WeView: The Wolf Among Us

The WeView Among Us.

The Wolf Among us leaves me in a slightly difficult position when putting together this week’s WeView. We don’t do episodic titles very much on WeView, but I think it’s worth saying that we’re going to try and look at the series as a whole. However, if you’ve only played a few episodes then feel free to still jot down your thoughts in a comment anyway.

What’s also a bit tricky is putting together an overview of what we thought of the game. We didn’t actually review every episode, just the first three, although fortunately all three were reviewed by Blair, so there’s consistency there at least.

Choices and story are probably the two attributes that really define a Telltale title, so we’ll start with the story. Inspired by the Fables series of books, Blair was hesitant about the series’ provenance in his review of the first episode, instead hoping for a series based on “something more familiar rather than a comic that I had heard of, but never really looked into”. This feeling quickly faded away once he settled in, moving on to praising both the game’s setting and its “quite excellent” story.

The story continued to draw praise as he played more, highlighting the way the “overarching plot blossoms” in the second episode of the series, with the writing managing to overcome some “some lazy performances” by the voice cast. Although the third episode faltered initially, largely due to the pace falling “flat for the first half”, it managed to be bubbling along nicely by the time it ended, with Blair praising the “really exciting ending”.

While the third episode may have had some issues in the story department, it was the third episode that really nailed Telltale’s decision making mechanics. In the first two episodes Blair criticised the way you often felt like you were “being pushed in one direction” and forced “into situations that you might not have chosen to face”. He also noted that the first two episodes simply didn’t contain enough choices that felt all that meaningful.

This all changed in the third episode, with Blair praising some “smart selections” even when it’s obvious that the story is “always going to play out down the same path”. He also highlighted “a section where you can choose between a few environments to visit”, enjoying the way a time limit forces you “to make the most sensible decision”.

The game’s visual presentation is also worth a mention. As is often the way with Telltale games, The Wolf Among Us has a very distinctive, cel shaded look to it. It particularly shines when it comes to characters faces, which have an incredible expressive look to them, but it’s a really good look overall. Blair seemed particularly fond of the “noire tones and bold, bright colours marking the dark world of Fabletown”, which I absolutely have to agree with.

With the first episode receiving an 8/10, and the next two earning a 7/10, it’s clear that Blair found a lot to like in The Wolf Among Us. The question is, do you agree with him? Did you enjoy the game’s art style, or was it just not for you? Did Telltale manage to create another success, or did they fall somewhat flat this time?

Even if you’ve only played the first episode or two you can share your thoughts on the game. Simply pop them in a comment below, remembering to include a rating for the series on the Buy It, Sale It, Plus It, Avoid It scale.

12 Comments

  1. I bought this on release and absolutely loved it, mainly the unique World that has been created. The fables or whatever they are that you collect/unlock also add a nice bit of background information for characters you may not have come across before.

    Unfortunately the game does suffer from stuttering (not uncommon for a Telltale game though) and the episodic release did affect my experience somewhat since I forgot a few plot points.

    Still, if you pick up the entire season in one go, definitely BUY IT.

    • Episodic gaming tends to live or die by its release schedule & hitting that sweet spot between ‘too soon’ & ‘too long’ – Unfortunately, a lot of the things that are released as episodes tend to fall by the wayside in terms of the release schedule (possibly stuck in QA hell or whatever) & hit the ‘too long’ end of the spectrum, so it makes much less of an impact when it arrives & as you rightly pointed out, some of the key points can be forgotten inbetween.

      This is why I tend to pick things like this up as a whole season (the fact that I prefer things boxed also has some emphasis on this decision). This way, you can choose to play as little or as much as you want without fear that you are going at the correct pace in order for things to still be fresh come next episode.

      I think episodic gaming could work, but most of the time it doesn’t due to various reasons that are mainly delays. For that reason, I personally prefer things to be complete before I invest in them.

      • Exactly. I’ve been stung, so now will wait for the likes of Tales from the Borderlands and Life is Strange to be available in full, so I can play at a pace that is relative to my memory!

    • I’ll be doing the latter (read: picking it up relatively soon and smashing through the episodes over the course of a week or so). Far prefer this method with TellTale games.

  2. I only played the first two episodes and really liked it but for whatever reason I ended up moving on to something else and never went back.

