When Telltale Games was presented with the monumental task of following up The Walking Dead, the writers took it in stride. Rather than breaking too far from the formula, Telltale innovated just enough with The Wolf Among Us to bring us something that feels both familiar and entirely fresh. Having finished the first season, I can say with some confidence that I won’t be missing any future installments.
Set in the Fables universe, The Wolf Among Us is another brilliant adaptation of an established property from Telltale. This 5 episode arc serves as a prequel of sorts to the actual comics, something Fables creator Bill Willingham explained on Twitter shortly after the fifth episode had been released. The good news is you don’t need any prior knowledge of this world to become invested in the plot and the characters.bg
This is a Telltale game, which means the story takes precedence, so I’ll refrain from spoiling the plot (at least the one I built through my dialog choices and actions), but to boil it down into a digestible description, The Wolf Among Us is a hardboiled crime story starring characters from classic fairy tales: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Red Riding Hood and plenty more.
You play as Bigby Wolf, the big bad sheriff who attempts to maintain law and order in the community of Fables (as they call themselves), who have each relocated from their fantastical world to Fabletown, a crummy neighborhood in the Upper West Side of New York City. The bulk of the game takes place in conversation with these Fables, as you follow branching paths depending on how you choose to interact with and respond to their wants and needs.
If you played The Walking Dead, or any other Telltale adventure game for that matter, you won’t have much trouble settling into The Wolf Among Us, but there are a few marked differences. First off, The Wolf Among Us is packed with brawls and scuffles, most of which you’ll control the outcome of by mashing your way through quick time events. Some are executed better than others, but they bring a different tone to the series.
And this is a violent series. Limbs and internal organs are removed on a semi-regular basis — or even more often depending on how you decide to treat the Fables. The threat is also much more vague. There aren’t any zombies or supervillains, just a seedy group of imperfect characters who do what that have to do to survive. Anyone and everyone you meet could be behind the unnerving secret seeping its way through Fabletown.
It doesn’t have the same emotional impact as The Walking Dead, but it stands alone as a provocative, well-paced mystery with a satisfying conclusion and some of the most engrossing characters of the year. If you’re a fan of these kinds of games, The Wolf Among Us is an essential addition to your collection, and based on the ending, there’s plenty more where this came from.
Telltale provided BGR with a digital copy of The Wolf Among Us on PC for this review.