The Wolf Among Us is the last of Telltale Games’ previously released titles to wind up on the PlayStation 4. When these next-gen ports were initially announced, many expected them to offer more stable editions of the famously buggy escapades available elsewhere. Sadly, both The Walking Dead: Season One, and, to a lesser extent, Season Two, disappointed in this area. We’re sad to report, then, that Bigby Wolf’s adventure follows a similar path – in fact, it’s the least stable of the three.
First, though, let’s talk a little about the game, which is a prequel to DC Comics’ popular Fables series. An interactive drama, the narrative plots the journey of the abovementioned Sherriff of Fabletown, as he tries to locate a serial killer who’s responsible for knocking off other fairy tale characters. It’s a riveting tale, with an opener that hooks you straight away, and refuses to let go. It’s also quite a looker, with the neon drenched slums of New York helping to bring the noir tale to life. Unfortunately, it’s let down by performance problems.
The Wolf Among Us: Season One Episode Reviews
- Episode 1: Faith
- Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors
- Episode 3: A Crooked Mile
- Episode 4: In Sheep's Clothing
- Episode 5: Cry Wolf
The first of these is a bothersome audio glitch. We encountered this several times per episode (especially in the first one), typically in the early portions and ending portions of each. In this instance, speech would stutter and start over, kicking entire segments of the game out of sync by two or three seconds on multiple occasions. Considering the frequency of the bug, we’re not entirely sure how it got through quality assurance, and while it won’t kill your enjoyment of the release, this is not exactly what we expect from an updated port.
We also encountered a bunch of wonky animation issues as well, with some truly bizarre clipping, which, on at least two occasions, had characters half standing inside walls near to them. Again, it doesn’t break the game, but considering the hard hitting tale that the developer’s trying to tell, it’s an awkward oversight that detracts from the fiction. Fortunately, the framerate is a little smoother on next-gen hardware, so don’t expect the release to slump into a slide show like on the PlayStation 3.
Still, the spate of obvious technical problems hold back what is an otherwise great game, which is such a shame – especially considering that we had hoped that the port would iron out any well known issues. While we can appreciate that working on an episodic schedule is probably a big challenge, we can’t help but feel that the developer needs to take the time to sort out these issues in the future, as its output is being ruined as a result of technical mishaps.
The Wolf Among Us is an exceptionally well written and paced title from Telltale Games. However, if you’ve already experienced the series on the PS3, there’s no real reason to double-dip here – especially considering the wealth of technical issues. Indeed, the audio glitch is particularly problematic in this port, and while the framerate is cleaned up, we can’t help but feel that the developer should be doing more with the hardware available to it. This is still a great game, but it’s not the polished up final product that you may have been hoping for.