The Wolf Among Us

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The graphics portray a part of New York that feels gritty and dirty and makes you feel like these characters couldn’t really be happy in their current environment. ~Louis Edwards

The Wolf Among Us

Set prior to the events seen in the first issue of the FABLES comic book series, The Wolf Among Us puts players in the role of Bigby Wolf, a man once more infamously known as The Big Bad Wolf. Now the sheriff of a hidden community in New York City, exiled from the land of fairy tales, Bigby is tasked by the bureaucrat Snow White to keep order within a society of mythical creatures and characters trying to remain undetected in the world of the mundane.

The Wolf Among Us

From a chain-smoking member of ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ to a car-stealing Mr. Toad itching for his next wild ride, The Wolf Among Us examines the lives of beings straight from the pages of myth and lore, now trying to survive on the meanest and most run-down streets of New York City.

Gameplay is a mix of seek-and-find areas and quick-time events, but don’t be fooled by the names of the characters. While it is loosely based on the land of fairy tales, this is all Grimm with no sign of Walt Disney. This game is clearly aimed at adults, with adult language and murder and mayhem galore. That’s not a bad thing, though. The story is well written while giving the gamer a quick understanding of who and what they are dealing with.

The Wolf Among Us

This is a story driven game that uses its surroundings and language to give the gamer a true feel for each character they encounter. While episode one is a little on the short side, it’s still long enough to introduce several key characters, and even re-writes one well known childhood story. That’s not a bad thing either. The story will give you many choices, and will remember each answer you give. Characters will take note of your responses, and their future interactions will reflect your previous approach to the game.

The graphics aren’t your run of the mill 3D style but more of a graphic novel style. This lends well to the overall look and feel of the game and fits right into the storyline. The graphics portray a part of New York that feels gritty and dirty and makes you feel like these characters couldn’t really be happy in their current environment. Add in the well fitting music and the overall sense of despair can make one feel sorry for these folks.

The Wolf Among Us

Telltale Games has once again created an episodic masterpiece that can’t fully be judged until the final episode is upon us. We know there will be five episodes in all, and it is the anticipatory waiting that will make you enjoy the next episode even more.

Well done Telltale Games, well done.

The Walking Dead Episode 1: A New Day

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The first time I heard a curse word, I was actually taken aback. The nice, clean comic-book look of the game doesn’t feel like an environment where you would hear R-rated words. Adding to this feeling you also don’t expect to see gratuitous violence and bloody head-smashing, but it’s there too. ~Justin Richardson

The Walking Dead Episode 1: A New Day

Do you hear that pounding? It’s not the Tell-Tale heart under the floorboards, no, it’s your own heart racing in Telltale’s newest game. A game where you actually care about the characters.The zombpocalypse in media has been popular for a long time now. Many people feel that it’s high time it dies and is finally laid to rest. While this may appear to be the overall vocal consensus, somehow the zombie craze manages to shamble on, selling movies, games, books and perfumes. Well, probably not that last part. There are still groups out there, banding together and hanging on for life, voraciously eating up the zombie media like the living dead gathered around a corpse. Why?Perhaps we like the excitement and the thrill of the concept – the adventure of it all. Perhaps it offers us a way to fantasize about venting our frustrations of humanity, on humanity, without feeling as much as a twinge of guilt. And perhaps we’re just fascinated with the idea of reanimation. Whatever the reason, Telltale Games has just released the first episode in their The Walking Dead Pentalogy, and overall it does what you might expect a zombie adventure game to do, but rather well.

This is my first Telltale game. After going into this without having any kind of expectation I can say that I finished this two and a half hour episode with a smile on my face. None of Telltale’s previous games have ever really managed to grab my attention, but The Walking Dead feels like a good match for a developer that is revered for its focus on story, humor and having a personal touch. While Telltale may not have a lot of experience with heavy material or gritty violence, they pull this off with aplomb.

The Walking Dead - Episode 1 - A New Day - Telltale Games
The proper “I’ve just seen a zombie” face.

It was nice not to be stuck in the conventions of another run and gun game, which, for me, was a much needed break. Come to think of it, the protagonist, Lee Everett, throws down a shotgun in one of the first sections of the game, as if Telltale is saying, “No. This isn’t a first person shooter. We’re going to slow down and look at how these characters interact as the world collapses around them.”The game is quick to get you into the story. Lee, who I immediately feel an attachment to, finds himself in a squad car being escorted to prison for a crime that he may or may not have committed. It doesn’t take long for the player to pick up on the fact that, in the spirit of the show (and comic) you’re in Georgia, and have returned to your hometown after a long time away. There is an accident and the story quickly escalates into the chaotic mess that you have likely come to expect from The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead - Episode 1 - A New Day - Telltale Games
Option A – Not For the Kiddies
 The quicktime events (QTEs) / decisions are just that: quick. They offer only a few critical seconds to make key decisions that could drastically change your game. Many of these decisions have a great deal of permanence and will persist throughout the episodes, so think on your feet and choose well. These choices will change how other characters view you, who lives and ultimately who doesn’t. I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t reload once or twice so that I could hit the desired response. If you don’t respond fast enough your character remains silent, which is a response in and of itself, which not everyone appreciates. Some of these QTEs come in times of great tension, and do a great job of boosting the heart rate a bit. If you hear pounding in your ears, beware, it could be the Telltale heart.You’ll spend your time mostly talking to people, exploring small open areas and reacting to QTEs when they arise. You’ll have to use your head a little bit, but not too much. If you aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to adventure games, the process of elimination will eventually make the solution clear. There are only so many interactive points. You’ve either clicked on everything available or you haven’t. Unfortunately, I suspect that there is only one way to solve any given puzzle.

