To this day, I still don’t consider myself a gamer. Not truly. Do I love some video games? Very much so. I’ll rant and rave about them to the end of days. But I only fall in love with the games that have an amazing story. I don’t play a game unless the story grabs my attention. I get tired of games that are devoid of an intriguing plot and excellent dialogue. Not many video game companies make me stop all my usual ways of wasting time and pay attention. Bethesda? Hell yeah. Naughty Dog? Two of their games have straight up made me cry. Who else? Well…
Tell Tale Games, baby! I have a suspicion that they only make games where the target demographic is me. And I thank them for that. Sincerely. I’m touched. Tell Tale are the geniuses behind 3 of my favorite games:
And they made the video game that is the whole point of this blog entry:
As of this article I have just finished playing the second “episode” of a five episode game arch. The title of this episode is Smoke & Mirrors, while the previous first episode was titled Faith.
The Wolf Among Us is an original story based on the comic book series titled Fables, written by Bill Willingham. The setting is Fabletown. Yes, this is a town full of all the fables you grew up with: Snow White, The Frog Prince, Beauty & The Beast, Prince Charming, etc. In Fabletown, the one, and only, Sheriff is Bigby Wolf.
In the game, you play Bigby. And you probably guessed by now… he’s the Big Bad Wolf. But a REFORMED Big Bad Wolf who’s only trying to keep the peace in Fabletown. Which is hard to do with a serial killer running around murdering women.
In Faith, the first episode, Bigby is doing his job while wrestling with his bad guy image. He has to be scary sometimes to do his job, but it weighs down on him how much fear he inspires, at times it helps, but most of the time it just alienates him. In the course of his very long, no good, crappy day a murder mystery is laid out before his very doorstep to solve.
Snow White, his peer, fellow Fabletown employee, and a lady more close to his heart than he wants to let on, asks Bigby to solve the mystery as soon as possible. As the case goes along… yep, things get worse.
In Smoke & Mirrors, things take place hours after the events of Faith. Bigby is more determined than ever to solve the case, and to let loose the big bad inside of him on who or whatever the killer is. But detective work takes time, focus, and patience, so Bigby has to try and keep a clear head on his shoulders. Another twist later, and the big picture of the murders starts to get a little more cleared up. But only a little. Hey, its not a Noir if you know what’s going on by the second chapter.
The Wolf Among Us is not a typical video game. It is massively story driven, and choices are limited to dialogue options and some fights. But those dialogue options affect the story is huge, unexpected ways. And the fights are f**king hard. They kind of piss me off a little, but only because I’m used to Arkham City kind of fighting. Again, The Wolf Among Us is a very different type of game and I accept that, but only if I’m allowed to bitch about it a little.
One thing about Smoke & Mirrors that threw me for a bit was how slow it actually was. From the speed and intensity of Faith, its almost an ubrupt change in pacing. But this was only a problem for a little while. All you have to do is remind yourself that this is a Noir. Sudden stops and switches are to be expected.
Overall, what do I think about this episode of The Wolf Among Us? DOWNLOAD IT. This is such a great game, and you won’t believe how quickly you’ll empathize with Bigby. Excellent story telling, and well worth buying the “Season Pass,” if you haven’t already.