Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

The Wolf Among Us

This is Telltale Games' new episodic game, based on "Fables" by Bill Willingham. The game is a prequel of sorts.

The big problem I have with episode 1 is that Bigby (the protagonist, a werewolf) doesn't use his sense of smell. Ever. Not to tell who's been in the room or handled objects of interest. He seems to be entirely unaware of nearby people on multiple occasions. He doesn't even track a blood trail by scent.

Now, maybe this isn't a big deal for people who are coming to the story fresh, but Bigby's superhuman senses are a big deal in the graphic novels. So I was waiting for scent to come into the game in some way, and it just doesn't.

The first episode, "Faith" felt quite short, much less play than any of the "Sam & Max" episodes which were mostly self-contained stories. It was really just a first act.

The game offers a lot of choices. They don't really feel like they matter. (For example, in an early scene, there seems to be no way to avoid going out the window as a result of a fight scene.) Maybe carrying over from one episode to another helps--- for now all you get is "X% of other players chose the same way as you". But it doesn't seem to be a branching structure, which is depressingly standard for games. I'm even less clear how the quicktime events in fights play out--- if I do badly enough, what happens? I didn't care enough to replay a scene and find out.

I also felt rushed by dialogue choices, but it wasn't too bad. There is a timer that counts down and you make a default response if it runs out. The net effect is that the game feels more like a movie than interactive fiction--- virtually no puzzles to figure out, and no real narrative choice available. Again, maybe if I didn't "prove" that Mr. Toad is lying, something different would have happened--- but I don't see what difference it would make in the plot.

The single save point (I think?) makes it very difficult to go back and look at alternatives, which is probably what they wanted but is frustrating to the Explorer within me, who doesn't usually have such a tough time of it.
Tags: games
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