The Wolf Among Us is the latest game series coming from the well known Telltale Games. The success they achieved with their critically acclaimed The Walking Dead game series played a huge part in making the company what it is today, and was adored by many. The Wolf Among Us is their latest project, and the first episode has just been released. Read on for our review of this new series…

Telltale Games have long been a favourite developer of mine. Even before they came to massive success with The Walking Dead, I thoroughly enjoyed their previous efforts such as Sam and Max and Back to the Future. Naturally, I was very excited when the developer offered me review code of the new game series. I downloaded the title and I was instantly reassured that this would be as good as the previous releases. Once I was greeted with Telltale’s unique charm and graphics, I knew this would be the same.

The Wolf Among Us is based on the series of ‘Fables’ comics by Bill Willingham and is brought to life by the talented team at Telltale Games. As usual, the game plays out with the story and character behaviours constantly being affected by your dialogue and action choices in game. This is the usual genius system employed by Telltale Games to add a huge amount of depth to their games, which is the main reason why a lot of gamers, such as myself, get attached to the story. There is a feeling of control over your experience.

Bigby Wolf is the sheriff of Fabletown, and that character you will play as. Fabletown is a strange area of NYC filled with fairy tale characters who are disguised as humans. You may have guessed that Bigby was the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ from him name, and he is accompanied by characters such as Snow White, the Woodsman, Beauty and the Beast, Little Red Riding Hood and many others. Each character has been given a unique, developed personality and it is easy to become attached to them, fitting into the Telltale Games formula.

As you play through the first episode, you will be given many options as you converse with other characters, ranging from being nice, to physically hurting some of them. The town has experienced a murder, which is unusual in their community. Bigby along with Snow White (assistant to the mayor) are at work to track down the culprit. However, Bigby begins to notice that the murder seems to point messages towards him specifically, and he feels that the murderer is trying to tell him something…

The Wolf Among Us is a cracking start to another 5 episode series by Telltale, and, the story has drawn me in so much that I don’t want to spoil any more of it for you. It is the crown jewel of Telltale’s work, and you need to experience it first hand to pull full enjoyment from the game, which will have you hooked once you start playing! The writing is outstanding, and the episode is well paced out across its sequence of events. Thankfully, Telltale managed to take what they had with The Walking Dead and transition it into a model that worked with a far less tense theme and plot, and as a result, The Wolf Among Us is as gripping as The Walking Dead.

You will become attached to your characters, as each of their personalities begin to alter (subtle at the start, but becoming more noticeable further on) due to your words and actions as Bigby. It is a recipe for success which works on all levels. The Wolf Among Us is has less tense action than The Walking Dead, and allows you to enjoy your surroundings and the beautiful art style more than the previous game did. Telltale stepped into a difficult area when they began writing a ‘detective on a case’ style game, which has been done numerous times in a variety of entertainment mediums, but thankfully, they have given it as much charm and charisma as TWD, and that is no easy feat.

In terms of relationships in the game, well, we don’t quite have as much scope for a Lee/Clementine situation, however, I didn’t feel this missing element hindered the game in the slightest. The Wolf Among Us brings mystery and many funny moments. It may not have the same dramatic, emotional and tense atmosphere that The Walking Dead has, but it has charm, humour and character, which comes together in one nice package to make the game on par with The Walking Dead.

Much of the art style in the game is taken from The Walking Dead, with the cel-shaded graphics (which I am particularly partial to) making a comeback. The team have spruced up the graphics end of things substantially, however, as the environments are far more vivid and the characters are designed with better scope for minute facial expressions. Sound effects and music in the game match in with the charm and theme of the title, and are a perfect fit.

Overall, I felt The Wolf Among Us shows that Telltale do not need the background of a zombie apocalypse with tense struggles for survival to make a fantastic game. The Wolf Among Us branches out from the style adopted by The Walking Dead and makes clear that Telltale can create the identical immersion and depth no matter the plot or genre. The Wolf Among Us: Episode One, titled ‘Faith’, is a fantastic start to what I hope will be a fantastic series. It left me hungry for more!