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The Wolf Among Us: It’s Like The Walking Dead, Except You Haven’t Played It

Earlier this month, Telltale Games released the first episode of their adventure game The Wolf Among Us. I get the feeling most of you haven’t played it. That’s a shame because, Wolf is just as good as Telltale’s The Walking Dead game.

The Wolf Among Us is based on Bill Willingham’s comic book series Fables. In this series, fairy tale characters like Snow White and Mr. Toad were forced to flee their homelands because of a mysterious enemy. These Fables resettled in a section of New York City and now try to eke out a quiet living. The Fables with more exotic appearances wear magical disguises called glamours to appear human. Bigby Wolf, formerly known as the Big Bad Wolf, is charged with maintaining order in Fabletown and ensuring that the Fables maintain their masquerade.

When the premise was first described to me, I expected a more slapstick story. You know, with scenes of the Three Little Pigs walking around Manhattan underneath a single trenchcoat so they can buy falafel or something. However, the premise is treated with complete seriousness by the game. The Fables, as magical and fantastic as they are, still exhibit very human emotions. They haven’t adjusted well to their exile and lose themselves in alcohol, sex and other vices to pass the time.

Though he’s the sheriff of the bunch, Bigby’s no boy scout. He seems like the cliche, poor-as-shit private eye who hates shaving but that’s just his glamour. Beneath his magical disguise, he’s still a monstrous wolf. He’s supposed to keep the Fables in line but they keenly remember all the years he spent terrorizing him back in the old country. Part of him would love to just stop playing nice guy and start blowing down pigs’ houses again. The game follows him as he tries to do his job in spite of others’ expectations and his animal instincts.

Like Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us is sort of a point-and-click adventure but not really. You explore the environment and find objects but there are no real puzzles to speak of. Most of your choices will come through the branching dialogue. While chatting with other Fables, you can be a calm officer of the law or act like the fierce wolf everyone knows you are. You’re also confronted with moral dilemmas, small and large. How you behave in each of these interactions will affect the storyline later in the episode and potentially later in the season.

If I had a complaint about the decision-driven gameplay of Wolf, it’s that Telltale goes a bit overboard in trying to convey how important your choices are. If you tell the flying monkey that you had a bad day, you’re told in subtitles that “he’s going to remember that.” During the two crucial decisions in Episode One, the action stops so you understand the utter gravity of the situation. We get it, guys. Choices matter.

Wolf has virtually the same QTE-driven combat as The Walking Dead, which is…fine. This isn’t an action game; you’re playing it for a good story rather than a good fight. Still, to Wolf’s credit, it required slightly faster reflexes and precision than TWD. The action’s more exciting, too, because you’re not just fighting shambling zombies anymore. Bigby has to face down all types of magical beings in his investigation so there’s no such thing as a normal brawl.

Some fans of Walking Dead probably won’t pick up The Wolf Among Us because it doesn’t have Walking Dead in its name. If you enjoyed Lee Everett’s tale, though, you really should check out Wolf. Bigby’s adventure is just as exciting!

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Best Adventure Games

13. Heavy Rain

For its ambition and genuinely exciting moments of tension, Heavy Rain is a game worth trying. It had enough tools to be something truly spectacular, but its developers were unfortunately not up to the task. There is disposable fun to be had with the game, and that’s not without value – it’s just a shame Quantic reached for the stars while barely being able to scale a ladder.

Ultimately, Heavy Rain is an experiment that both succeeded and failed, when it could have been a total success if the brains behind it weren’t trying so hard to be smart and cared more about providing a sensible plot as opposed to a shocking one.

As a game, Heavy Rain is entertaining and not without its high points. It’s damn lucky it isn’t the movie that it wishes so badly to be. Still, it’s a fantastic game and classic in its own right.

12. Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls, is about a girl called Jodie, played by Ellen Page, which is important to note as Jodie is also every character Ellen Page is typecast into playing. She screams, and is sarcastic, and does that half-smile thing, and that’s more or less all there is to her personality.

She also has more personality than almost every character combined.

While Beyond has a cast of archetypal and terminally uninteresting characters, it has to be said the writing is noticeably better than it was in Heavy Rain. Dialog is slightly more believable, scenes are less awkward, and there are fewer glaring plot holes or embarrassing pseudoscience. The game itself, is a confusing but emotionally charged roller coaster.

11. Gone Home

Gone home is a beautiful story told with talent. The total immersion and storytelling brings a sense of renewal in the world of video games. Unfortunately, its lifespan is too short: two hours are enough to see the end.

