Game Review: The Wolf Among Us

Did you ever have one of those books where you always wanted to see it in other mediums? This is one of mine.

the-wolf-among-us

Title: The Wolf Among Us
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox One


Story:

This is based off of the comic book Fables — what Once Upon A Time blatantly ripped off, badly. In an apartment complex in downtown New York resides a community of “fables.”  They’re literally out of the myths and legends of Grimm’s fairy tales. Only one man in all of Fabletown is tough enough to keep them all in line, the Sheriff, Bigby Wolf. But Bigby only wears a human guise, hiding the animal within.

But now, Fabletown has a problem: women are starting to die in Fabletown, and it’s up to Bigby to find the murderer before he strikes at his ulimate victim.


Mechanics:

You don’t get more basic than this. Most of the character interactions are in dialogue options. There are always four (the default being to remain silent). You can walk the grid like in any crime scene, making observation and finding evidence along the way.

When it comes to fighting, they’re all QTEs (Quicktime Events that prompt you to hit a button or move a stick in the right way).  That’s it. This is a problem since, well, QTEs. Yay.  So what? I do not know really if there are any real consequences for a poor outcome to the fight (if I did nothing) but still, can we do another method of physical conflict?


Gameplay:

As Bigby investigates, he’ll come up against every lowlife in the Fable community, including Grendel, the Huntsman, and the toughs Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum.

The game is simple and straightforward, an investigation where you have to put together many of the clues yourself, and do it quickly, picking the right answer out from a multiple choice in the right amount of time.

It’s also got a noir feel to it as you walk crime scenes, get to know people, read characters and situations in a way that disarms them or escalates them.

The big problem with this? The fight mechanics obviously needed a patch. But I was working without an Xbox that had online access.


Music/Graphics:

The music is smooth and atmospheric. It compliments the heavy-noir style of the game seemlessly.

The art style is indeed beautiful.  It’s nicely artistic, and lends the game a very noir-element to it.  Really, it feels like playing a Raymond Chandler novel…only with Fables characters


Morals/Appropriateness:

And this is where my recommendation hits a wall. The first two victims in the mystery are prostitutes.  The murderer is a serial killer. A journey to find the pimp leads to a topless bar.

Oh, yeah, and there are four-letter words all over the place, but that’s barely an issue at this point, is it?


Addiction Danger:

I found the story captivating, and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.  Though I found the episodic nature of the game to help curb playing time to about 2-3 hours. It helped a lot.


Problems/Ending Comments:

I love the game, but it needs patching. I was never killed by the glitches, but it came close. It was a well-written, straightfoward murder mystery.

Unfortunately, I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone here unless they don’t mind an R-rated video game.


ESRB Rating:   M For Mature, for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, and, of all things, Use of Tobacco. Yes, seriously.

My Rating: 8/10, for gameplay; 10/10 for story, but it’s rated R.

About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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