Wolface – Fables: The Wolf Among Us Is Telltale’s Next

By Alec Meer on March 28th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Telltale saysfable

I wonder if Telltale are worrying about Difficult Second Album Syndrome, despite Fables: The Wolf Among Us actually being about their dozenth adventure game series. The rapture their Walking Dead series was met with puts them, if not actually on the A-list then at least on the waiting list for the A-list. By which I mean they’re on the list of developers who I’d say are on the list to be on the list. Maybe I should do a list of all of them., but to be honest I feel a bit too listless to bother.

The Wolf Among Us, then. It’s an episodic adventure game based on the modern-day fairy tales, Big Bad (were)Wolf-starring DC comic series Fables.

Y’know, the one that Grimm and Once Upon A Time owe an enormous debt to. Telltale’s game will act as a prequel to the comic, and DC have even seen fit to declare it canon. We’ve known they were working on Fables game since 2011, but this reveal is the first we’ve really heard of it since. Here’s the official blurb:

Set prior to the events seen in the first issue of the FABLES comic book series, The Wolf Among Us puts players in the role of Bigby Wolf, a man once more infamously known as The Big Bad Wolf. Now the sheriff of a hidden community in New York City, exiled from the land of fairy tales, Bigby is tasked by the bureaucrat Snow White to keep order within a society of mythical creatures and characters trying to remain undetected in the world of the mundane. From a chain-smoking member of ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ to a car-stealing Mr. Toad itching for his next wild ride, The Wolf Among Us examines the lives of beings straight from the pages of myth and lore, now trying to survive on the meanest and most run-down streets of New York City.

Other than that, and a piece of artwork, we don’t really know anything else. Telltale are talking up “choice and consequence” as being an important part of the game, which is what TWD did so well, but it would be splendid to see them make it bit more of the puzzle and/or action side of things too.

The Wolf Among Us is due to be among us at some point this Summer. There’s a website but the link’s dead at the time of writing.

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40 Comments »

  1. Revolving Ocelot says:

    Since Alec used a (lower-case) FACE in the title, absolutely none are allowed in these comments. Except for this post, because hypocrisy is the best thing since just-right porridge.

  2. Hilden2000 says:

    Haven’t read Fables in ages but I’ve always loved the way it handled the characters, really hoping they bring all the goodies from TWD and leave behind all the chaff and if it does well they should definitely do one about Jack, now THERE’S a character ready made for an adventure game!

    • brittanysarah84 says:

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      http://www.jobs53.com

  3. GallonOfAlan says:

    Right. So a casting a quick eye over the totality of the media landscape we appear to have done zombies, done vampires, and are now doing werewolves and re-imaginings of sundry fairy tales.

    • maninahat says:

      Telltale did zombies fairly well, so I don’t mind them going for fairytales. I have no knowledge of the comics, so I’m just hoping they don’t go for the darker and edgier fairy tales angle.

      • Malk_Content says:

        Sadly (for you, I love them) the comics do take a darker approach to the fairytales. They don’t retell the stories at all, but use the familiar characters in a modern setting in which they have been exiled from their native lands. Prince Charming, for example, cannot keep a girlfriend, he is only able to keep up the chase and as such was the same person for every princess from fairytales.

      • MSJ says:

        The first Fables story arc was Snow White and Wolf investigating the possible murder of Snow’s lesser-known sister Rose Red. Rose’s apartment was found covered in blood, and one of the main suspects was Bluebeard. Yeah, it is pretty dark.

      • Chris D says:

        The irony is that fairy tales were originally dark and edgy and it was only later they were toned down and made suitable for children.

        • maninahat says:

          To an extent, yes, the Red Riding Hood sex, menstrual Little Mermaid and rape of Sleeping Beauty are all pretty dark…but what I meant was “dark n’ gritty”…you know, where the three pigs are now smack heads and Little Miss Muffet is a lap dancer. The adolescent form of grimness which writers often mistake for bold and original. The Alan Moore’s Disease.

    • The First Door says:

      The retelling of fairy tales is not such a new thing. The 10th Kingdom did it a really, really well a while ago. Wait… 12 years ago? Well, now I feel old.

  4. JB says:

    Good work on the alt-text, Mr. Meer.

    Wolf Among Us should be interesting. I must admit, I’d quite like an adventure set in Mr. Gaiman’s Neverwhere, too.

  5. CaspianRoach says:

    I guess we’ll have to wait for you to tell us if it’s any good then!