While Gone Home’s experience is rather short, its characters will stay with you for days after you’ve finished the game – despite you never meeting them.

 

10. Tales From Monkey Island

Tales of Monkey Island chronicles the further adventures of Guybrush Threepwood–Mighty Pirate–as he pursues his often-imperiled wife, Elaine, and tries to vanquish his nemesis, LeChuck. Yet this tale is no heroic cliche, and it takes some amusing twists and unconventional turns. The relationships between lead characters are the engaging heart of the story, while the supporting cast and wacky environments provide ample opportunity for humor.

This clever, humorous tale unfurls its sails and becomes a thoroughly entertaining swashbuckling adventure!

 

9. Tales from The Borderlands

Legacy concerns still plague this game like they have been doing for the last half-decade. However, dialogue options feel the most cohesive they’ve ever been and the combat adds a few new wrinkles while fixing what didn’t work before. The story crafted here isn’t just a fine Borderlands sequel, but one of the most enjoyable sci-fi adventure stories in recent memory.

Whether you’re already a Borderlands fan or not, Tales From The Borderlands delivers an emotional, entertaining, and downright fun episodic adventure title. It can easily compete against the hottest contenders on TV, not just on account of its writing, but also its cinematic, artistic beauty.
 
8. Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse 

Overall, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse brings an amusing story, with great writing, and mixes that together with some terrific, innovative game play.
It clearly establishes a repeating theme of Max gaining and then exploiting ridiculous new psychic powers with each episode, something that, because the quality of the execution stays where it is,  makes for a fun adventure.

7. Day of The Tentacle

Insane, mutant tentacles. A frozen hamster. Three distinct playable characters. Time travel. Fake barf. Truly, this game has it all. One other thing Day of the Tentacle has in no short supply is charm. It’s got that in spades. Everything about this game just comes together beautifully.

Call me an adventure romantic, call me crazy, but I love Day of the Tentacle and still think it is one of the best adventures ever made. Modernized in exactly the right spots and with an added developer commentary and alternative controls this is a masterpiece with beautifully crafted puzzles.

6. To The Moon

To The Moon is one of those games you instantly fall in love with. With it’s simple, but elegant design, incredible writing, and thrilling, heartfelt tale, To The Moon is more story than game, but what a story it is.

Although the game mechanics are very simple, the story is truly something, that bigger players of the business should take a look at. This game brought tears to my eyes. It’s truly magical.

5. Grim Fandango

The large cast of characters is unforgettable. Although for the most part they are skeletons in 40s garb, with mask-like faces that can be attributed to Day of the Dead festivities, their personalities render them as distinct and memorable as members of an extremely diverse cast from any fine film.

Everything in the game reeks of excellence. The characters are good, the story is intriguing and the Land of the Dead is a wonderful place.

4. Batman: The Enemy Within

It was worth it. Enemy Within presents one of the most well-realized depictions of the Clown Prince of Crime regardless of medium, and my playthrough’s Vigilante Joker easily places a strong second to Mark Hamill’s virtuoso run as the Ace of Knaves.

The Enemy Within lets you shape and navigate your way through not only an entire relationship, that being the one with John Doe, but also in the direction and creation of The Joker.

When you factor in that the Joker is perhaps almost as iconic as Batman, that Telltale was able to execute this progression at all, let alone imbue it with emotional weight – makes The Enemy Within essential for fans of the caped crusader.

It should come as no surprise, given the praise of it all season, that The Enemy Within is one of my favorite Batman stories, and the life they gave to the greatest of his enemies by making Bruce more than just the catalyst to his change should forever change the way the Joker is written and explored. Same Stitch is a fantastic end to a killer season. Batman: The Enemy Within is, without a doubt, one of the best superhero stories ever written.

3. Life is Strange

Life is Strange really cannot be described. It is a totally unique EXPERIENCE, that in unbelievable way deceives and its magic can only be experienced firsthand.

There are a few moments in which game play takes center stage, but it ends up being crushed by the intensity of the story and the development of the characters. Having said that, in order to really enjoy the experience, you better play the complete game, as it gets better with each chapter. There’s so much depth, symbolism, solid character development, and wonderful interactions.

2. The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us is a game that exceeds expectations, providing an intriguing, painful, and thought-provoking journey that everyone should experience at least once. Bigby Wolf is the perfect protagonist for this shocking Telltale adventure in the Fables universe, because of the convincing way you can mold him into a good or bad wolf.

Yes, Wolf is focused on the admittedly fantastical plight of refugee fairy tale characters trying to carve out a secret existence in the real world. But the story’s good versus evil tale – and the degree of control that players get to exert over how each of those opposing sides is defined – is very much grounded in the ethical landscape that we know and interact with in real life on a daily basis.

