I wasn't much heavily invested in The Walking Dead Telltale game. I felt that I needed to watch the show in parallel to gain the most out of the game's experience, but the show was just not doing it for me. This doesn't mean I didn't like the first Telltale episode of the Walking Dead game. I actually have the whole first season purchased on Steam, in which I plan to finish it sometime in the future..... behind a huge backlog that is.
But here comes the Wolf Among Us. A crazy fucked up twist on classic fables based on the comic series of Bill Willingham appropriately named "Fables". The basic setup is a group of fabled characters fled their respective fairy tale homelands to live among us humans. It's implied that humans don't know of their existence due to a "glamour" process in which all fable characters go through to look human. That's where the main protagonist comes in. You are Bigby, the fabled Big Bad Wolf, who is the sheriff in Fabletown, keeping the peace between other fables and making sure they are under "glamour". Bigby's character expresses a sort of washed up authority figure, smoking all the time and never shaving. Depending on your choices, he can give lots or no shits at all, but he still gives off a bad-ass no-time-for-your-bullshit personality. The story has you investigating the first of many murders that happen among the fables, with appearances from The Woodsman, Snow White, Ichabod Crane, and many others. Hopefully more in future episodes. What makes this interesting is the maturity that's present. Murder, prostitution, violence, and foul language. You'd never expect The Woodsman, who saved Little Red Riding Hood, to hire a prostitute and slap her around for a bit for fun.
The gameplay is similar to a point and click adventure, interacting with certain objects/people by clicking on them. There's also the presence of choice, ranging from what to say during small talk to heavily weighed decisions that can result in life or death of a character. The interesting part of the decisions you make is that some characters will remember what you said to them, prompting them to mention it later on in the story or resulting in something else. It's certainly one of the most decision heavy games I've played, even more so than any Fallout or Mass Effect. Action scenes are handled with quick-time-events where you are prompted to push a certain button or movement on the analog stick. These scenes can come out of nowhere so it's best to keep your controller in hand rather than putting it down to listen to what may seem to be a small conversation. The action prompts require lightning fast reflexes. I had a hard time with mouse and keyboard so if you have a controller handy, it's best to go with that. There's also a bit of investigation gameplay, looking around rooms and inspecting objects to determine whether a person is lying or not. If anyone's played LA Noire, this is quite similar, and also the funnest part of the game.
I enjoyed the hell out of this game. It's a fresh original theme that hasn't been told in video games a lot. Every consequence made me think of my choice. Every choice I made felt like it mattered. The replayability is high for me at this point because of how much curiosity I have to see how other situations would've played out given different decisions. The art style is awesome! Just like the Walking Dead game, it has a realistic, cartoon-ish, comic-book look and feel. I'm definitely looking forward to the next 4 episodes and seasons to come.