The Wolf Among Is Us From Tomorrow, Launches Trailer

By John Walker on October 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Telltale have put themselves in a difficult spot. After years of their mediocre adventures getting rather overly generous reviews (and their excellent Strong Bad series earning them), last year they produced a genuine hit. The Walking Dead saw the developer finally stop being a LucasArts tribute act, and develop their own distinct identity. Now they’ve got to follow it. DC’s Fables-inspired The Wolf Among Us is their first attempt to do so, and it looks to be taking the mechanics of Walking Dead even further. The first episode is out tomorrow, and there’s a sweary launch trailer below.

The art style is interesting. Which is code for: I can’t tell if I like it. It’s the rotoscoped design of TWD, combined with what looks like an 80s comic book palette.

Gosh, there’s a ton of potential for this one, isn’t there? With their new-found confidence and recognition of where their talents lie, Telltale could – after so long – prove to be the company who make episodic gaming work.

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51 Comments »

  1. SkittleDiddler says:

    Strong Bad was terrible. Wolf looks good.

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      Lars Westergren says:

      Yeah, I really don’t what RPS sees in StrongBad. I thought it was the weakest of their early series. Sam & Max though got stronger and stronger with every season. Great puzzles (from season 2 onwards), good jokes.

      Walking Dead was ok, I probably would have liked it better if I wasn’t so goddamn fed up with zombies. I’m happy Telltale got a big hit on their hands though, and I’m really looking forward to Wolf Among Us.

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        basilisk says:

        Have you watched and/or liked the Homestar Runner cartoons? That’s probably a factor. I also think Strong Bad was easily one of Telltale’s best efforts, alongside the third season of Sam & Max (where season one was mostly rubbish and season two a complete disaster). Everything else was pretty meh until TWD came around.

        • Xocrates says:

          Season two a disaster? Wut? Season 3 probably had more problems than 2.

          You might not have liked 2 as much, but to call it a disaster is stretching it.

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            basilisk says:

            No, I stand by that. Season two suffered from mind-numbing repetition of structure (prologue – first three trials – second three trials – epilogue), places and characters, together with writing that tried so hard to be wacky it was just really, really annoying (I know! Let’s make the villains time-travelling mariachis!! Isn’t that zany and novel!!!). Some of that can be excused with their shoestring budget, but not all of it. The third season proved they can do way more if they try, even though they might fail every now and then.

          • Notebooked says:

            Well dangit, color me slow. I can understand your (basilisk’s) complaints about the repetition of structure, but I don’t understand why time-travelling mariachis seem more forcibly wacky than the concept of a human-sized talking police dog and a sociopath rabbit fighting crime. (Or a villain being a washed-up British country star who wants to capture a clan of Bigfeet.)

  2. WinTurkey says:

    You take that back John, Sam & Max were amazing and I stopped following Telltale when they stopped making them.

  3. Rich says:

    Oi! Monkey Island was good! Not as good as 1-3 but still a better place to leave the series than 4.

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    CelticPixel says:

    I think you mean ‘cel-shaded’ art style? Rotoscoping is the technique of tracing over live action footage – like in Prince of Persia and Flashback.

    I really like this art-style for Wolf, from what I’ve seen, but I can understand it might not be for everyone.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      I think he’s a confused because it’s a stylized look with semi-realistic proportions.

    • John Walker says:

      I say “rotoscoped design” because it’s designed to look like rotoscoping. But I could have been clearer.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Fair explanation, though rotoscoping is about how the movement is created, not how it looks in stills, so I’d say the usage is still incorrect. Like if A Scanner Darkly was completely hand-animated (ie not based on live action footage) it could theoretically still have the same look in a still image, but the movement would be completely different and it would not be rotoscoping.

      That aside, I’m not sure I agree this looks like a rotoscoped image even in a screenshot. It’s more like a realistic-ish comic style, which is what it is based on.

    • Tams80 says:

      Yeah, this is definitely not rotoscoping. ‘Rotoscope-like’ or ‘Imitation-rotoscope’ would be better terms.

      This would be pretty eery if it for rotoscoped (see Aku no Hana). *sudder*

      • Viroso says:

        Yep. And still I don’t think it looks anything like rotoscoped. It’s trying to look like comic books or something hand painted. Thick lines, bright colors, visible brush strokes, visible sketch lines. It was like Borderlands.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      If they had used motion capturing, wouldn’t it technically be rotoscoping?

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        It would have the same problems as rotoscoping (eerily realistic motion that seems completely off for stylized characters) but the label is specific to the technique used ie drawing on top of film, so no.