With that being said, the puzzles are actually quite fun and varied, even if they are a bit simplistic and linear. In The Walking Dead, you won’t be straining your brain or doing nonsensical things like placing wine in a time capsule and visiting the future where it has turned into vinegar. Nor will you mix cat hair and honey to make a mustache disguise. No, these puzzles are designed to be intuitive. A nice touch is that during these sequences, your perspective is constantly shifting based off of the situation or the nature of the puzzle that you have to solve. Have to unlock handcuffs – first person. Need to get from here to there – third person. Need to see a larger area – here’s a zoomed out view of the yard. I found this to be a refreshing change from static mounted-camera views, and from other games in general.

The Walking Dead - Episode 1 - A New Day - Telltale Games
This picture says it all. Sadness. Emotional depth. Baseball hats.

The first time I heard a curse word, I was actually taken aback. The nice, clean comic-book look of the game doesn’t feel like an environment where you would hear R-rated words. Adding to this feeling you also don’t expect to see gratuitous violence and bloody head-smashing, but it’s there too. As a result, there is a bit of dissonance between the cartoonish look of the engine, and the dark, apocalyptic feel of The Walking Dead. However odd it may feel, it’s not really a problem, and I’m glad they are approaching the material with the gravity that it deserves.

I say all of this not to fault the graphical engine. While it is admittedly dated, it’s still highly polished and works well for the comic book art style that they’ve gone for. It has the polish and feel of a late generation game  engine that has been pushed to its max. Again, not a problem as it serves it purpose while still providing a slick and attractive environment.

The Walking Dead - Episode 1 - A New Day - Telltale Games
I’m an expert tracker. I have followed the bloody marks in order to locate the body.

This is predominantly a character driven story, and to this end the voice acting and dialogue is truly brilliant. A friend of mine was asking me how the voice acting was and I wasn’t immediately able to answer him. Not because I was uncertain, but because I hadn’t really noticed the voice acting at all. And I hadn’t noticed it because it was so well done that it never shook me from my immersion in the game. Bravo, Telltale. Sometimes, I was so swept up in the story that I yelled out in victory, or shrank down and felt shame over a decision I had made.

For the most part my complaints with the game are few. There were a few audio stutters and blips during the dialogue, but it wasn’t consistent enough to really hinder my experience. However one of the most glaring issues wasn’t technical at all. There is a section of the game where a character doesn’t know how to put batteries into a radio, or what kind of batteries it could possibly ever need. This really serves to undermine the believability of that character and to shatter the player’s suspension of disbelief. This wouldn’t have been something to point out in a bad game, but The Walking Dead is otherwise intelligent and well conceived.

I’m not sure how differently the game would have played out had I made different choices, and I’m anxious to go back and replay it in a different way. There are a total of three save slots, so Telltale has accommodated the curious player like myself. Heck, I’m curious like a cat. I have a couple of friends that call me Whiskers. So I intend to fill all three slots.

The Walking Dead - Episode 1 - A New Day - Telltale Games
Hell comes to the suburbs of Georgia. Quick, hide in the tire!

The length of this episode felt about right for the first episode of five. I beat it in one sitting and never felt like my attention was drifting. For $25 this is a nice, bite-sized morsel of splendid content.

Fans of the excellent Idle Thumbs podcast will note the inclusion of names such as Sean Vanaman & Jake Rodkin in the opening credits. At an early stage in the episode, a character mentions “Ol’ Breckon” down the road, which is of course represents another Thumb member, Nick Breckon. This reminds me of the mention of Christopher di Remo and Jackie Rodkins in Bioshock 2, thanks to Steve Gaynor. Also himself. These guys are name dropping each other all throughout your videogames. Oh, Idle Thumbs. If you don’t know who they are, go check out their podcast.

