Back in October of 2013 I played the first episode of The Wolf Among Us. If you don’t remember, I absolutely loved it! I was blown away by the use of characters, the setting of the story, pretty much everything. At the time, I was ready, willing, and able to continue playing it as the episodes released. But I knew the PS4 was a short month away, and as it turns out, “Faith”, the first episode of the series, was the last thing I played to completion on my PS3.
“I knew I wanted to complete the whole season on my new PS4, so I was willing to wait it out and I did just that”I knew I wanted to complete the whole season on my new PS4, so I was willing to wait it out and I did just that.
Fast forward to about 2 months ago and I finally finished it! Thanks, life. In a way, I’m glad I did it this way though. It took 9 whole months for the entire series to be released, with 4 of those months between episodes 1 and 2 alone. Was it worth waiting to play it? Did the strong feelings I had in the first episode last throughout the whole game? Answer: You bet your ass.
I think I hit the nail on the head when I reviewed the first episode, so please go check it out. After rereading that review I was ready to just copy and paste it here because the energy and experience that you get in “Faith” really sticks around for the remainder of the series. Everything from the characters to the setting will pull you in. The story, how it progresses and leaves you wanting more and more, will wrap its arms around you and never let you go. Even when the game is over and the credits are rolling, you’ll find yourself like an addict, on the floor, willing to give anything for just one more episode.
At least you’re lucky in that department! The Wolf Among Us is based off Fables, a comic book series, published by DC Comic’s Vertigo. With over 20 trades available and 149 issues, there is more than enough of the Fables universe to quench your thirst for more.
But let’s get back on track here. The Wolf Among Us consists of 5 episodes. The longest of them being the first episode at a little more than 2 hours, and the rest coming in at about 1 – 1.5 hours each. So all together, the entire season is not a chore to complete. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could probably finish it in one playthrough if you’re the type to have that much time to play a game. I strongly advise not to though because you’ll be cheating yourself if you don’t indulge in what this game is offering.
What is it offering? Well, if you’re an admirer of fairy tales and folklore, and you have a soft spot for characters and story, then it’s offering everything you’ve ever wanted in a game. Much like every other Telltale masterpiece, you’re going to be forced to make choices. And with the world being so engrossing, you’ll find yourself mulling over the decisions as if your life depended on it. Revelations that happen, plot twists, and shock endings to episodes are all present and done amazingly. But those choices; those decisions you make leave you with a fear that hangs over you like the spookiest of trees leading into the darkest of forests. So many feelings and emotions are sparked throughout the course of this game, it’s ridiculous.
I mean, you’re playing as the Big Bad Wolf, or Bigby as you’re called now. You’re the sheriff of a town full of other fairy tale characters that you’ve grown up listening to stories of. Your assistant/boss is Snow White. Her boss is Ichabod Crane. Bufkin, a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz, is the town’s historian who happens to have a drinking problem. Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows is the scumbag, foul mouthed landlord of an apartment building in the South Bronx, I mean c’mon! How can you not get into this?!
“Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows is the scumbag, foul mouthed landlord of an apartment building in the South Bronx, I mean c’mon! How can you not get into this?!”
I can’t push it enough: If you love fairy tale characters, and you’re a sucker for alternate reality stories – like I am on both counts – then you need this game in your life. Heck, you might even be like me and get interested in picking up a few of the comics. I’m not usually a comic reader but these have been taunting me lately. And from what I hear, the game is a great primer for the comics, so if you’re new to the series as a whole then the game is a great place to start.
I mentioned I’m a sucker for fairy tale characters and having them in places other than their stories. For instance, I’m a huge fan of Once Upon a Time on ABC. If you’ve never heard about it, it’s just like Fables in that there’s a community of fairy tale characters living in our world. Again, if you’re a fan of characters and appreciate their stories, you’d probably love Once Upon a Time. It’s on Netflix so you really have no excuse. I did a little research and as it turns out, there are a lot more similarities that aren’t as coincidental as I thought.
Going back to 2005, a script was being worked on at NBC for a series based on Fables. It was set to premier in 2006-2007, but never made it past the script stage so nothing came of it. But in 2011, Grimm debuted with the plot of fairy tale characters mainly from Grimms’ stories existing in our world. Seem a bit coincidental? Well in 2008, ABC announced they got the rights to create a pilot for Fables for the 2009-2010 season. It was later said that announcement was premature and it won’t be happening. Instead, in 2011, Once Upon a Time debuted and it also shares an all too similar plot with Fables. The creators of the show acknowledged similarities, but they insisted they were on different sides of the field. Bill Willingham however, the creator of Fables, was open to discussion about the all to similar traits shared by Once Upon a Time and his work which precedes it. Funny enough, he’s not concerned about it at all. He actually said in that interview I just linked to that he hopes fans of Fables can coexist and accept that Once Upon a Time is its own thing. He admits they may have been inspired by his work, but he’s not mad that there is more fairy tale/folklore light being shined in the mainstream. Respectable route, if you ask me.
“This is definitely one of those games you want to relive and experience over and over if the urge calls for it.”
What does this all mean? It means Fables has some bad luck when trying to be adapted for T.V.! As of January there is a movie in the works but we’ll see how that comes about. Still though, you have to consider that maybe if Grimm and Once Upon a Time didn’t happen, we wouldn’t have gotten The Wolf Among Us game that we did. And if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty happy with it. Heck, I bought it on PSN right after I beat the disc version just so I could have it on the hard drive. This is definitely one of those games you want to relive and experience over and over if the urge calls for it. And with an addicting story where your decisions can alter your path and what you see, playing this only once should warrant you a visit from the Big Bad Wolf himself.
Verdict – Buy
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