  5. sirflimflam says:

    Telltale have put themselves in a difficult spot. After years of their mediocre adventures getting rather overly generous reviews (and their excellent Strong Bad series earning them)
    Nice to see RPS falling into the same trap they seem to criticize of others. The Strongbad games were pretty terrible if you weren’t already a fan of Strongbad. I’m sure many Sam and Max and Monkey Island fans might feel similarly about those respective games.

  6. Gravy100 says:

    Love the art style, I think they nailed it in that respect

    • Ross Angus says:

      Agreed.

      • Fomorian1988 says:

        Yeah, it’s as close as you can get to emulating Mark Buckingham’s artwork – I can’t wait to see their versions of Pinocchio and Fly. Shame that the game won’t take place in the Farm, since Bigby’s forbidden from entering it, I’d love to see it in game.

    • Viroso says:

      Yep. I wish they didn’t do something similar to this on TWD though. This look has nothing to do with TWD. I’m assuming the next game will look like to this too.

      • xofcitra says:

        Aside from the fact that TWD game was based off of the comic series and not the tv series, the art style has nothing to do with TWD.

  7. InternetBatman says:

    I hope they keep out the preachy (the wicked witch gets her power through abortion) and misogynist (in more than one comic a guy goes on a huge rant about how girls don’t want nice guys like him) parts of fables.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Are you being edgy and topical or are you complaining that a computer game about a subject matter (in this case, an adult-oriented graphic novel) shouldn’t deal with the same subjects as the subject matter?

      • InternetBatman says:

        No, I’m not being edgy. The comic book was preachy, petulant, and pathetic by the end. The adult part of it didn’t bother me, the juvenile part did. If Telltale wants to avoid the spectacular decline of Fables the comic book, then they’ll have to change some stuff in it (not to make it polite, just to make it good).

        • Fomorian1988 says:

          Was? The series is still ongoing.

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          colossalstrikepackage says:

          I am a person who agrees with InternetBatman. Man I didn’t see myself typing those words today, but life is full of miracles.

          I thought that the Walking Dead comic series was written by a mind that was fundamentally pessimistic about human beings (hence I didn’t enjoy it) – but Telltale took all that was interesting about the world (the constant danger, the need for hope, the struggle between survival and keeping your humanity) and made something genuinely magical – if a little dark.

          When I heard that ttg was making Fables, I bought the first few comics, but just couldn’t bring myself to continue them. For the reasons that InternetBatman said and also because it just lacked any charm for me. So here’s to hoping that ttg aim really HIGH for this next game. They have some terrific writers and I so badly want to play another game with a top drawer script and characters.

          But I’ll hold my breath until it’s given a green light by reviewers. So come on RPS already with a WIT…

          • Fomorian1988 says:

            Fables’ problem is that it doesn’t really pick up the pace until The March of Wooden Soldiers (issue 19), previous storylines are mostly about setting things up (the first story arc is particularly uninteresting) – it’s mostly a fantasy epic with characters from old fables (and Wizard of Oz and other public domain characters). It’s first spinoff though, Jack of Fables, is utter crap – and the second spin-off, Fairest, is more of the same, focusing mostly on the female characters.

            Though you are correct – it’s not the best comic book Telltale Games could’ve chosen. The glory that would be a video game adaptation of The Unwritten, Lucifer, Saga or Astro City…

          • The Random One says:

            I somehow doubt that after the success of TWD they were offered a choice of any comic they wanted by the inventor of comics, Baron Detective von Comic-Book, and went with Fables because they think pigs are funny. That said, I agree a with you, and would display shameful physiological reactions at the idea of a Transmetropolitan point-and-click.

    • Baf says:

      In all fairness to Willingham, the abortion thing isn’t canon. All she says about her powers is that they were formerly fueled by child sacrifice, and that she’s found a substitute that’s perfectly legal. So the abortion interpretation makes a lot of sense, but it’s still just a popular fan theory. I can buy that it’s the interpretation that Willingham wanted to imply, but some of us managed to read the passage without getting it, so it’s not as in-your-face as you’d think from the complaint.

      Also, it should be noted out that she’s actually one of the good guys. Or as much as Bigby is, anyway.

      • mouton says:

        Yeah, I don’t understand how can anyone call Fables “preachy” when mass murderers like Bigby and Totenkinder become immortal, insanely powerful, find true love and are the “good guys”. Unless you are preaching satanism or something.

    • mouton says:

      Have we read the same comic book series? It says nothing of abortion and it is certainly not misogynistic just because some character is.

  8. AshRolls says:

    The art style reminds me of the movie adaptation of Phillip K Dick’s ‘A Scanner Darkly’.

