Crafting a follow-up that matches the quality of your past success is a challenge for any developer, but Telltale Games’ mission was much bigger than that. It had to follow upThe Walking Dead: Season One, a game that garnered mass critical appeal and multiple ‘game of the year’ awards.
Smartly, the team decided to do so by choosing a change of pace and presenting The Wolf Among Us – a five-episode saga based on Fables, an award-winning comic book series by Bill Willingham. The game takes place prior to the comics and lets players take on the role of Bigby Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf), who has been exiled to New York City and now acts as sheriff over classic fairytale characters. When a gruesome murder takes place, Bigby is on the case and it’s your job to help him to discover who committed the crime and why. It’s a surprisingly dark, violent and hard-boiled world that takes classic legends to fascinating new places.
The Wolf Among Us isn’t for everyone, and the ‘this isn’t a game’ crowd will likely voice its strong opinions, but believing that is to miss the point entirely. This is a game about the relationships you form with other fables, the way you steer the story with your actions and the character you shape Bigby to be. Everybody’s story, though following the same overarching plot, will be peppered with different beats throughout the journey, and that’s the mark of an excellent adventure game.
This is some of Telltale’s finest work, and while not all five episodes pack the same amount of punch, the season as a whole remains a polished and enjoyable offering, leaving us wanting to explore Fabletown all the more in an inevitable season two.
The Wolf Among Us is out now through Telltale Games.