The Wolf Among Us — All Story, No Gameplay
At this point I’m sure you can tell I tend to gravitate toward certain types of games. Lots of shooters, lots of RPGs, with an outlier like Smash Bros. or Stardew Valley making an appearance every once in a while to break up the monotony. Here I will talk about The Wolf Among Us, the only narrative driven, point and click adventure game that I have ever played. I got this game for free with Xbox Gold many years ago. Back then, every gaming youtuber in the world was singing Telltale’s praises after the success of The Walking Dead and everyone was hyping up the new Batman game Telltale was working on. The Wolf Among Us isn’t nearly as iconic as The Walking Dead, but still provides an interesting story that fans of story driven games should check out.
The Wolf Among Us features one of the most interesting premises I’ve seen in not just games but all media, books, TV, and movies included. The story takes place in New York City, only its inhabitants are fairy tale characters. You play as the Big Bad Wolf, who goes by Bigby and are tasked with solving a murder with the help of Snow White along with other famous and obscure fables. Despite featuring dozens of characters from childrens’ tales, The Wolf Among Us tells an incredibly gritty and mature story. Subjects like blackmailing, prostitution, and mutilation will all be brought up through the course of the plot. It’s kind of like playing through a Shrek movie with an R rating.
It’s not just the premise of the plot I appreciate, the characters are incredibly well written and well acted as well. Bigby was easily my favorite character, as there is a lot to read into with him. He is the protagonist of the game, but we have to remember the notoriety that the wolf has in fairy tales. Bigby means well in the game, but clearly has a darker side, evidenced by the violent transformation he undergoes when he loses his temper. He also shares a special relationship with Snow White. The game is a little unclear as to the origin of this relationship and the nature of the relationship, but it’s obvious that the two are very close. When a story gets you to ask questions about its characters’ past lives and psychology, that’s when you know you’ve been hooked, and that’s exactly what The Wolf Among Us does.
Now that I’ve acknowledged the quality of this game’s story, it’s time to go over its gameplay. The title of the genre pretty much says it all. Gameplay consists of walking around and examining clues, picking dialogue options, and quicktime events for the few action sequences in the game. There just isn’t enough here to keep a gamer like myself engaged. I’ve said before, but I play games to play games. If I was looking for a great story I’d read a book or watch Netflix. I would be hard pressed to find another game that I’ve beaten where I had less fun than beating The Wolf Among Us.
I think The Wolf Among Us is a game worth checking out if you’ve never played a point and click game; there are few developers that have mastered that genre as well as Telltale has. This was my first point and click experience and I learned that these types of games aren’t for me, but I also got to witness an amazing story about fairytale characters living in a modern day New York. Narrative driven games appeal to a very niche audience, as a result the average gamer probably wouldn’t have much interest in a game of this nature. I would bet that the experience will likely be an underwhelming one if you decided to play The Wolf Among Us. However, if you end up clicking with the genre unlike me, I could also see The Wolf Among Us ending up as the most memorable game you’ve played in a while.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10