Games

Game of the Year 2014: #8 – The Wolf Among Us

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Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us tackles a different setting than their previous smash hit, The Walking Dead, but it’s still centered around what made that game so great: people. Their mastery of writing interesting characters in an interesting world is only showing off more as they grow into one of gaming’s most prominent studios.

Neon lights shine on the darkened streets as our hero strides down them, smoking a cigarette. The Wolf Among Us is as noir as noir gets. Luckily there’s substance with that style, founded on the bases of what worked before in TWD, only improved. The new “Role-playing” games we’ve been seeing lately that actually put you in the role of a character have been some of my favorites in recent years.

Here, you’re acting out the role of a detective, and you fill out the finer details of his character. Is Bibgy Wolf a smarmy ass who operates outside of the law, is he a nice guy who never fails to make a quip after he lets you borrow some cash, or is he somewhere in between? It’s up to you, it’s up to me, and it’s different for everyone. I love watching friends play games like this, because of how many ways a conversation can feel different only because of a single different line of dialogue.

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The series didn’t hit every note perfectly, but I was more than satisfied by the time I spent with it. There are many scenes I remember vividly, and wish more games could elicit the emotions Telltale can by forcing you to make  tough decisions quickly. They’re a studio who knows how to build tension and stress, and they unload on you again and again before the credits roll.

With Telltale’s empire growing increasingly larger every year, and with Tales From the Borderlands‘ first showing as good as it is, let’s hope they don’t lose their magic touch. They’re making strides in an industry that has been innovating slowly, and we can only hope others can be taught a lesson.

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