Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Wolf Among Us

I've had The Wolf Among Us sitting in my Steam backlog for many months. Decided recently to finally install and go through it.
The game is one of Telltale's episodic adventure stories, similar to the Walking Dead series. I'd played that one a while back, and enjoyed it enough to put other similar games on my list to buy, including The Wolf Among Us. It was on sale a while back, so I'd picked it up in a Steam sale and it was waiting for me ever since.

The world of The Wolf Among Us is taken from the Fables comic series, though that didn't mean much to me since I've never read it. It's an urban fantasy setting, where characters from fairy tales have come to the mundane world and live in secret. These are known as Fables and they live in Fabletown, a portion of New York. Those who aren't human make use of glamour spells to hide their true forms, or else are kept in seclusion in a hidden area outside the city called the Farm. The story is set in 1986, so many of the modern conveniences like cell phones and Internet access are missing.

The player in The Wolf Among Us is Bigby Wolf, as in Big Bad Wolf. He's given up eating pigs and sheep and children, and is now the sheriff of Fabletown. That's not an official police position, of course, since they're in hiding. So his glamour makes him look more like film noir private eye than a police officer. Except when he's pushed into real fights, when the glamour tends to fail and the wolf comes through.

The story follows Bigby as he investigates a series of murders. Fables are dying, which is a rare thing - they usually live for hundreds of years, if not forever. As the sheriff, it's his job to find and stop the culprit. I won't say anything much about the story details, since there's not a whole lot to be said without spoiling at least some of the fun. But I will mention that I thought there were several heavy-handed hints early on in the story. The characters don't act on them until later, but as the player I noticed. It takes away from the suspense when some pretty obvious clues are being ignored.

Despite all the characters coming from fairy tales, The Wolf Among Us is an adult-themed series. It's got plenty of violence, lots of suggestive art and conversation, all sorts of shady underworld activities, and massive amounts of profanity. Definitely not a kids game. I honestly thought some of it was over the top - trying to get a "gritty" and dark feel to the story is one thing, but you get kind of numb to it after a while.

I played through The Wolf Among Us fairly quickly, in about 8 hours. It felt much like watching a short TV series, with a bit of interaction added in. I enjoyed it, though not as much as I did the Walking Dead series.

No comments:

Post a Comment