The Wolf Among Us Review (PS4 Version)
*Disclaimer* A review copy was provided to the reviewer by Telltale Games. This does not reflect the reviewer’s judgment.
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PS4, mobile
“The Walking Dead: The Game” was a break out game for Telltale Games in 2012, getting recognition in the form of numerous “Game of The Year” awards. I wasn’t really a fan, it’s not so much that it is a bad game it was more the fact that I didn’t enjoy the source material. After the success of “The Walking Dead: season one”, Telltale began development on a new game. This game ended up being The Wolf Among Us. This title is based off of Bill Willingham’s “Fables” comic book series. After hearing about this game I got rather intrigued, I am a huge fan of fairy tales being modernized and I liked the point and click nature of “The Walking Dead.” It sounded like a match made in heaven.
Games being released in the form of episodes are getting to be a very popular thing. Games that follow this model include the likes of: “The Walking Dead season one and season two”, Half Life 2, “Back to the Future: The Game”. It has been announced that the new “Resident Evil: Revelations 2” would also be released in episodes. With that being said, I am not a fan of this release strategy. When I buy a game I want the whole experience all at once and not have to wait while the rest of the game is being released. This is especially true when it comes to such story driven games like The Wolf Among Us. When there is a huge gap between episodes it is more likely that you will forget details of the story. Luckily for me, the review copy I received was for the complete edition on the PlayStation 4.
The Wolf Among Us serves as a prequel to the “Fables” comics, so you don’t have to worry about being out of the loop when playing this game. You play as Bigby Wolf, but you probably know him better as the Big Bad Wolf. He is the sheriff of Fabletown, a community within Manhattan that is comprised of the Fables that are able to disguise themselves as humans. In the beginning of the game Bigby is called to a tenement due in part of a noise complaint. Upon his arrival he discovers the Woodsman abusing a “woman of the night” and intervenes. It is later revealed that this woman is murdered and it is up to Bigby to track down her killer and bring him or her to justice. This is a story driven game so it is very important that the story in The Wolf Among Us is decently paced and above all else, it has to be engaging.
You will hear no complaints from me about the overall plot of this game. I enjoy the story very much; there is only one gripe I have about the way the story unfolds. It says in the very beginning of the game that your actions and decisions affect the story. Yes this is true but in a very shallow way, most of the time if someone doesn’t tell you something to advance the plot someone else will. I had two different playthroughs, one was the paragon and the other was the renegade kind of like “Mass Effect. The story didn’t really change depending on which path you chose. I found this to be a disappointment in an overall great story.
I stated earlier that I wasn’t really a fan of “The Walking Dead: The Game” due to the source material, it was in no way because of the gameplay. I am a fan of this new school point and click adventure method of playing. I am happy that Telltale games kept the same formula in The Wolf among Us. It makes sense that the game would be played like this because you are playing as a sheriff trying to bring a criminal to justice, so naturally you would be turning over every stone to get clues to lead you to the murderer, as well as trying to figure out just how they did it. The point and click aspect of this game is only a third of the gameplay though. The character interactions are the second part of the game. You are given 4 different choices to pick from when talking to the various fables in Fabletown. You have your paragon, neutral, renegade, and they make sure to point out that silence is always a valid option too. This part is fun especially if you are trying to be a renegade, because if you are a jerk to people they are a jerk to you as well. I made it a point to have every fable hate me when I was playing the bad cop playthrough, this is when I found out that the choices and actions you decide to make don’t really affect the story. If one fable is mad at you then they won’t help you out very much, but that just means that the information that you need will be provided from another source. The third and final part of the gameplay you will experience are the action sequences.
It’s hard being The Big Bad Wolf especially when you are sheriff, you will find that characters are not really willing to help you out very much. No, chances are that they are more likely to attack you; this is where the action sequences take place. These scenes are mostly just quick time events, having you dodge oncoming attacks as well as doing your share of damage to others. During one such fight I ripped a guys arm off and then taunted him with it. The gameplay really compliments the story giving you the “need” to continue playing with an intriguing story and fun gameplay.
The Wolf Among Us has a lot going for it in the presentation department. The music in game was fantastic; it had tracks that gave you a sense that all wasn’t well as well as tracks that were fitting for the time period this game was set in. It takes place in 1986 and very fittingly it’s theme is a song that relies heavily in the use of the synthesizer. The voice acting in this game is incredible, you can feel the pain, confusion, and anger in every characters voice. You easily forget that the majority of the characters in the game are animals. Colin is easily my favorite character in the game, he gives Bigby such a hard time, I only wish that he were in the game more. I really enjoy the art style that this game has; everything in Fabletown looks extremely dirty and grimy giving it a feel of a community that no one really cares about. All the character models are amazing as well; Bigby has two different character models his human form and his true form. The wolf form looks fierce and intimating, where as his human form reminds me of a man who is down on their luck. The weakest aspect of the game is the problems it has with its frame rate staying consistent. I personally purchased the PS3 version a while back and I remember it having really bad frame rate hiccups. I am happy to say that the PS4 version has fixed that but not entirely. I experienced several hiccups but nothing too major.
The Wolf Among Us is like playing an adult cartoon, with plenty of foul language and suggestive things including nudity, but this is exactly what I wanted in a game and I didn’t even realize it before I played it. I should explain that this game is a mature title and it handles nudity in an adult way, it isn’t just there to draw teenagers in for a quick peek, it is actually central to the plot. This game is perfect for anyone who enjoys the art, or for someone who doesn’t believe video games are art I promise after they play this game their minds will be changed. These days, it seems that every video game gets a sequel whether they deserve it or not. It has been a long time that I have actively said that a game needs a sequel, I believe the last one was “The Legend of Dragoon” and that ship will never sail. The Wolf Among Us needs a sequel, I would preorder it tomorrow if they announced it today.
- A very imaginative story
- Believable Characters
- Great music
- Gameplay is great fun
- A decent length for the price
- Some frame rate hiccups
- The choices you make don’t really effect the outcome that much
The Wolf Among Us is one the sleeper hits of last year, sadly I don’t think it was as popular as “The Walking Dead”. I enjoyed playing this game from start to finish multiple times. I have actually played this game once on PS3 and twice on PS4. If Telltale were to fix the frame rate issues and make it to where the choice you make have a bearing on the progression of the plot this would be a perfect game. What I would like to see in the future of this series is the ability to get the “bad ending” where you incriminate the wrong person. Overall this is an above average game, that I could recommend to anyone who liked “The Walking Dead: The Game”, “Heavy Rain”, or “Beyond: Two Souls”.
I give The Wolf Among Us 4 out of 5 crowns:
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