Every single detail just clicks and its like an ancient clockwork doing its magic perfectly!

1. The Walking Dead

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From the very beginning, The Walking Dead sinks its teeth in and never lets you go. It’s a journey in the truest sense of the word, replete with tragedy, heartache, tension, fear, and even brief moments of catharsis. Calling The Walking Dead a work of entertainment almost seems like a misnomer, considering the heavy tone and general lack of sentimentality in the writing.

This is a sad game that will weigh heavy on you long after you’ve completed it–it even wrung some honest tears out of me on a couple of occasions. But you’ll suffer through the emotional swings because they’re ultimately worth it. No matter how depressing, gut-wrenching, or flat-out horrifying The Walking Dead gets, you will want–nay, need–to finish it. It’s just that good.

The story for The Walking Dead Game might be a little outrageous. A man convicted of murder awakes out of a car accident to a full-blown apocalypse, and stumbles along to find a little girl, they band together and the rest is history. The duo of Lee and Clementine managed to create one of the most memorable gaming experiences in gaming history.

The Walking Dead represents a jewel in the realm of episodic adventures. This game will shock you. It’ll make you cry and curse.

The Walking Dead deals in a spectrum of emotion that few other games dare to take on, and it does so with aplomb. It’s utterly triumphant, crafting a narrative that proves the power of the medium by embracing what makes it unique, leading to one of the most memorable gameplay experiences ever created.

The art, too, is wonderfully realized, both making the world a dangerous but curious place, and giving a great deal of life to the characters. Just look at Clementine’s expressiveness even without words. It plays right into the hands of its comic book counterpart, even surpassing it! Experiencing this game is anything but lifeless.

But the reason that The Walking Dead earned the rank of being the “Best Adventure Game” from us isn’t just that it is a great story, or because it was able to genuinely illicit an emotional response from us – as all great art does. No, it received a perfect score because this game could change everything. With game development budgets on the rise and technical sophistication becoming almost synonymous with the quality of a game, Telltale Games managed to sneak up and remind everyone that you don’t need all of that to have a memorable gaming experience. You just need to challenge what we know and except, then take us in a new direction that is honest.
When I finished the final episode of The Walking Dead, I buried my face in my arms, eyes welling up with tears.
Behind her smile is a hurting heart… behind her laughter she’s falling apart… and though she be little… she is strong and fierce and smart.

The Walking Dead: Season Two

 

This horrific, heartbreaking, emotional roller coaster is a dire reminder of how the cruelest monsters aren’t the undead, and that the worst is always lurking around the corner.

Clementine is living in a world that is far from black and white, and her decisions reflect the shades of grey she herself is growing into.
 
With Clementine out on her own, Telltale explores some very dark places. Clem – through you, the player – makes her own choices this time around, but it’s always in the context of a brutally unforgiving world. Sometimes you’ll go with a course of action at a critical moment and then watch your expectations shatter as something you never planned for occurs.
 
Other times you’ll make a seemingly innocuous choice that, in hindsight, changes absolutely everything. It’s like this from moment one.
 You’re probably going to cry at some point. Deal with it.
 

Clementine is the most realistic depiction of a child in gaming. She encouraged you to genuinely care, because you were directly responsible for her life in this dreary, walker-ridden world. Real life kids can’t fight legions of zombies by themselves (although Clem was doing decently before Lee showed up).

Clementine was a three dimensional character that you emotionally invested in. That’s rare with video game characters, let alone child ones. She always tries to stay optimistic, she has a bit of comedic relief, but most importantly she always steers others in the right direction. She was sweet, strong, brave, adorable, and surprise-surprise-a great shot! She has grown up in this world and it is irrevocably changing her, we are witnessing the evolution of humanity in this young girl and it is as scary as it is hopeful.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a triumph of interactive storytelling. Video games simply have not seen its equal. The scope of what’s been accomplished, not just over this season but in the story as a whole, isn’t fully clear until the credits roll on the finale, but the realization leaves you breathless. It’s a truly masterful fusion of plot and play. The Walking Dead: Season 2 may kill your friends, may leave you alone, wounded and helpless, in an unforgiving world, but it never loses sight of the fact that Clem’s destiny, Clem’s humanity, is always in the player’s hands. As it should be. 

The Walking Dead certainly isn’t a “fun” game. You won’t walk away laughing. It is dark and often disturbing, and beautiful and heartbreaking. It is an important game, and will be remembered for what it is: a masterpiece.

