A compelling crime drama
Fables is a story about characters from fairy tales who are forced out of their Homelands and into the "mundane" world of New York City. The Fable characters are given life by the popularity they have with people in the real world so characters like Snow White have survived for centuries since fleeing from the Homelands.
The Wolf Among Us is the next series from Telltale. Over five episodes, The Wolf Among Us will explore the world of Fables, a DC Comics' Vertigo series by Bill Willingham.
An intense point-and-click adventure
Featuring an overall linear quest, The Wolf Among Us includes branching dialogue trees. The experience in Episode 1: Faith will differ depending on the decisions you make, the responses you give, and how you handle specific tasks.
This creates a compelling reason to replay the game to see how different decisions will change the gameplay. The formula that Telltale uses is made stronger because of its understanding of the property it is using. Fables has over 100 issues and a massive history. The Wolf Among Us happens before the series begins so players are introduced to recognizable characters before their original appearances in the comic books.
As The Wolf Among Us is part of a five-episode series, it doesn't take that long to complete a single episode. The decisions you made throughout the game are broken down at the end of the episode. The completed save file will be imported into the next episode so all decisions continue to affect your experience with the game.
More action than expected
It was surprising to go from The Walking Dead to The Wolf Among Us. The game moves at a faster pace and the experience you go through as Bigby Wolf feels like a crime drama. The use of the mouse and keyboard work well when exploring and during the more exciting scenes they're also very effective.
Since The Wolf Among Us is generally linear, you don't have much exploration outside the predefined boundaries but the tight writing keeps everything interesting. The small details in each scene show the focus on detail in the Fables universe.
Stylized Fables universe
Telltale has really defined the look of its games. While The Wolf Among Us doesn't look exactly like the comic, it does look like a comic book. The animations of characters like Colin Pig and Mr. Toad are amazing and fluid. Bigby's action scenes are also very satisfying.
The writing in the first episode surprised me. I had expected something more adult, but the dialogue in the first few minutes had tons more cursing than I anticipated. It's definitely a game meant for adults and even though the game includes fairy tale characters, it's not for kids.
An emotional ride
If the first episode of The Wolf Among Us is an indication of the rest of the series, it's going to be very intense. With more characters to introduce and a deeper mystery to explore, the remaining four episodes are likely going to be crazy.
The influence of past decisions carrying over to new episodes is going to tailor the experience to each player, but also supplies great replayability because the experience can change with a single decision.
Telltale Games took another property and created a compelling and enjoyable game experience. It may take elements from The Walking Dead, but The Wolf Among Us could prove to be even better.