|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
|The Wolf Among Us - Season Pass|
November 17, 2014 | Steven Marx
Mac OS X: 10.6.8 |†CPU: 2 GHz Intel | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 2 GB | Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
Having already reviewed Episode One & Episode Two of The Wolf Among Us, we decided that rather than review each of the remaining three episodes as they came out, I would simply wait until they were out and do a final review of the game as a whole. As such, this review wonít spend much time on the basics, but rather will attempt to let you know if you should buy it.
The Wolf Among Us is a graphic novel in game form in the same vein and from the same company, Telltale Games, as The Walking Dead. As you play you make choices and those choices change how the game plays out and how other characters respond to you. While some plot elements will occur regardless of how you act, what and how things happen depends on your actions, or lack of them. As such, most of the "action" in this game consists of you selecting from a set of possible decisions shown on screen and occasional action scenes that test your reflexes responding to on-screen instructions using the keyboard and mouse/trackpad. This is less a traditional game than an interactive story, with you in the lead role.
As my reviews of the first two episodes indicate, I really liked this game. Gorgeous graphics, excellent music and voice acting and an original plot and set of characters (even though you might recognize their names) make this one of the most engaging and immersive games Iíve ever played. The plot hooked me much the way another of my highly reviewed games from the past year, Gone Home, did. My main quibble with Episode Two of Wolf was that it seemed a little short and with less action compared to Episode One. After completing the game, I can happily report that I would take away those two quibbles.
While it may be true that you can play through each episode in an hour or two, that shouldnít be compared to a shooter where you might spend several hours mindlessly blowing things up. Rather you should think of it more as spending an hour or two with a good book, one where you get to participate and affect the outcome. In this sense, the game is well-crafted, with each episode telling a self-contained part of the story, taking what happened before into account and leading you nicely into the next part. Some episodes end with cliff-hangers, others simply with a logical break in the action, but they all have you ready to start the next episode to see what happens next.
And what happens next is another strength of this game. While the story may seem clear-cut at the beginning, the further it goes the more complex it becomes. The plot has plenty of twists and more than enough depth to carry through all five episodes. In fact I find myself waiting and hoping for a sequel, or ready to jump back in and play things out in a different way, to see if I can get some things answered that are left hanging. This depth of plot is key to keeping you involved and interested, as it makes you really think about your decisions throughout the game and debate how to play things out. While this particular story may be nicely wrapped up, there seems to be plenty still going on in Fable Town to support one or more sequels.
The Slightly Less Good
I have very little to report here. Some will probably quibble over the length, as discussed above. I would say that for $25 youíre getting your moneyís worth even if you only play through once. However, this game really encourages you to play through all or parts of it repeatedly in different ways to see how things change. In fact that's the only way to unlock each chapter of every episode, as your decisions cause you to miss some elements of the game, no matter what you do.
Actual complaints I have, and these are minor, include the trackpad (Apple) wasnít as responsive as it could have been during action scenes, and this can affect the story. I have a feeling even a cheap mouse would have worked better but it wasnít a big enough problem for me to switch. While the graphics are gorgeous, the animations sometimes are less so, which is a little distracting for a game that is otherwise this polished. Again, this is a minor complaint but one I noticed throughout the game. And finally, while the game generally did an excellent job in providing me with the choices I wanted to be able to make, in Episode 5 in particular there were times I wanted to do something that wasnít given to me as an option. I suspect, however, that this is more an indication of how involved I was in the game, as I certainly donít expect the creators to have been able to make every single possible action available. As you can see, my complaints are minor and are listed more for the sake of balance and full disclosure than in any way to take away from what I found to be an excellent game.
Buy it! If you want a game that makes you think, or you need to give your itchy trigger finger a rest, buy this game. Itís beautiful, engaging and original, and how often can you say that about a game these days?