  9. NathaI3 says:

    Really looking forward to this series. Well… looking forward to when they release the whole series for under a tenner. While I understand the business (and non-business) reasons for making a game episodic like this, I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t wait till was released as a whole package instead.

    I see it as the opposite of TV, where it is easier (not to mention cheaper) to watch a programme as it’s being shown week by week than fork out for the box set. But with a game, like this, where you pay episode by episode, surely it makes sense to wait till the end and pick the whole thing up for much less than the sum of the prices of individual episodes?

    • frightlever says:

      You buy the season up front at a discount right now. Or just wait for it on sale, I guess.

    • Optimaximal says:

      I see it as the opposite of TV, where it is easier (not to mention cheaper) to watch a programme as it’s being shown week by week than fork out for the box set.

      I’m not sure I get that quote. Are you saying it’s easier or harder to watch the TV series? I can’t stand all these American series dragging their content out then throwing a season break in the middle. Give me the boxed set.

      Also, how is it cheaper? In the UK, you often have to buy into Sky at it’s obscene price to watch this stuff on release – Anything that is picked up by OTA is often dropped after the first series or bought out by Sky.

      • NathaI3 says:

        Yes reading that back it does look confusing. I like watching (or playing) things all at once without gaps. Box sets.

        BUT I like to consume media in the cheapest possible (legal) way. Generally with TV you don’t pay episode by episode, but you do pay for the box set.

        You raise a good point about TV subscriptions generally being expensive. It’s hard to work out exactly what you’re paying per programme you watch though.

        Basically I’m going to wait for the whole season to be released before picking it up.

  10. tomimt says:

    This does look good, I think the style looks even better on this than it did on the Walking Dead and that game didn’t look bad either.

    Out of Telltales previous games I’d say season 3 of Sam & Max worked extremely well, I’d say it was the best of S&M series. I also liked the Puzzle Agent a lot, especially the first game was very nice Twin Peaks homage.

  11. Frank says:

    “With their new-found confidence and recognition of where their talents lie, Telltale could – after so long – prove to be the company who make episodic gaming work.”

    Yeah, I’m glad the company survived long enough to learn how to make the Walking Dead on the budgets they have. I’m hoping they continue exploring outside traditional adventure-game design. (You know: not Sam & Max. The first couple episodes seemed like thoughtless mimickry of old-school conventions, so I never played the rest.)

  12. Viroso says:

    For people who don’t know Fables, I wouldn’t go in expecting something similar to TWD. I don’t mean the zombies part of TWD, but the more dramatic part. This will probably be fantasy detective adventures of Wolverine clone Bigby Wolf, and being a prequel there’s less room to do anything big with the main character.

  13. Dayofthedan says:

    I really enjoyed strongbad because I was a big fan beforehand. Thats what made it so great, it stuck to its original content and feel really well. I don’t remember the gameplay or even the overarching story being very good. Just the fact that they did the strongbad show as a game kept it really fun for me.

  14. Scissors says:

    Getting this fosho.

  15. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    Meh. Fables started boring me a couple of years ago, honestly. And this just looks like an excuse to make Bigby another drunken, angry, lost good guy who doesn’t play by the rules but always gets his man. See also Riggs, Sgt Martin; McClane, Officer John; Callahan, Inspector Harry; Payne, Agent Max.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      Yeah, they really should’ve chosen Cinderella as their protagonist. Bigby’s fine, but he’s mostly Wolverine who can turn into a wolf – meanwhile Cindy’s an awesome superspy.

  16. Guiscard says:

    What do you mean “could prove to be the company that makes episodic gaming work”? Regardless of RPS’s own thinly veiled hatred towards the end products, Telltale established that they could make episodic gaming model work properly 7 years ago.

    Take a moment to think where the other two contemporary frontiersmen of episodic distribution – Valve and Ritual Entertainment – currently are with their episodic efforts, and compare it to Telltale’s own. They’ve clearly had episodic gaming nailed down as a viable and successful model for years before The Walking Dead and Fables showed up.

    • Kadayi says:

      Careful there bud, bringing reason to these things is a mistake.

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    Chaz says:

    The black lines on his face remind me of a Vic and Bob sketch where Bob pretends to be Lovejoy.

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    Aerothorn says:

    I wouldn’t hesitate to rank The Walking Dead well below Sam & Max and Strongbad.

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    JR says:

    Good heavens. Am I the only one that remembers the existence of Puzzle Agent?

  20. blackmyron says:

    Yeah, I’m not getting the dislike of Sam & Max or Monkey Island. And Strongbad is absolutely hated by the creators.

  21. somnolentsurfer says:

    I don’t know if it’s the wolf in the title or the colour scheme, but something about that just leaves me expecting it to star Kid With Knife.