a bit more though but this first episode is short even by previous Telltale standards.  On the flip-side it is super easy to rewind and start a new save from any chapter during this episode.

As in The Walking Dead all decision are tracked in The Wolf Among Us with the interesting stats breakdown shown at the end.  Decide to be a nice guy to someone and they remember it.  Decide to be a jerk or perform a set of tasks in a specific order then the game adapts your story to take account of that.  These choices, apart from a couple of very blatant ones, are a lot more subtle and cleanly woven in to the narrative this time out.  Making the decisions felt seamless and apart from a couple didn’t leave you pondering.  Not that you can ponder for long with most of these choices accompanied by a rapid countdown timer.

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Final Thoughts

A Wolf Among Us takes the interesting concept of fabled fairy tale characters and weaves them in to a wonderful real world setting.  Telltale have done a superb job of bringing this environment to life.

The biggest compliment I can pay it is that I had a great time from the moment I booted it up to the moment I shut it down.  It’s a title I’d rapidly recommend to everyone.

The game had some genuinely funny moments, some real excitement and kept my interest throughout.   The odd graphical quirk and initial longevity is a concern at around 2 hours.  That said these episodes build in to one larger package over time so I’m sure this will even out over the 5 episodes.  Heck 10+ hours of content at this quality level is a bargain at the season pass price!

It’s far too early to tell, but if The Wolf Among Us continues at this level of quality then it might just give The Walking Dead a lurch for its money.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.