Sunday, February 16, 2014

Big Bad Wolf Among Us

Genre: point-and-click graphic adventure game

Developer: Telltale Games

Release Date:11.oct 2013 episode 1

                      14.febr 2014 episode 2

Telltale Games's new hit after award-winning Walking Dead series. We get the usual Telltale game mechanics. This exciting story  introduces us to Fabletown's exiled fairytale characters' struggle with the mundane life. For now there are two episodes released, and 3 more planned. Prepare for a lot of smoking and fighting!

World of Fables

 The story is based on Bill Willingham's Fables comics, Vertigo, actually a prequel to it. The game can be played without any knowledge about the story, anyway you get info while the story unfolds, in the Book of Fables. The exiled fables set up Fabletown, they have their own little government, with huge hidden caves and everything. In order for a fable to stay there, they need a human form, or to be able to buy glamour, a spell which transforms them into human (this is very expensive so they sometimes do stuff to get it), or if they can't afford it the are deported to the Farm. The government itself has serious workforce and money problems, their only sheriff is Bigby Wolf (the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs)

He is the main character of our story, ironic how the big bad wolf now has to protect the fables. There are many more famous fable characters, Snow White now working for the governor, Ichabod Crane, the problematic marriage between Beauty and Beast, the now thugs Tweedle Dee and Dum, bartender trolls, and many more surreal situations. This gives a certain humour to the game, Bigby's occasional roommate, Colin the pig, who says he owes him because he destroyed the three little pigs house, and my personal favorite, Bufkin, flying monkey from Oz, drunkard librarian. I loved this new, more mature and violent approach to fairy tales, everybody knows that originally they were more gory and horroristic, and I always wondered about those versions. Another interesting aspect, that these fairy tales are connected, they have the same wolf for example. Bigby has a hard time, even after the general amnesty the other characters look at him the same, they are afraid, and this is why his moral decisions are so hard to make.

The graphic style is typical Telltale game, little cartoony, much contour. It's like we enter of of those detective novels with a noir mood, but with really vivid colors mixed with darkness. Although the animations could be smoother the overall aspect is great, and with the music and sound effects perfectly match it. Taken the characters and fairy tales, we would expect a charming story, but in fact it is a violent, mature thriller. One of the three little pigs crushing on Bigby's couch, while smoking and drinking his booze, this gives a great style of humour. This lightens up a mood a little, Bigby standing in front of a soda machine giving us his idea of healthy lifestyle: "This shit will kill you", while he is lighting a cigarette every 2 minutes.

The basic game mechanics are similar to the Walking Dead game, three basic parts: point and click for object and puzzles, but less than in the Walking Dead, fighting scenes, where you have to react quickly, and the talking, with choices. Bigby's moral code is far from perfect, so the player will have a couple of hard choices. These affect the game, even in later episodes. You are faced with decisions to choose who will die and live, even if you don't realize it at the moment of decision. The game itself is very short, 2-3 hour per episode, so you have to wait long before the next part.

Final verdict

This game shows you how not even the fairytale life isn't just magic, and princes, and happy endings, and you can't get comfortable before something bad happens. It is a mature detective noir game, in spotlight with big bad wolf's difficult morale choices. I highly recommend playing it, like every other Telltale Game it's a hit.

Score: 10/10

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