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The Wolf Among Us

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Silly SHODAN, this is about the game, not the tv show :P

but seriously though, I enjoyed the story of the game and the characters and will gladly defend that part of the game, but that was the one thing going for it. That's why I'm iffy about getting Wolf Among Us knowing I'll probably never read the Fables comics/don't care too much about the world and certainly know the game itself won't be holding up my experience.

The story's better than the last season or two of the show, but the characters were not memorable at all. Here are a couple of the characters' entire personalities: "OMG MY SON, YEEHAW" "RAH I HATE LEE INEXPLICABLY" "I'm so dumb I can't turn on a radio" Feel free to join in and name the rest of the characters with the one thing that describes their entire motivation in every scenario.

I didn't say the characters were deep and thought provoking, just that I enjoyed them. Certainly more than the cast of the tv show that's for sure.

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I thought most of the characters were pretty uninteresting and one dimensional, and didn't find myself caring much when anyone died.

To each his own. There were a few that were introduced late, or for the sake of killing off, but I thought they had strong cast for the most part.

The story's better than the last season or two of the show, but the characters were not memorable at all. Here are a couple of the characters' entire personalities: "OMG MY SON, YEEHAW" "RAH I HATE LEE INEXPLICABLY" "I'm so dumb I can't turn on a radio" Feel free to join in and name the rest of the characters with the one thing that describes their entire motivation in every scenario.

Well, there was one of the better child characters I've seen in fiction. A convicted murder trying to find a balance between protecting her and helping her maintain a sense of morality. An initially amiable guy going to more and more desperate lengths for his family. A pragmatic woman slipping into paranoid instability as the trust of the group crumbles, etc.

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I actually have to agree that Lily and Larry were both pretty dynamic characters. They were both pretty much unlikable, obviously, especially Larry, but the things they did made sense and worked for me.

Since we seem to be talking about the Walking Dead now, I actually think chapter 2 was stronger than the rest of the game put together. The rest of the game was good, but Chapter 2 worked as a very cohesive short story and had possibly the most interesting build. The twist was predictable, but the final showdown was super satisfying.

Anyway, I'll never argue that the game was perfect. I, too, would have liked the game to branch more. But I do think the characters were strong, and most of the action in the game made sense in regards to where these character are coming from.

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I actually have to agree that Lily and Larry were both pretty dynamic characters. They were both pretty much unlikable, obviously, especially Larry, but the things they did made sense and worked for me.

Since we seem to be talking about the Walking Dead now, I actually think chapter 2 was stronger than the rest of the game put together. The rest of the game was good, but Chapter 2 worked as a very cohesive short story and had possibly the most interesting build. The twist was predictable, but the final showdown was super satisfying.

I actually liked Lilly, even though crap hits the fan in the end. The only characters I had issues with for the most part were Molly, for being the stereotypical action snarker, and Ben, when the writers were Really going out of their way to make us hate him.

I'd have to go with episodes two and five if we're naming favorites. Two's twist was plenty obvious, but like you said, great pacing, and a good balance building up the contrast between the calm and tense moments.

And five was a genuinely emotional payoff for me, whether or not there was a huge disparity in some choices.

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Let's imagine there would be Fables as a comic/book, as a film/tv series and as a video game. What do you expect from these different types of media?

From a book you probably would like to see a good story/characters/dialogues/prose (and a nice font and paper too). From a comic you expect the same, dialogues and prose in a reduced but still well written form, plus an appealing graphical style/colouring. A film adds aspects such as good acting/scoring/camera/timing/maybe special effects/... In a video game you want the same plus on top of that some sort of interaction which feels interesting.

Without a satisfying amount of interaction the game primary adds trouble (bugs, limited platforms, performance isssues, DRM, ...) to what you otherwise can consume in a more comfortable way as a film already. What's a satisfying amount of interaction? For such a type of game interactions make sense for being in control, playing a role, interacting with other characters, having an influence on the story/characters/world, enabling alternatives of a story, pushing a story forwards, discovering and learning something, having some fun with action, ...

What kind of game mechanics/sort of interactions could you implement in order to make this happen? Let's reduce this to what is being offered in TWAU, exploration, conversation and action. Doesn't sound this bad if it would be implemented in a convincing way.

Exploration

Exploration exists in a form like that you have a very limited access to the world. Within selected scenes at selected times you can walk a few steps into several directions. There exist a few clickable hotspot areas. Sometimes they are relevant for pushing the story forwards, sometimes their meaning is just to add to the atmosphere but without offering any information you need.

Then there is the exploration in form of conversations (like in those Joe Dever adventure books, continue to read on page 123 if you choose to ...). The options are again very limited and the illusion breaks rather quickly if you're used to talking to real people instead.

