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Fables is a comic series that’s been going on for a while and I've heard great things about it. But after seeing this vid entitled Characters and Voice Actors - The Wolf Among Us Episode 1 and then this video for episode 2. The channel has a lot of videos looking at voice actors. And of course I am quite a voice-acting fan, so I was very impressed when I watched that. Apart from the clearly incredibly talented cast presented. I noticed how alot of the characters were named after fairytale characters. Curious enough to look it up, I discovered that the game is a sort of point and click adventure, very heavy and focused on story and characterization. It’s made to be a prequel to the Fables comics. Since I've wanted to get into the comics, I saw this as a great opportunity to start here.
So I know you are asking yourself, “There is already sooooo much dark and edgy fairytale bullshit for adults out there, why is this any special?”
Ok, ok as you know I am quite the fan of the American McGee’s Alice series. So I just love dark reinterpretations of fairytales and fables that's done in an intelligent and thought-provoking way. And not just trying too hard to get cash in and be hip. But honestly Wolf Among Us knocks it, and anything else like out of the park. Right from the start I was so captivated and enraptured by the story details and world building.
The basic premise is that all these fairy-tale characters have fled from living in their fantasy realm known as “the homelands” and now reside in our modern setting in the Mundane world (alongside us “mundies”). Building a community called “Fabletown” where they live their lives out in plain sight. Inevitably, this brings to consideration many animal and monster characters. They have to use a spell called a "Glamour", which makes all the monsters and animals look human in order to blend in. Hense why you see many characters like the Big Bad Wolf, Grendel etc appearing human. Problem is it’s very expensive. You can go to some dodgy sources for a cheap version, but the catch is that it dosn't last long, may not hide every tiny feature and could expire at any inconvenient time. Those who can’t get a glamour, have to move to "the farm" a rural extension of Fabletown disguised as a farm where the monsters and animals have to stay. The details are pure genius!
You play as the sheriff of Fabletown, Bigby Wolf. Who is in fact THE Big Bad Wolf from any old tales, as he tries to uncover a murder mystery and unraveling a few other conspiracies. IMO, as a human he's kinda fit. But honestly you’ll love him for his personality alone, especially when you have to make many of his choices and mold his personality from sometimes being a polite and nice guy to abit of an arsehole. However some situations mean you’ll have to choose to be one or the other. Which probably makes him the most complex character out of this amazing cast since you watch everything through his eyes. You really shoulder his burden of solving this murder mystery and also how much your interactions and decisions effect your relationships and story in Fabletown. After all, being the Big Bad Wolf, his reputation with them is already on thin ice and is generally not well liked. In fact, many are down-right scared of him. So it honestly pains you when some of your decisions. Especially since Bigby keeps teetering on the edge of going full wolf, usually in the more intense moments when he's in a fight. You never know what choice is a sensible one or not. I've seen some occasions where I think I've said/done something reasonable, only to receive backlash. Even sometimes where I have to make the tough choice of letting out my more monstrous side. Like a couple instances where a suspect is OBVIOUSLY lying, you catch them out several times, you can see that they are lying ‘cos they are scared to tell, but you grow frustrated with him cos you really just want to help. So need to really be careful with how far your patience will go or how they will choose to listen to you. Sometimes you are forced to bad things, but by god, it just feels so damn good when you manage to work hard to earn someone’s trust back or change their opinion of you. The interactions others have with him is fascinating! Like one of the three little pigs is kind of a prick. Always giving Bigby a hard time for blowing his house down. And is constantly guilt-ripping and sponging off him WAY more than he needs to. And the Woodsman, blimey O’ Reily! He's just so mad that Bigby is now the Sheriff and no one's praising him as a hero anymore, to the point where he's become obsessed with it and turned into a violent drunk. I won’t DARE give away what he reveals about what ACTUALLY happened when he rescued Red Riding hood. You’ll have to see that awesomeness for yourself
But it’s not just Bigby, so many classic characters are here and its always so fascinating. And honestly they get them spot on! You see them and you think “Oh yeah, that is DEFINITELY so and so and this is DEFINITELY what they would be like now”. In fact I can think of a friend of mine who would get quite a dark giggle out of learning what’s happened to the Little Mermaid in these stories. Like you get to see Beauty and Beast having marriage problems, Mr. Toad from the Wind in the Willows is a landlord with a son. Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow is the bad-tempered but pitifully maladjusted deputy mayor of Fabletown. Bufkin is a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz and is a librarian at Ichabod’s office. Snow White is Ichabod’s PA and is quite a political character. etc. I LOVE ALL these characters (well, except maybe Bluebeard and the Tweedle twins. Those guys are dicks! But then again they were in their original stories. ) The effort put into these character’s personalities only helps to amerce you in the stories events even more, as many of them and their situations prove to be unpredictable, and some having their own arcs. Flaws and gems shining through. Whether its Toad’s strained but genuine efforts as a father or the friendship between Grendel and Holly brought together by their contempt for the higher-ups and desperate cries for change in the fable community. Also the fairytale that makes up the back-story to the first murder victim is just so disturbing and tragic. I honestly never heard this story before, but for good reason. There is NO way this story could be told to kids. @___@. With this, so many scenes have such great emotional weight: highlights for me include a surprisingly emotional and reflective conversation between Bigby and Ichabod in a car, and also the excellent reaction of a character has to the news of a relative’s death. Your connection to them proves especially powerful when you take into consideration that we have known these characters for most of our lives. DEM FEELS MAN!!! It’s done with the wonderful combined effort of the acting, fantastic writing and the animation. For as much as games like Heavy Rain or L.A. Noire try their best with technology to perfectly re-create the human face in order to express emotions and make them look exact. Neither can compare to the animation and script of Wolf Among Us, whatever emotion a scene it trying to convey, it proves to be very, VERY effective. The art of the videogame is styled to be reminiscent of a comic book or even slightly 2D–ish with its cell-shaded animation, heavy black lines ans having with its own memorable design and style, rather than aiming for realism. I know it will already seem familiar to anyone who has played the Walking Dead games. But I have neither watched nor played that series, so I’ll always remember it best for Fabletown.
With the game’s story so far centering on themes and ideas like intrigue, serial murder, elitism, character relationships, prostitution, sexual deviance, obsession and SOO much more. Safe to assume I'm hooked.
The game is split into episodes, 1 and 2 are out. However 3, 4 and 5 have yet to be released or even have a release date announced. When I got done watching the first episode, I had this to say.... OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!! I'm not sure what I can say!! I mean these characters, the mystery! The twist!!! When he!! When She!! They!!! *breathe* Then once I got done watching episode 2. Oh my god, I struggled to catch my breath and my palms were sweating! I just... AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!! Oh my god! This one character! I felt like I've been stabbed in the heart!! This is INTENSE!!!!
With 3 to 5 have yet to be released! I'm gonna end up bouncing off the bloody walls!! And worst of all I can’t say anything for spoilers! I'm going to die if the 3rd episode isn't released soon! Especially since episode 1 was released last October and episode 2 was this month, so who knows when the next one is coming? However I do know it will be this year. ‘Till then, I will be constantly screaming inside.
With this obsession I do plan to do some fan-art. I’ll likely put a mature filter over any spoiler-heavy pictures. This is just such an intense, fun and emotional thrill-ride that I really want you guys to experience for yourselves. If you can’t purchase the game, then you will defiantly get as much excitement out of watching a walkthrough. That way you can share my excitement and impatience! Plus I just hope I can get into some good conversations about this.
And goes without saying, if you are already reading the Fables comics, DON'T GIVE ME ANY SPOILERS!!!