Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/the-wolf-among-us-episode-1-review-5ca868c41eef
Last year Telltale Games proved to everyone that their strategy of making episodic titles based on existing franchises could work with The Walking Dead. It was certainly one of my favorite games of the year.
The Wolf Among Us is based on a slightly less well-known comic series called Fables. The premise is that the characters from the fairy tales that we grew up with left their homeland during a mass exodus and are now living among us. Specifically they live in a neighborhood of New York City called Fabletown, and the fables who can't pass as human have to use expensive spells called glamours to blend in. Because of this a lot of them have to live at The Farm, which is a community of fables located upstate away from the prying eyes of us mundies.
The player character is Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf) who now works as Fabletown's sheriff. They make it clear that most of the fables either fear him or simply don't trust him, so I took the angle that he would want to prove that he had changed his ways. Unfortunately circumstances threw me into a few fights anyway.
The fights used quicktime events similar to The Walking Dead, but they seemed to go much more smoothly. There are also fewer puzzles; moreover investigating a crime scene is a lot more interesting than finding pills for a guy I thoroughly don't like.
The art direction is absolutely gorgeous. I could literally take my screenshots and make a comic book out of them. Being that it is set in the 80s everything has a slightly neon tint to it and all of the major events seem to happen at night. A little cliché, but there you go.
As with The Walking Dead the decisions you make during this episode will have consequences later on, mostly in the way you treat people. As much as I tried I think I may have done a few things that I will regret later on. This is a Telltale game after all.
EDIT: you can now read my review of Episode 2.