Telltale's noir fairy-tale game The Wolf Among Us is 'brilliant'
Grown-up fairy-tale game from creators of The Walking Dead is funny, brutal and mysterious
What you need to know
A new episodic adventure videogame, The Wolf Among Us, has been released in the UK. Telltale Games, best known for their hit narrative game The Walking Dead have created the downloadable game, based on Bill Willingham's Fables comics.
The Wolf Among Us is set in a fictional corner of New York called Fabletown, where sheriff Bigby Wolf is on a mission to protect fairy-tale characters, such as the Three Little Pigs and Mr Toad from a murderer. The characters from fables and children's stories are given a world-weary noir-ish slant with added sex and violence.
Players take on the role of Bigby, and must chose if he should try to keep everybody safe or give in to the other side. The game will be released in five episodes, with the first episode Faith, available now for Microsoft Windows and X Box, and Playstation 3 next week.
What the critics like
Stepping out from the shadow of its hit The Walking Dead the first episode of The Wolf Among Us series stakes its own claim as "one of the most exciting adventure games of the year", says Marty Sliva on IGN. It's well-written, with a stylish noir presentation that's funny, brutal, and mysterious in the best possible ways.
Faith is the perfect beginning to a new adventure, "effortlessly pulling you in" and making you care about these curious storybook creatures, says Susan Arendt from Joystiq. It's presented in a distinct visual style, and focused more on character interaction than big action sequences – it's also "slap-your-face brilliant".
Like the comics that inspired it, The Wolf Among Us "maintains a steady noir tone, only occasionally allowing humour to bubble to the surface", says Kevin VanOrd on Gamespot. It nails its atmosphere, with cityscapes cloaked in deep purple haze and long shadows - this is a grim fairy tale.
What they don't like
"Even though it comes very close, the strength of The Wolf Among Us's writing doesn't quite match up to The Walking Dead," says Justin McElroy on Polygon. Bigby especially relies on a little too much boilerplate noir detective patter, and the pace of the first episode can be too languid. ·