In order to be more interesting they need to offer more options which also branch and that these branches also have an influence on the world. They lack both more clever design (where you just offer the illusion but the branches get reconnected in a satisfying way again, end or whatever) and brute force in form of variations which matter.

This kind of reminds me MASQ. I'm not sure if they were the first (at least for this more specific type of video games) who made up their minds about this. At least MASQ is this old that they used Shockwave, MASQ: http://alteraction.com/discussion/history.html

Anyway, so far there is a lack of relevant and exciting mid/long term consequences.

Of course you explore a story/world/characters but that's part of every adventure worth the genre. Puzzle oriented explorations aren't available. You can't do more interesting research or investigations on your own. You don't need to draw conclusions, nothing to combine on a meta layer. You're watching over someone's shoulders and sometimes you push the character and sometimes the character pushes you forward in the story. TWAU doesn't need to be a sandbox game but it feels too streamlined, you don't need to think and there is no way you could miss something.

Conversation

You talk to different characters, you might establish emotions and relationships with them and according to what you're saying, they give appropriate answers, sometimes(always?) they remember what you're saying and act accordingly. Sometimes(mostly?) it doesn't matter what you're saying. You can learn something which enables you to progress (activating next scene). The problem here again is the level of complexity they offer. The writing is okayish to good, the options are limited, they aren't subtile, no options which would result in different consequences are being offered again, ...

You're following a predefined pattern only being able to talk to a fraction of a character. When the mostly annoying time pressure isn't relevant, it helps to conceal this. MASQ already tried to spice conversations up this way but it's heavily misused in TTG's games. You can't inspect a scene properly, come up with your own questions/answers, think about a character, watching him/her, read between the lines, to shorten this up, the shortcomings are rather obvious and they hurt because the game relies a lot on this aspect.

Action

Action is great, it's what started video games. The action in TWAU works like this, you're running into a situation where in good old Dragon's Lair tradition you need to react with your reflexes and trigger different inputs accordingly or like in Decathlon/Track & Field you need to press a button as fast as you can in order to sustain a certain input rate for a given time. But the action situations don't speak for themselves, instead you need to detach from the shown action, focus on the hud and refocus on the action again or try to handle both inputs at the same time.

Whilst doing so you can loose contact to the game, it comes around artificial and it's one of the cheapest ways to implement action. Everything on top needs to be implemented and is additional work, maybe some variable action game design. If you do this right then you would know what to do without a hud. You would be introduced to the action before you need it and apart from a few scenes where they want you to be surprised it would be more obvious what to do but harder to master. It's okay if you sometimes use this mechanic but it's not when this is your only action game design.

I'm sure you can do this a lot more in depth but the beer is empty. Anyway the game lacks stronger enjoyable characteristics which put it more apart from a film. The action scenes are annoying and more enjoyable in a film too. You can't enjoy a number of scenes like reading a comic book were your eyes have the time to wander over an image either and you don't get the detail you could expect from a good written book.

So, TWAU is based on an interesting IP, it looks brilliant, it sounds great but the gameplay isn't sufficient, as a video game it could be so much better. All seen through the eyes of an adventure gamer.

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Episode 2 came out today on the EU PS Store and I'm really enjoying this game so far. Even more than The Walkjng Dead.

Like Jurrassic Park and The Walking dead, TWaU was my first time seeing something of Fables and I really was surprised how fast the first episode introduced characters, the new story and new gameplay. After just talking to Toad at the start, I was interested in seeing the other characters of Fabletown and how the story was going to go in the first episode. Even better is with TWaU being a detective game, it is less QTE's. The gameplay instead focuses on talking things out, calling people on lies, exploring, and choices.

With Episode 2, I liked but I say Episode 1 is slightly better. So a Episode 2 starts with a recap and

Bigby getting questioned by the cops about Snow's death'' after a unexpected save by Crane, Bigby decides to interrogate either Dee or The Woodsman (who ever was captured last episode) After a surprise that Snow is alive and the dead Snow is a fake, it's once again up to Bigby to figure out how it is possible and who it is.

Not going to go much more into the episode but I enjoyed it a lot. It showed more into how bad some parts of Fabletown is. Also I was surprised at who the actual villain turns out to be although it is hinted throughout the episode.

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JP:The Game was your intro to the franchise.

...I'm so sorry.

Anyway. I enjoyed TWAU Ep2, although it's fairly obvious it's been reshuffled and changed at the last minute. There's some elements missing and bits that don't quite fit together. And as for the twist at the end? Clearly a red herring.

But still... it was fun. Just too short.

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