Archive for February, 2015

Why I think The Wolf Among Us works for me

February 1, 2015

I picked up the Telltale Games five-part game The Wolf Among Us on a holiday Steam sale and finally got around to playing it. I liked it a lot and will do a replay. It had a striking art direction, well-done film noir elements, some morbid humor, and imaginative take based on a graphics novel series on fairy tale creatures who had to live together in Fabletown inside the modern world (the Bronx).

Yet, why did I care about the game enough to play it again? I think it was because of the way I could play the lead character. You are the Sheriff of Fabletown. Your name is Bigby Wolf, and you are THE Big Bad Wolf of the fairy tales. You have a human form, but the monster lurks not far beneath it. Sometimes it gets let loose, though by degrees at first.

Many of the other residents fear you. Several more just plain dislike you. One of them pointedly warns a child to behave or the Big Bad Wolf will come and get him.

Sheriff Bigby Wolf has a murderer in Fabletown and he has to catch them before more fairy tale residents die. The moral part of the game is whether he does it mostly within the rules (act like the sheriff) or via brutality (revel in being The Big Bad Wolf). He is a monster inside, but does he have to act like one?

Several times in the game Bigby faces choices on where he can choose violence or mercy. Does he seek confrontations or does he try to defuse them.

He is the alpha predator, but his job is to protect the residents of Fabletown. Does he ultimately want them to respect him or is fearing him good enough?

By the end of the game, I had a Sheriff Bigby Wolf that fit my idea of how he should behave. He could be violent when the need arose, but not cruel. There is a difference.

My Sheriff Bigby Wolf tried to live up to the title. He stepped back from the brink when his inner monster could have led to further pain and bloodshed. He could stop before inflicting unneeded pain or doing permanent injury. He offered mercy to some characters who maybe didn’t deserve it, but justice was his goal — and not vengeance.

He even made a grudging peace with a long-time adversary.

The ending for me was kind of bittersweet, but it was the ending that fit my Sheriff Bigby Wolf.

A tragic character very early in the game tells Bigby that she doesn’t think he as bad as everyone thinks he is. My Sheriff Bigby Wolf decided to spend the rest of the game trying to prove her right.

Great game. Get it when on sale at Steam.