A few days ago Telltale games’ latest series, A Wolf Among Us, was released. Now, I myself had not watched this games development, nor had I played any previous incarnations of a Telltale game. (One exception being a brief minute or two with an ‘obtained’ copy of the Tales of Monkey Island which I stopped quick after my conscious got the better of me).
I still cannot articulate exactly what it was that drew me to the game, to the point where I popped down the requisite US$24.95 for a season pass.
Maybe it was the art style. The screenshots look almost like 2D ink drawings from a comic book. Not surprising as the source material is a comic book published by DC. In motion though the 3D world is alive and colorful. I think perhaps it’s the visuals that grabbed me. Something reminiscent to Sin City and it’s stylized Noir feeling.
Maybe also my recent immersion in Fairy-tale lore thanks to the Kickstarter I mentioned in a previous post.
If you are new to Telltale Games, they are a gaming developer that takes Pride in creating interactive stories. In playing the Wolf Among Us, it is almost complete made up of dialogue choices and quick time events. Very brief moments of Exploration crop up in Episode 1 and an action in one scene appears to affect the possibilities of another (If you give your money to one character, you cannot later give it to another for example).
While the story is gripping and on the first play-through, the choices appear to be quite meaningful, I am still skeptical as to how much a plot can deviate from episode 1 to 5 given my choices and the constraints of a narrative structure. After playing The Wolf Among Us I ended up playing the entire Season 1 of The Walking Dead on my Vita and the extra experience there seems to suggest that your choices mostly affect how well you get to know surrounding characters. The beginning and the end are largely the same, but how well you know your fellow fables/survivors and what type of person you are, are what changes.
I prefer a well structured plot over true freedom anyway. However, given the reputation and premise of Telltale is you influence the story, it is important to note you affect the ‘dressing’ not the structure.
All in all I really enjoyed the game. Enough that I am now invested in the Walking Dead and eager to play the ectra content ‘400 Days’ as well as eagerly await The Walking Dead Season 2.
I hope I get to know and enjoy the Company of Bigby Wolf and his Fairy-tale wards enough to hope for a Season 2 of ‘The Wolf Among Us’.
Side note – I really recommend you don’t watch any Let’s Plays. It largely spoils the game since it’s the narrative drive that provides the ‘game-play ‘ value. That is, it is closer to a visual novel then say, Mass Effect. It’s kinda pointless to play if you watched a Let’s Play first.