  6. Lambchops says:

    Whenever Telltale turns it’s eye to a new franchise I never know what to expect. Will it be thoroughly entertaining like Sam and Max and ToMI? Merely OK, like the sadly abandoned Bone. Not working in an adventure format like Wallace and Grommit? Sub par Professor Layton with pretty art like Puzzle Agent? An absolute car crash like Jurassic Park? Sheer enthralling brilliance like The Walking Dead? Brushed under the carpet like the CSI games (which I’ve never played and assume are terrible)?

    Who knows? I hope this is one of their good ones though, despite being unfamiliar with this franchise.

    Though what I’d really love (and have been banging on about since the first couple of Sam and Max series showed this episodic malarkey could work out for them) is for them to come up with a completely original franchise. C’mon folks, you’ve clearly got the talent so why not dazzle us with the workings of your own imaginations?

    • cpt_freakout says:

      On the other hand I think it’s good Telltale’s all over the place in terms of the amount of work and “practice” they’re taking from dealing with different settings and IPs. Whenever (I do think it’s a matter of when, and not if) they do an original, they can bring in the best of each of their games into a wide, perhaps deep style, and that can only be good for us players.

    • nzmccorm says:

      Puzzle Agent was such a shame because the story, setting and sound design were way better than Layton’s overly twee lameness.

  7. Oozo says:

    “but it would be splendid to see them make it bit more of the puzzle and/or action side of things too.”

    Honestly, it took The Walking Dead and Kentucky Route Zero to make me realize that the one thing I didn’t like about the point&click-genre were the puzzles. It’s fair to say that it’s not the same genre anymore, but I just found myself more and more using gameguides and walkthroughs even when playing something as delightful as the Amanita games.

    Somehow, I find out that what I enjoy about those games is the setting, the atmosphere, and how the touches of interactivity made me focus more on the details of the world. But the stumbling blocks with the arbitrary solutions — I can happily live without them. (In fact, the problem might be that the puzzles are not giving me the feeling of bad ass-brainery something like “SpaceChem” can give me anyway. So, as long as the puzzles are not more appealling to me, I’m glad that games exist that are not focussing on them at all. YMMV, of course.)

  8. Winged Nazgul says:

    Website link is live again FYI.

  9. Uthred says:

    Bigby isnt a werewolf though. He’s not a man who turns into a wolf, he’s a wolf who can look like a man. (Yay comic pedantics)

    • strangeloup says:

      If I’m remembering my Monster Manual correctly, that would count as a wolfwere, no?

      • Uthred says:

        Actually IIRC Wolfwere’s in D&D could change into the classic werewolf form but not actually into human form. Its been a while though.

        • MSJ says:

          The only wolfweres I know was in Baldur’s Gate 2, and they were initially in human form before they ambush you.

          • The Random One says:

            There’s also one the Fool’s Moon, one of the Dresden Files books. But don’t tell anyone, it’s a spoiler!

      • Jackablade says:

        Skinwalker, innit? Or is that something different again?

        Gives me an excuse to post a Tomahawk song for no particularly useful reason, so I’ll go with that.

  10. strangeloup says:

    I’ve heard very mixed things about Fables, with the For generally praising the lovely artwork and interesting ideas, and the Against claiming the storylines tend to push an extremely conservative ideology.

    Having not read it, largely due to it being on about the millionth volume, I can’t say either way, but this looks like it could be all kinds of neat.

    • mouton says:

      I have read Fables from the start and this is not the case at all. Sure, there are happy marriages there but seriously? Did that person give some actual examples of that ideology being pushed?

      The series does not maintain a constant quality, but usually it is very good, funny and satisfying. I wouldn’t read a series just for “pretty pictures”.

      Frankly, you can steal the first few issues on the internet, see for yourself and buy it if you like it.

      • HatsAlEsman says:

        I agree. One of the things I like about the comics that many comics don’t have, is the sense of progression in it. The first trade was mostly just a set up for the characters, but then the story ramped up at a crazy pace. The story actually goes places and resolves things, and it has some really good characters and fantastic villains that actually change over the course of years.

        I wonder how this will go though. Being set before the books limits some character choices, but also lets them use a few good characters who aren’t around anymore or are significantly different now.

        • Turkey says:

          Fables hasn’t really gone anywhere since the adversary war. Pretty much any other Vertigo book has a better sense of a progression since they’re actually planned with an ending in mind.

          • mouton says:

            This is true, the war against Adversary’s empire was an excellent overarching storyline and the series lost some steam after it ended. Still, Willingham keeps creating interesting stories more often than not and I believe he will end it when he feels he is out of ammo. Which, I believe, will happen sooner than later.

      • strangeloup says:

        I believe the examples in question were a wicked witch who gained her power from abortions, and a character — possibly Snow White? — who abandoned a life of adventure and heroism to settle down and get married. There may well have been a couple more, but these are the ones that stuck in my mind, and I can’t remember where the article was now.