The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched… they must be felt with the heart.

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Best Spin-off Games

5. Mario Kart Series

4. Tales from The Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series

3. Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City

2. The Wolf Among Us

1. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

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Best Rockstar Games

10. Grand Theft Auto IV

9. Grand Theft Auto

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8. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned

7. Grand Theft Auto Vice City

6. Grand Theft Auto San Andrea’s

5. Grand Theft Auto The Ballad of Gay Tony

4. L.A. Noire

3. Bully

2. Grand Theft Auto V

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1. Red Dead Redemption

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BioWare Games Ranking (Worst to Best)

10. Mass Effect: Andromeda

Its a Sad thing to see, When a developer has so much potential squandered because of a few people that are a bad batch and even more infuriating when companies care more about profits than production. This obviously hasn’t been the first time EA has treated it’s developers terrible and their IP’s Worse. Many have already desensitized themselves from the abysmal “Devil’s Cartel” that sunk any success in the “Army of Two” franchise and Lets not forget how both, “Maxis” and “Pandemic” studios were treated after their games underperformed.

Despite lackluster facial animations, the environmental animations/scenery can still be killer, and major cutscenes still look slick and detailed.

So we have come full circle it seems, I am not one to find joy in the misfortune of others. However, Electronic Arts (EA) had this coming. This is what happens when you try and pander to the so-called Social Justice Warriors and the video game press and media who support them. No matter how much you pander to them no matter how much you give to them they will always want more and never be happy with what was given to them. Case in point; gay and transgender “representation” in Mass Affect Andromeda. Video game journalists and Social Justice Warriors have been complaining about a lack of diversity in video games for years.

Most every BioWare game, up to and including Inquisition and Andromeda, is at its best and most memorable when it focuses on three interconnected components: strong storytelling, level design and moral choices. The open-world design of Inquisition and Andromeda not only fails to support these things, but also it actively makes them worse. The problem is simple: it’s extremely difficult to maintain a storyline across multiple parts because you have no idea when a player’s gonna do them. You know what’s possible? A quest that takes place across a specific range of geography, started here, ended there, and the writing in the middle. You know this because you used to actually do it.

While combat may be the most competent part of Mass Effect: Andromeda, it’s held back by too many bad decisions. They put a lot of effort into making combat feel fun and engaging, and it mostly works. The wonky cover system can be forgiven by the freshness boost jumps and dashing brings to combat. Guns feel better than they ever have, and there’s a lot of variety there to really cater to your play-style. Unfortunately, most enemy encounters play out on the open world maps, where the level design is generic and simple. The combat only really shines in the far less common, meticulously designed main-story levels that feel more like classic Mass Effect. It’s a shame that the heavy reliance on open-world encounters – Andromeda’s only substantial addition to the Mass Effect formula – fails to take full advantage of its strongest mechanics.

9. Dragon Age 2

Ultimately, Dragon Age 2 still manages to be a good game, but it will also be a VERY divisive title among RPG fans. As a game, its streamlined mechanics and more action-oriented combat should appeal to console players, but hardcore fans of RPGs will most likely feel disappointed.

8. Dragon Age Inquisition

With a huge, expansive world, a simple story, and choices that leaves a significant mark on the world around you, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a good game. However, the gameplay feels clunky and the story (although grand) lacks character depth and the absence of emotional investment anchors this game down.

7. Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare has largely delivered and will have answered many of its critics, but there is not much in the way of innovation here. The Force alignment structure may be systemically unsalvageable, and with little end-game content currently available for those characters who have reached level 50, one wonders whether BioWare will be able to hold on to the more serious gamers and guilds who yearn for a variety of large-scale challenges. This is definitely a good game. However it lacks any ambition, depth, or originality. EA is always on the pursuit of financial gain, regardless of quality.

Dear EA, who do you want to be? Do you want to be a company that tries to cash in on other companies’ successes, or do you want to be a company that tries to create the best and most epic goddamn role-playing games in the world? Because if it’s the latter, open-world games and leftist political agendas are working against you.

Dear BioWare, We fans will always love and remember you. EA may have bought and destroyed your company, but even in death, your legacy will forever live on.

In your honor, we shall now commemorate your ultimate achievements, your greatest masterpieces.

Rest In Peace, old friends

6. Baldur’s Gate (Series)

It’s a huge, sprawling, wonderfully involved game that makes you feel as though you’ve read a fantasy trilogy by game’s end.

Not only has the game shown that you can build a statistics heavy game without making it boring or confusing, but it has shown that it’s possible to build them with style and beauty.

Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

It’s not just vast, but flooded with quests and side adventures. There is always something to do in this game and, after that, there’s always something more.

A diversely beautiful and deadly environment filled with amazing characters and a myriad of possibilities. For any fan of the original, this is a must have – it’s just too good to pass up.

Great quests, solid story, very good voice acting, challenging battles, and engaging dialogue and characters make this an RPG that stands head and shoulders above the competition.

5. Neverwinter Nights

It’s hard to fathom, but what it really boils down to is the fact that gamers may never really have grasped just how faithful an adaptation of the D&D ruleset we are looking at. It is totally accurate in every, single detail.

If you’re going to play on your own there is enough to keep you playing for days, take it online and you have a masterpiece that could last you a lifetime.

This game is terrific and engrossing.

4. Jade Empire

Jade Empire is a beautiful, resounding triumph, much like the strong, highly polished gemstone the game takes its name from.

A game of such rare emotion that we became attached to our characters to the point of missing them now it’s all over.

3. Dragon Age: Origins

For the true RPG gamer, this game is of a level that has never been seen before. It is the new benchmark. The story is rich and engaging, the characters are memorable, and the journey is one that pulls you in, captivates you and compels you to move forward toward the conclusion.

Overall Dragon Age: Origins is fantastic, and is a must play for any fan of the genre. Doubly so since it readily promotes multiple play throughs. It’s the player that controls the game more than the story , so everyone can look forward to spending endless hours in a wonderfully fleshed out fantasy realm.

2. Mass Effect Trilogy

Mass Effect is a transcendent experience, the new standard-setter for what a game can be. You have to play it, and that’s why we’re kinda jealous of you. Even if you memorized all the previews and trailers, you’re not ready for how awesome this game is.

Mass Effect 2 stands represents near-perfection in the genre. How the story plays out is really up to you. Choices are presented throughout the game, both large and small, that completely change the future of the series. What you say to different people can effect how they treat you in the future, and which characters you side with will change the galaxy’s perception of your Shepard. It’s empowering to know how much of an influence you have over the events of a game, and made us feel much more connected to the story than we may otherwise have been. The improvements to the combat, the robust, interesting story, and the absurdly powerful ending made for one of the most memorable gaming experiences ever crafted.

Mass Effect 3 will force you to make tough decisions on a galactic scale. You have to think them through and you feel bad about yourself afterwards. The story is emotional, hard hitting, and diverse. BioWare once again delivers a masterpiece.

1. Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic (Series)

Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) accomplished what virtually no other Star Wars game has: it created a story that’s even better than anything in the movies. The tale of your character’s growth as a Jedi and the story’s big twist are still beloved today. No other Star Wars game other than it’s own sequel Knights of the Old Republic II has given you as much power over the fate of the galaxy either, allowing you to choose whether to save the Republic or rule it with an iron fist.

Star Wars is escapism. It’s a space fantasy, not just science fiction, and more often than not it attempts to paint a picture of a world that is easy to understand and feel comfortable with. That black-and-white portrait is a demonstration of how we wished our world would be, with good and evil and a clear dividing line between them. KOTOR collapses that construct, humanizing evil and obscuring that dividing line. Whereas other Star Wars stories provides surface-level enjoyment, KOTOR goes deep enough to be intellectually stimulating.

What makes KOTOR earn its spot among the greatest games ever made is its engrossing, epic story.

The difference between the KOTOR games and other Star Wars fiction is apparent in their basic premises. In most Star Wars stories, you are someone important/powerful who is trying to save the galaxy. In KOTOR nobody knows you nor cares about what you’re doing. Most Star Wars fiction is fun and simple and earnest, and KOTOR is heady and heavy and noir-ish.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Bioware managed to completely capture the essence of the Star Wars Universe, build upon it, and create it’s own identity in Star Wars lore and video game history.

 

May the Force be with you

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Best Superhero Video Games

15. The Adventures of Batman and Robin

14. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes

13. The Punisher

12. Iron Man: The Game

11. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

10. X-men Origins: Wolverine

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9. Captain America: Super Soldier

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8. Deadpool

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7. Superman: Shadow of Apokolips

6. Marvel Ultimate Alliance

5. Lego Marvel Superheroes

4. The Injustice Game Series

3. InFAMOUS Game Series

2. The Spider-Man Game Series

1. The Batman Arkham Trilogy

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Surreygamer’s Game of the Year 2003

5. The Simpsons: Hit & Run

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4. Beyond Good & Evil

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3. Final Fantasy X-2Image result

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

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1. Star Wars: Knight’s of The Old Republic