Review: The Wolf Among Us - Episode 3

Review: The Wolf Among Us - Episode 3
Screenshot of The Wolf Among Us - Episode 3, a game for Xbox 360, iOS, PS3 and PC platforms.

What happens after the end of the fairy tale?

The Wolf Among Us - Episode 3 answers that question: that there are few happy endings. This adaptation of the comic book series, Fables, takes place in modern-day Manhattan, with a twist. Characters from folklore and legend exist in our world, hiding from us, in a small community called Fabletown.

All sorts of iconic characters come into play - Snow White, Mr Toad and the Big Bad Wolf, as well as lesser-known characters such as Ichabod Crane, Grendel and Bluebeard.

Players take the role of the reformed Big Bad Wolf, nicknamed Bigby, now Fabletown's sheriff. The story is typical of detective stories - someone is on a killing spree and Bigby must find out who he is.

The game is paced like a TV series, released in episodes every few months. Three episodes out of five have already been released.

The first was a solid introduction; the second, weaker and slower paced, carefully setting up the events to come. With the third episode, the stakes have been cranked up and the tension rises, as new antagonists introduce themselves.

The game treads a fine line between melodrama and self-awareness. It remains violent and grim, yet lightens the situation occasionally with dark humour and touching moments.

If you have ever wondered what happens to Prince Charming after the end of his fairy tale, or asked yourself why the Woodsman happened to be in the forest at just the right time and place to save Little Red Riding Hood from the Big Bad Wolf, this game has you covered.

Drenched in atmosphere, the game lets players explore the grimy underbelly of Manhattan. Bigby's search takes him to seedy bars, strip clubs, slums and back alleys.

The game's visually striking art style evokes a moody comic book look paired with an outstanding cast of voice actors and a memorable soundtrack that oozes noir.

Key moments in the game force players to make hard choices: Should they chase a certain suspect, or let him go in order to catch another? The degree of choice is a welcome feature, making the story feel more personal.

If you prefer experiencing the full story all at once, it might be advisable to wait until all the episodes are released.

colintan@sph.com.sg

Rating: 8/10

Price: $5.98 (Xbox 360, version tested; iOS; PS3), US$24.99 (S$31.30, PC, all episodes, version tested)

Genre: Adventure

This article was published on April 23 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.

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