|System: PC, Xbox 360*|
|Release: October 11, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, and Use of Alcohol and Tobacco|
The graphics of The Wolf Among Us are amazing. It utilizes the same cel-shaded, half-cartoony look The Walking Dead does, which makes the whole game feel like a living comic book. However, unlike The Walking Dead, the color scheme of The Wolf Among Us is bright and vibrant, coating the night with dark purples and coloring streetlights an almost neon yellow. This punctuates the storybook nature of the narrative while still managing to make the game feel like it is taking place in a seedy corner of New York City.
The voice acting is perfect. Bigby sounds just like he should, a tough guy with an unfortunate heart of gold that gets him in trouble. The cockney British accents of characters such as Mr. Toad do a lot to make these Fables feel like real fairytale characters, so it only drives home the narrative’s dark tone harder when they whimsically tell you to go “f%$k off, cop.”
The only thing that kind of bothered me was the game’s representation of Snow White. In the comic book, Snow White is a hardass that has taken on just about every situation without faltering. She actually spoke the line, "I'm Snow White. I’m never outgunned,” before having a dragon put down a terrorist rebellion. But in the game, she seems very unsure of herself. She stumbles over her words and is a complete pushover to her superior, Ichabod Crane. While this is a prequel to the events of the graphic novel, Snow White was a badass from the second she stepped foot in New York, so this portrayal of her character seems rather inaccurate. It’s only due to a strange twist at the end of The Wolf Among Us that I think this strange character portrayal may make sense somehow… but I won’t spoil it for you. Suffice it to say, anyone who hasn’t read the graphic novels won’t find the same issue.
The Wolf Among Us feels a lot different than The Walking Dead. It feels a lot more “gamey.” You have a clear goal: find the murderer, and you are constantly making your way toward that goal. This reduces the focus on interpersonal relationships and instead shifts the focus to dramatic, world-defining events, which works just fine for the subject matter. The Wolf Among Us is a fantastic adaptation of the Fables source material, and everyone should at least check out episode 1. Once again, the team at Telltale shows us that they know what makes a narrative great. Just don’t expect this game to be The Walking Dead part 2. As I said before, it (and Bigby) is a whole other animal.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: October 10, 2013