After the success of The Walking Dead, Telltale was able to take on another property that they got the rights. They got the rights to this property at the same time as Kirkman’s zombie comic. For me, Bill Willingham’s Fables was under the radar. I was not aware at all of this comic. After playing the game created by Telltale, I’m keen on getting my hands on the graphic novels.
A long time ago, there was a mass exodus of Fables. Many of them have settled in New York City, trying to live normal lives and remain inconspicuous to the mortal humans. Fast forward centuries later, King Cole is missing and Ichabod Crane is in charge of mayoral duties with his assistant Snow White. Helping to maintain law and order, Bigby Wolf is appointed sheriff of Fabletown.
One night, a fable is murdered, a prostitute Bigby had saved from the drunken Woodsman. Now, Bigby must find her killer before Fabletown begins to panic. Bigby’s investigation leads him to encountering the likes of The Tweedles, Georgie Porgie, and the Jersey Devil. When Bloody Mary enters the picture, things only get more dire from there.
The world of Bill Willingham’s Fables provides a much richer world for the Telltale team to play around with. The art direction, recalling fairy tale illustrations in contrast to Walking Dead’s comic book cel-shading, is amazing with a lot of attention given to the detail of the characters and the environments. The writing team and directors at Telltale should be commended for leading the game industry and telling a strong narrative with fleshed out characters.
Adam Harrington as Bigby Wolf may be one of gaming’s top protagonist in 2014. The fact that he’s the one you control and have to decide for makes him all the more engaging of a character. His reputation for aggression among the other fables adds a lot of tension in different scenes. The supporting cast features Telltale regulars like Dave Fennoy, Melissa Hutchison, Roger Jackson, Charles Kourouklis, and Erin Yvette. Kourouklis steals the show as Mr. Toad.
Jared Emerson-Johnson provides a synth soundscape for The Wolf Among Us. After the quirky Tales of Monkey Island and the jazzy Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse, one would have guessed someone else did the music. The opening credits music recalls the work by Powerglove for FarCry 3 Blood Dragon. I would hope the soundtrack is on iTunes because this is some of his finest work.
The controls handle the same as The Walking Dead. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and Telltale did exactly that. The left stick moves the character while the right stick moves the cursor. The face buttons work the same as in Walking Dead with each button corresponding to a different action. One nice touch is the indiscriminate nature of the quick time events involving the shoulder buttons. If you match the cursor with the target, but press the wrong shoulder button and you’re not penalized for it. Good on you, Telltale!
Telltale has another solid entry in their catalog with The Wolf Among Us. Other than the misstep with Jurassic Park, their record for releases is near flawless. Between the characters, the writing, the graphics, the controls, and the music, this game stands as their best work yet. All five episodes are available for five dollars each or buy the season pass for $20. Either way, get this game!