Telltale Games’ fantastic The Wolf Among Us has finally wrapped. It’s been quite an interesting experience, and I’m ultimately really happy with how the episodic series developed. By the end of episode 5, “Cry Wolf”, I could honestly say I cared immensely about Sheriff Bigby, Snow White, and all the citizens of Fabletown, and I think that’s a sign of a successful story.
My journey into The Wolf Among Us began when I downloaded the first episode for free from IGN. What started as a curious venture turned into an obsessive love for Bill Willingham’s Fables. As soon as I had blown through the available episodes, I began to devour the trade paperbacks, eager for more of Fabletown and it’s citizens.
In that regard, I can say that The Wolf Among Us has really been a game changing experience for me. Everything about it, from it’s lovingly crafted visuals to it’s morality system, is memorable. It didn’t always make complete and total sense, but it managed to exude an air of mystery that obscured, like a good glamour, a lot of it’s flaws.
When episode 4 left off, Sheriff Bigby Wolf had walked into the lair of The Crooked Man, a faux affable Fable with a solid hold on a lot of Fabletown’s less fortunate inhabitants. What starts as a tense standoff quickly devolves into violence, as The Crooked Man attempts to sell out the murderer you’ve been searching for this whole time, much to said criminal’s chagrin. From then on, it’s an action packed final stand, with Bigby having to use speed, strength, and wit to finish things with his various enemies.
Fables, and by extension The Wolf Among Us, is known for it’s use of multiple genres, and “Cry Wolf” expertly shifts between several different tones. Georgie and Vivian’s plight invokes the tragedy of crime shows, while Bigby’s ultimate showdown with Bloody Mary is both horror and big-budget action. Fabletown’s underground trial for The Crooked Man feels appropriately like a courtroom drama. Each tonal shift compliments the overall noir theme that the Wolf Among Us lovingly pays homage to.
Perhaps most importantly, “Cry Wolf” sees the culmination of the choices you made in previous episodes. Based on the way you played Bigby, and the way you had him treat the citizens, things go differently during several scenes. By the end, you’ve only ingratiated yourself to whomever you ended up pleasing during the rest of the series. There is no happy, tightly wrapped ending. Not everyone changes their opinion of Bigby. Life goes on. But at the end of the episode, you really feel like your choices mattered.
My only big issue with “Cry Wolf”, and The Wolf Among Us in general, was that sometimes it was a little too mysterious. Even as the truth supposedly came out, I never felt like I knew exactly what had happened, or why. The resolution of the plot felt too easy, and perhaps that’s what it was meant to feel like. Maybe the truth behind Faith and Lily’s deaths wasn’t nearly as sensationalist as I thought it would be. But still, what I thought would be a huge, unbelievable conspiracy, perhaps even related in some way to The Adversary, turned out to be pretty small, by Fables standards.
But perhaps there’ll be more time to get into the lore of Fables if Telltale decides to continue their adventures with Bigby and Snow. There’s plenty left to explore in Fabletown, and lots of interesting characters who’ve yet to make an appearance. I’d love to see the likes of Rose Red, Cinderella, Boy Blue, Prince Charming, and the Farm citizens. In fact, Telltale, may I suggest an adaptation of The Farm coup?
Ultimately, The Wolf Among Us was an absolute treat that turned me on to both Fables and Telltale Games. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Telltale decides to produce a Season 2.
But in the meantime, there’s always The Walking Dead.
All images and properties are copyright of Telltale Games, Vertigo, Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, and Bill Willingham.