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The Wolf Among Us Episode 1Faith Review

The Wolf Among Us Episode 1Faith

Release: 11/10/2013
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure
PEGI: RP
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Excellent About Rating
          
 
8.0 - Gameplay
          
 
8.5 - Video
           
 
10 - Audio
          
 

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The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 Faith – Introduction

Following the success of The Walking Dead, developer Telltale Games continues its trend of churning out compelling narrative experiences with the recent release of The Wolf Among Us. Based off of the Fables comic book series created by Bill Willingham, which follows recognizable fairy tale characters living in 80s New York, The Wolf Among Us is a delightful prequel that beautifully introduces the creative world Willingham was able to forge back in 2002. 

The first of this five episodic game series provides for a fascinating introduction. Episode 1, titled Faith, successfully captured my attention and curiosity for what Telltale has planned for the next four episodes. If you’ve played their previous work, The Walking Dead, then you’ll feel right at home. The Wolf Among Us contains the same exceptional voice-acting, enthralling story, difficult player choice, and exceptional musical score that made The Walking Dead a multiple 2012 Game of the Year winner. ,

A Wonderful Story

The real obvious draw for The Wolf Among Us would be its narrative. Players take on the role of Sheriff Bigby Wolf, a.k.a The Big Bad Wolf. Bigby is in charge of keeping Fabletown, the name of the fairy tale community found in New York, protected from threat. The players are quickly introduced to several recognizable fairytale characters, called Fables here, and are thrown into an interesting homicide case that successfully kept me on edge. Without spoiling any major plot points, this refreshing change of pace from Telltale’s previous work helps define The Wolf Among Us as an exquisite experience. 

For most of the three hour adventure, you’ll be doing plenty of detective work as you hunt down for clues and suspects. But the most interesting aspect of The Wolf Among Us revolves around the many different characters you’ll get to meet. Seeing Fables such as The Woodsman and Beauty and the Beast struggle to survive in, and adapt to, 80s New York life is compelling. Society and its rules in the real world are drastically different from fairytales, and both the comic and The Wolf Among Us successfully showcase the obvious struggles these Fables would go through.

 

The difficult player choice from The Walking Dead make its return here. It’s largely intact as you are given four specific options in certain narrative scenarios to choose from, and only a very limited amount of time to make that choice. In the time  I’ve spent with the game, I had to make a handful of difficult choices that radically changed the narrative. When I went back and replayed episode 1, making the opposite choices along the way, my experience was drastically different. Telltale looks as though they have finally found their niche with these important player choices. 

Noir

As expected the voice acting for all the characters is well done, but the real surprise is the game’s film noir influence. Everything from the menu screens, the lighting, the art design, the main storyline and especially its clever subtle soundtrack all feel like they belong in one of John Huston’s films. The game feels dark, but still has its own unique fairytale spin. 

The game looks marginally better than The Walking Dead. Certain bright color choices stand out from the rest of the darker tones; the character models are well done and fun to look at as well. As mentioned before the musical score is lovely and each specific track gracefully complements the setting and scene it’s in. 

Quick Time Events

The title plays almost exactly like The Walking Dead. It is a very heavy QTE filled experience, while the rest of the gameplay is using the game’s single cursor with your right analog stick or computer mouse to interact with specific objects in the environment. This isn’t a bad thing though, as the game was built from the ground up with these simple mechanics in mind. The game, most importantly, never tries to be something it’s not. 

This is perfectly exemplified by the intimate fight scenes you’ll participate in. The player is provided with the ability to move his/her cursor to locate specific hit “spots” in order to inflict damage upon your enemy. You’ll also be dodging attacks with specific directional movements using your analog sticks or directional key pads on your computer. These fight scenes are also integrated with the environment exceptionally well as Bigby and his opponent make great use of their surroundings. 

This provides for tense and well-choreographed fights scene that never let up. But despite these positive features the gameplay is still plagued by severe frame rate issues. It drops constantly and was very noticeable. What is more infuriating is that The Walking Dead suffered from the same issue, so Telltale had plenty of time to improve it here and learn from their mistakes. 

Conclusion

As expected, The Wolf Among Us Episode 1-Faith continues Telltale’s wonderful recent track record. Episode 1 was a great starting point for what looks to be another unforgettable experience. The game’s noir influence helps set it apart from most titles and its mixture of fairytale lore and 1980s New York life provides for a creative and engaging storyline. For only $5 you should definitely give The Wolf Among Us Episode 1- Faith a try.

Positives

  • The Noir influence beautifully complements the game
  • The voice acting, soundtrack, and story are all exceptional
  • The Fables comic book lore is fascinating, which makes for a great Telltale game
  • Episode 1 is a great starting point for this series

Negatives

  • Severe frame rate issues will take you away from the experience
 

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