The Wolf Among Us Episode One: Faith PC Review

Everyone knows you. Big Bad Wolf.

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I was impressed when I heard Telltale Games was taking on Bill Willingham’s Fables for a few reasons. Namely, it meant that Telltale was willing to take a risk. They weren’t content riding The Walking Dead train until it’s biscuit wheels fell off, the studio genuinely loves adapting fantastic long-form narratives. Secondly, the source material is brimming with fanboys that aren’t going to refrain from bursting at the seams if something is handled incorrectly. I was also relieved to see the studio precede the story arch the graphic novel follows. Telltale’s writers proved their merit by creating their own plot for The Wolf Among Us to follow, instead of cloning the Eisner Award winning material.

The goal was to acclimate the characters, environments and tone of Willingham’s Fables into an interactive storytelling experience. The fairy tales our parents enchanted us with as children have ended, the casts have disbanded, and most of them are indistinguishable from the characters we formerly knew. You’ll come in contact with Mr. Toad, The Woodsman, Beauty & Beast and a host of characters I’d rather not mention at this point. Telltale meant to torture us with the same hard decisions and snap judgments that we endured in Lee and Clementine’s story, and they succeeded.

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If you’re familiar with any of Telltale’s past work with adventure games, you’ll feel right at home with the controls. There’s a few slight deviations during combat sequences, but character movement and the way they interact with their surroundings will feel much the same. Dialogue selections are once again timed (for the most part). Forcing you to make quick decisions during conversations. The difference being your characters role within the narrative. He’s the sheriff of Fabletown, and he’s the Big Bad Wolf. Most of your time will be spent dissecting crime scenes, questioning witnesses, or making persons of interest piss themselves. You have to pay attention to what your supporting cast is telling you, because you may have to catch them in a lie to find out what they’re trying to hide. Action sequences are more gritty and require a bit more effort than their predecessors, making them stand out even more. Telltale seems to be honing their expertise with the adventure game, presenting a more polished approach with every outing.

Not only was the gameplay decidedly more fluent, the visuals were as well. The crisp, cel-shaded visuals were a sight to behold. For the most part I had the impression that I was literally bringing a piece of artwork to life. Level design seems to have seen an overhaul as well. Every single scene had a distinctive setting. New York is brought to life with stunning detail, high contrast colors, and expert lighting techniques. Animations were sinuous, even during action sequences (something that I wasn’t able to say about TWD). One thing that really ramped up the action was the fact that the mystical figures of The Wolf Among Us don’t adhere to the same rules that we do. They’re able to endure amazing amounts of punishment, and that leads to some amazing encounters. I was running The Wolf Among Us on the Razer Blade 17 at max settings. I launched the game with Razer Game Booster so I could monitor performance, frame-rate is king. For the most part things stayed consistent. Oddly enough the lowest I saw the frame-rate dip was just under 30 and it was during a sequence I wouldn’t have thought to be very demanding. Ultimately I was absolutely captivated with the level of immersion Telltale was able to create.

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The mythical creatures that filled our imaginations as children are living in exile. They mostly inhabit the slums of New York City, which has forced them to adapt to their surroundings. There’s a small population of Fables living in an upscale apartment building called the Woodland. The Fables are hidden away among society by using magical spells called Glamours, which alter their appearance to come across as human. You play as Bigby Wolf, a reformed Big Bad Wolf. His duty is to protect population of Fabletown from each other and the normal residents of NYC. A grizzly murder sets the events of the inaugural episode of The Wolf Among Us – Faith, in motion. His resolve is put to the test when a serial killer emerges in Fabletown. It’s your job to root out a prime suspect and follow the trail of breadcrumbs the killer is leaving in their wake. Telltale has begun weaving an extraordinary narrative that I can’t wait to continue.

The Wolf Among Us is primed to continue developing a profound story with a flawed, conflicted protagonist that has to constantly stifle his true nature. The Wolf Among Us featured impeccable presentation, a compelling story and meaningful characters that are sure to evolve nicely. I’m not currently a fan of the Fables comic book series, but if The Wolf Among Us embodies the tone of the series, I just might have to pick up some new graphic novels.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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