Friday, December 6, 2013

The Wolf Among Us

Some time ago, I mentioned reading a bit into the Fables comic book series. I have been very impressed and, while I've only finished the first three trades, I am certain this is a series that will remain in my favorite-series-ever list that I am very happy to announce that I've recently just finished the first chapter of the video game prequel, The Wolf Among Us.

Remember those guys who brought you the very interesting The Walking Dead point-and-click game that was a refreshing take on interactive storytelling? Well, they've done it again with the Fables series. This time, the medium is even more effective because the source material is normally found in a image/literature hybrid as comic books. Adding some really incredible animation and player interaction, and you've got an amazing comic book experience.

Being a prequel, you do NOT need to know anything about the Fables universe to enjoy this game. It gives you what you need to get by pretty darn well. I'm definitely enjoying it more because I've read about these characters already, but I'm sure someone who has read the entire series is probably getting different levels of enjoyment as well. This doesn't stop a newcomer from appreciating the game, it just means that there are, potentially, many ways of interpreting the characters your meeting. I can't wait to play through the whole game again (once all of the five chapters are release, of course) AFTER I've finally caught up with the comic series.
The game does a good job of introducing you to important members early.

There's a point there I've glossed over a bit -- the game releases in chunks, broken up by chapters. Similar to waiting for issues to release, we can only play the parts of the game that are released -- at this time, only one chapter (Faith) is out. However, you can already see many possible branches where the choices you make will dramatically change how the story unfolds for you. The good news is, you can have multiple saves, so there's no need to worry about messing up your "good run" to see how other choices would have changed things.

The story itself is a murder mystery and you're playing Detective Bigby, who was the Big Bad Wolf before the Fables came to New York, as he tries to uncover who is killing off other Fables (the name of the magical folk), all the while trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the others or dealing with the bad history he has with some of them.
Bigsby and the Woodsman (from Little Red Riding Hood). Not the best of friends...

Gameplay is point-and-click, mostly selecting from a series of choices, though there are crime scene investigations a la LA Noire, and there are quick-time action sequences that actually get pretty damn intense. I'm playing on PC, but the game is also out on 360, PS3, and (I just found out and wish I had got it for) PS Vita. Unfortunately, no PS4 action, which would have been my preference (maybe I'll do my views on the new console, but I'm sure it's mostly been said by now).

I don't normally mention sound in games because... Well, I just don't care. But the menu music, effects, and voice acting is all spot on. I was a touch worried at the prospect of having voiced characters conflict with how I imagined the comic book characters, but so far I've loved each and every cast member (which is rare -- kind of like the Harry Potter movies stomping all over the books for me).

If you like the comic series, GET THIS GAME. If you are interested in the comic series, GET THIS GAME. If you liked the Walking Dead game, GET THIS GAME. If you enjoy taking candy from children but hate the taste of strawberries, GET THIS GAME.

Seriously, get the game already. It's awesome, cheap enough for a season pass ($20, I think), and has a lot of room for replay-ability (imagine if the Mass Effect series had been done right!).

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