Telltale Games newest title, The Wolf Among Us, released Oct. 11th for PC and October 15th for Playstation Network. From the creators of The Walking Dead, this interactive story is the first truly original concept from Telltale. After receiving my copy last night, I must say that though I wasn’t a huge fan of The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is a marked improvement for a number of reasons–and a title that I strongly suggest all gamers purchase.
Because this title relies so heavily on its plot, I won’t include any hints or spoilers in this review. I will tell you that the main character, Bigby, is the game’s translation of the Big Bad Wolf. Many fairy tale characters that most people will remember make an appearance at one point or another, and there are plenty of introductions made throughout Episode One.
I wasn’t a fan of TWD for one main reason–in that particular story, you know most of what’s going on. Zombie apocalypse, people struggling to survive, etc. In my opinion, it’s an exhausted plot, though the game itself was entertaining enough. I’m ready for something new and unique, something that will leave me wanting to continue the game purely for the story. I feel more than satisfied with TWAU in that regard.
TWAU is a completely new idea that weaves very well with the interactive aspect of the title. The characters are very well translated from their respective fairy tales and have been updated and modernized to fit in to current day New York. With this plot, every twist and turn is unexpected, new, and fairly unpredictable. I enjoyed the story more than any other aspect of this game, and the it’s what’s going to keep me for all five episodes.
Much like TWD, this game has quicktime events that can take a little getting used to. Rather than just your typical action key, E, you use QWASD to dodge, attack and interact with objects. I found myself fumbling a few times in the first few action sequences, but it wasn’t at all difficult or annoying.
There are plenty of items in each chapter to interact with, and each item has a purpose or meaning attached to it–so there’s no pointless exploring. Though this may make the game feel very linear to some, interactive storytelling is done best in this fashion.
Bigby can walk around, he can power-walk (Shift is “run,” apparently), and you can choose how he interacts with objects by looking at them, touching them, or speaking (say, if there’s another person in the room).
I, personally, didn’t come across any glitches or bugs.
Obviously, TWAU is a game that is based off decisions you make throughout the storyline. There are several conversation options, usually four, for each prompt. Each decision you make affects the outcome, and there are several combinations. As such, the replayability of this game is staggering. You could play through it three or four times and each time will play out differently.
TWAU is a completely new idea that weaves very well with the interactive aspect of the title.
Further more, this encourages the player to actually play through more than once in order to see what the outcomes are for each decision they make. It’s a great way to keep the audience engaged while we all wait (impatiently) for Episode Two.
Through the same style as TWD, TWAU does a good job of animating and creating an environment that has a rich, vibrant feel. From inside grungy apartments to outdoors at night, the city feels a lot like urban pop art. I played through the entire game on a Dell Inspiron N5110 and had no issues. TWAU is a pretty small game and not known for any sort of notable graphic ability, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
The music was subtle, though it added a nice light atmosphere, even when the plot was heavy. Half the time I barely even noticed it was there.
The first episode is remarkably short. I had to take frequent breaks, and I completed it in maybe a little over three hours. I do wish it had been longer, either by detailing more elements of the plot/characters or by including more scenes. Many gamers on the community page seem to feel this way, as the title is currently sitting at $24.99, I see why many people feel a little ripped off. I dock a star for duration, given the price. However, I believe that the Steam purchase is the Season Pass, meaning that the episodes will unlock for free as they release between now and Summer 2014. Episodes will cost $4.99 individually.
I did give it an 18+ maturity level just because there is a lot of foul language and a fair amount of gore and blood. However, the length of the game makes it great for audiences who don’t have the best attention span.
Now that I’ve completed the first episode, I am dying to continue on. The story is gripping, the characters are unique and have great depth, the environments feel rich and interactive, and the gameplay is entertaining and fast paced.