It’s pretty rare nowadays that technical issues don’t damn a videogame for eternity, especially when they have connections to established major properties. Get one thing wrong , and fanboys are up in arms. Thankfully, despite a few glitches, the wonderful episodic storytelling that Telltale Games delivered with their ‘The Walking Dead’ series continues with ‘Fables: The Wolf Among Us’.
What is clear from the offset in ‘Episode 1: Faith’ is that ‘The Wolf Among Us’ is not a simple cash-in. What Telltale have done is taken everything that worked well from The Walking Dead – which is pretty much everything – and applied it to a lesser-known property that they clearly love and respect.
The Quick-Time Events and tough decision-making are still here in abundance, and every choice you make is noted by the supporting cast, resulting in great replay value. The tone of the game is brooding and sombre, which I honestly hadn’t really expected, but this is ultimately a murder mystery, most of which takes place late at night, so the atmosphere suits the story well, and is complemented perfectly by a subtle musical score.
Although Telltale didn’t create the characters in ‘Fables’, they have brought them to life wonderfully. Bigby Wolf is exactly the same guy we have grown to love in the comics, but it is left to the player to decide just how much of a dick we want him to be, and in this episode alone we get a wealth of familiar characters to interact with and drive the story forward. Snow White, Bufkin, The Magic Mirror, Ichabod Crane, and Colin the pig all have roles to play here, and all of the characters are interpreted brilliantly.
Naysayers might criticise the visual and gameplay similarities to The Walking Dead, but Telltale Games have found a formula that could be applied to numerous properties to great effect, so the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely applies here. I played ‘The Wolf Among Us’ on Xbox 360, and there were a few minor frame-rate issues during cut-scenes, but it was nothing that would stop me from buying future episodes. It’s just too damned good.
The writer of this piece was: Alan Shields (aka Al)
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