    I thought the art style was gorgeous and the narrative was interesting enough but it just didn’t grip me. I feel the same way about other TellTale games (Back to the Future / Game of Thrones). I think, for me at least, if you’re not a fan of the source material, the games loose some appeal and it’s easy to loose interest waiting for the next episode.

    I do keep meaning to go back and finish TWAU but it’s not something I feel I absolutely must play. Whereas with the Walking Dead and Jurassic Park games, I couldn’t wait to play the next instalment.

    I still want to say Buy it though because it is a very good/well made game. It’s more refined than The Walking Dead and a lot less buggy as far as I remember (thank god). The art style again is stunning and there’s an interesting mystery to be unravelled. The shock ending of the first episode was brilliant.

    I think if I were to sit down and play it again from the start, I would enjoy it a lot more and now that it’s available on PS4, I’ll probably do that. This is probably another reason I never went back to it originally because I played the first two episodes on PS3 and I’ve been using it less and less over the past few months.

  3. I played this in it’s entirety via PSNow. On the whole I really enjoyed it. The story is engaging and well written and I like the noir feel although I did notice that some dialogue choices made no difference to character replies.
    I maybe wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much in episode form but the complete version is a BUY IT from me. A very easy Platinum too.

  4. Although scarred by a ridiculous release schedule and Telltales poor engine, The Wolf Among Us delivers a greatly entertaining plot with interesting characters set in a wonderfully realised setting.

    If you like playing detective or enjoy classic childrens-book tales taken for a spin, this is a game for you.

    Buy it.

  5. Brilliant game, the only downfall to these episode games is the fact that whatever choice you make doesn’t damage the game (apart from life is strange) but besides that utterly enjoyed it, had it on PS3 for almost a year or 2 never touched it, then found out it’s on vita, absolutely loved it. Best format is the vita, lags on PS3.

    Buy it

  6. Rented it and to be honest it didn’t grab me. The Telltale engine really needs an overhaul, even on PS4 there are long pauses, stuttering animations and voice work. It’s just not the quality of game I expect on the console, so I sent it back after I finished episode one.

    Also there was an awful lot of unnecessary swearing, which put me off.

    Rent it.

    Avoid It. Happy now Kris?

  7. I’ve played it and platinumed it twice. While I did enjoy the first play through, even with all its bugs the story was a quite good. On my second play through on Ps4mwas not so great unlike TWD series which didn’t lose its appeal on a few play through.

    Rent it from me as no replay value.

  8. Me and a friend decided to wait until all episodes were out and then played one a day for five days in a row. It was a really excellent experience! I wasn’t familiar with the series TWAU is based on but after the first episode we were hooked.

    Unlike others, I didn’t have any issues with the voice acting and uncharacteristicly for a Telltale game I didn’t experience any bugs in the game either. ACTUALLY now that I say that, the game did freeze two times in a row when starting, I think, Episode 3 or 4. But that was it.

    It’s sad that TWAU doesn’t have many VASTLY different outcomes, like TWD Season 2, but that didn’t make the story have any less impact on me. I found the characters to be fun (talking, swearing animals!) and always wanted to know what would happen next. Bonus points for the lovely art/design of the main menu! Always put me in the perfect mood for the next episode.

    Buy it from me (but please don’t let too much time pass inbetween playing the episodes)

  9. I bought this after the first two episodes were released and then again on ps4. It was my favourite game of last year (bulk of episodes were released last year). From the story to the dialogue, the game is an interactive feast of mature themes and narrative.

    Playing as Bigby wolf, the player is trusted into the seedy underworld of new York to do good for fabletown, the small settlement of fables. But as the player you can choose whether to be the redeemed wolf or live up to your namesake.

    The gameplay is not innovative in any meaningful way. It continues along the line of the walking dead in it’s gameplay but instead of revolving around situational choices, the decisions you make impact on how characters perceive you and your own morals.

    The story, art style, writing and voice acting particularly stand out. The game is unbelievable in these aspects. Presenting a common known mythos but then applying neon colours, a sweeping soundtrack and mature dialogue to match as well as themes, the wolf among us stands on its own as one of the finest point and click games of all time.

    Not for everyone and some will prefer the walking dead to this in which I think comparisons have been unfairly made given how different the universes are.

    That being said, I would recommend anyone buying this. From its easy platinum, mature story and unique atmosphere, this game had me hooked. It was the best game I played from last year.

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