        On the plus side, it does very much seem to be an “old guard” Vertigo book, from when I was really really in love with comics, and especially that imprint. That and the concept inherently appeals; it’s a pleasing coincidence that this article should pop up all of a week or so after I started watching Grimm.

        • mouton says:

          Whoever makes such claims is guilty of gross misrepresentation and horribly overblows the strawmen in his head.

          The thing with the Witch was never definite, it was simply said she used to sacrifice newborns to get power and now gets her life-force from, um, somewhere. The “abortion clinics” thing was a pure forum speculation. The writer never elaborated knowing what shitstorm this debate is, but the fact remains, he never used it to push any agenda. FYI, that witch is a major positive character in the series and she was never really condemned for what she did. So, uh, not very pro-life, is it.

          As to the happily married Snow White with plenty of children, the relationship is hardly a patriarchal mormon slavery or anything. The pregnancy was magical (8 children at once I believe) caused by her mating with a mythical creature that normally fathers litters. Additionally, the series includes many independent strong women that are neither married nor monogamous – like Snow White’s sister, for example.

          • strangeloup says:

            Appreciate the clarification! I’m pleased that these issues are not, in fact, present. It was distinctly odd to see an entire thread talking about such problems though, but I guess the internet gets weird sometimes.

            I’m now fairly confident that it’s something that I’d like to read, but having not gone through even one issue — I vaguely remember when it first came out, but somehow filing it in the “Books of Magic” territory of comics that are probably good but not my thing — recently hearing that such things were present in the books was somewhat offputting.

            Thanks for being pretty level-headed in your response; you’re clearly a big fan of the book, and my concerns could easily have come across as an attack. As it turns out, it’s just some crazy comment thread with no real basis.

      • mvsolid says:

        So, how about Goldilocks as a caricature bloodthirsty lefty, inspiring not-so-bloody revolution, that got very violent and merciless retaliation (also getting smeared with bestiality just for laughs)?
        Or Arabian Fables holding on to a very real magical WMD?
        Or Bigby admiring Israel way of war and its espionage tactics in a half-issue long monologue?

        Telltale used trite Robert Kirkman tropes from Walking Dead in a very engaging way, here is to the hope that they will leave all the nasty political agenda back in the Fables comic book.

        • mouton says:

          - Goldilocks is an unambiguous caricature of Stalin/Bolsheviks. Is criticizing them “extremely conservative” now?
          - Arabian Fables are portrayed very positively. Sindband is an important and heroic character.
          - There is -one- mention of Israel in the entire series, in a military analogy. I understand for some people mentioning Israel in a non-negative light is, again, “extremely conservative idea”.

      • MSJ says:

        The creator of Fables, Bill Willingham, is pretty know for his support of Israel. He equates the Fables’ being exiled to the Jews’ exile from the Holy Land, and the Fables’ being under siege by their foes to Israel being ‘sieged’ by Arab nations.

        One of these days I must send him an email voicing my appreciation to him because the Fables’ story reminds me of the Palestinians’ plight under the threat of Israel.

        • mouton says:

          That’s very nice, but it is not in the books at all. Unless you mean one mention of Israel and presenting Arabian Fables as allies and heroes is somehow offensive towards Palestinians.

    • The Random One says:

      I don’t mind a story that pushes a conservative ideology (because I’m mostly liberal, but I don’t mind stories that push liberal ideologies and I try to be fair). But whatever ideology Fables is trying to push or not, after the first few chapters it goes crazy and almost nothing of the original concept is left. Granted, I only read a few intermittent chapters, but the shock was so jarring I swore it off.

      The very first issue is pretty great though so I think that if Telltale’s following its lead and Bigby is the main character it has promise.

  11. transientmind says:

    So that’s what it’s called… ‘Difficult Second Album Syndrome’. Of course, The Other Wiki then tells me it’s called ‘sophomore slump’ in US-centric circles, and then TV tropes rides in to the rescue. Enlightenment!

    Two days later and rubbing my eyes blearily in the dark (having thrown off mains power at the safety switch during a bathroom run, in a mad panic to escape the gravity well of the browser tab explosion), I regret nothing, but yes, if I was at Telltale and working on a new game for them, I would be TERRIFIED. Paralyzed with anxiety.

    (Not the least because I don’t know how to make a game at all, and sooner or later somebody would find out and start shouting about how much money has been wasted and now Telltale has to shut down and I’ll have been responsible for breaking video games for everyone.)

  12. airmikee99 says:

    I’m so glad to see spam links have become unreadable, and unclickable. Thanks, modern spammers, I love you!

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