Spolier alert! This video shows all of Episode 1

If you’re not entirely sick of zombies and are looking for a fun change of pace and some interesting characters, you should probably pick this up for PC, Mac, on the Playstation Network or Xbox Live Marketplace. I for one am not sick (or infected) of zombies. I realize that I’m in a constantly shrinking minority, but I find that there is something primal and fascinating about the juxtaposition of our modern world with this catastrophic zombie event. Perhaps even more importantly, I feel that we are drawn to the idea because it provides humanity with two important things that we perhaps otherwise lack: unity and purpose. Maybe reading World War Z has renewed my interest in the genre and Telltale happened to come in at the right time to give me an interest boost. At any rate, enough waxing zombitic. Go play The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead: Episodes 1-5

The Walking Dead

I’ve never been a big fan of Telltale Games.  While I certainly enjoyed their official Back to the Future sequel, I never felt the need to actually finish it.  I only made it through about ten minutes of Jurassic Park before I decided I just couldn’t get into their point and click adventure titles.  (I had a similar experience with Escape From Monkey Island, which is a LucasArts,so it’s probably my aversion to the genre, not the quality of the games themselves).  I’d made peace with this realization.

The Walking Dead

Then, something unexpected happened.  I started to hear people proclaiming The Walking Dead as not only a phenomenal title, but to some credible sources (and also Spike TV) it’s been named a contender for . . .  (trumpet fanfare) Game of the Year.  A point and click adventure title beating out such powerhouses as Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3, and Dishonored?  Could it really be that good?

The Walking Dead

Yes it could.  For one thing, it’s very difficult to bring genuine emotional resonance into the world of a video game, but The Walking Dead succeeds at doing just that.  I’ll bypass all spoilers but provide a little exposition to explain how. From the outset of the story, you are partnered with an eight-year-old girl named Clementine.  How you decide to protect her is entirely up to you, but I promise you will have an immense emotional attachment to her before the final episode one credits roll. Clementine provides but one example of the care and consideration taken with all the characters; none of them feel generic or written simply to serve as plot devices.  Each other character you encounter has unique motivations besides survival—some you will love, and some you will loathe, but they all feel like real people and not typical video game characters.  Choosing who lives or dies is never an easy task, and there are always looming ramifications for each difficult decision you make.  You’ll feel empathy for the characters far more than you might in a typical game, a true testament to the amazing storytelling and attention to detail that absolutely gushes from the well-polished narrative.

The Walking Dead

Lee Everett, the main protagonist, is one of the most developed characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. His journey is not some obligatory quest to bash some zombie skulls with a wrench.  Lee casts a real shadow on the player; I genuinely cared about him.  If there is an award given for voice acting, David Fennoy deserves to win it hands down, as he delivers each line of dialogue perfectly.

The Walking Dead

Finally, as a former native of Georgia, each of the locations represented was recreated perfectly, from the opening scene on Interstate 85 to the eventual journey to River Street in Savannah, I actually felt like I was back home in the peach state.

The Walking Dead

Much like previous Telltale Games, you use a four tied conversation tree that corresponds with each direction of your control pad.  Unlike previous titles, however, in The Walking Dead all of your choices are timed (and some you only have mere seconds to make).  There is absolutely zero backtracking to see different options or outcomes.  This gives each of the choices a weight that just didn’t exist in similar point and click adventure games; once you make a decision, you are stuck with it unless you restart the entire chapter.  On top of that, your choices directly affect how other characters react to you and behave in the narrative overall.  This minor tweak to the familiar formula makes all of the difference; it turns what some might describe as an interactive movie into one of the best titles I’ve played in a long time.  This is a game you are going to enjoy multiple times just so you can see the outcome of different choices.

Even if you’ve never enjoyed a point and click adventure before, I’m certain this will be the exception.

Weird Games: The Typing of the Dead

The Typing of the Dead - Gameplay - 1

If they had a game like this in typing class, I would have stayed awake. The Typing of the Dead is considered more of a mod or remake because of how closely it is to House of the Dead 2. The game plays just like the first-person rail shooter where your mission is to take out zombies, but instead of a gun, you use your keyboard.

The Typing of the Dead - Gameplay - Arcade Cabinet

No, seriously, each zombie or monster has a word and you must type out the word fast enough to kill it. How does it know you typed the word or if you spelled it right? I think those questions asked means you are sympathetic to the zombie cause so shut up and play!


As far as bosses, you will have to type out answers to questions and for the final boss there are alternate endings if you type out different answers. I think we need a season of The Walking Dead that covers this.

The Walking Dead: Full Season 2 Trailer

The Walking Dead

Finally we get a full season 2 trailer for AMC’s The Walking Dead. This awesome trailer is over four minutes long and recaps some of season one while showing that the land of despair continues in season 2. There’s nothing more to say, sit back and enjoy it then hold your breath until October 16th.

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The Walking Dead Season 2 Teaser Trailer

The Walking Dead

The awesome zombie series from AMC, The Walking Dead is back this October. Check out this teaser for season2!

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Walking Dead: Season 1 Review


I came late to the party on this one.  I remembered seeing the previews for the show, but never got the chance to see it. Recently, I watched all six episodes of season 1 back to back and I am so glad I did. Walking Dead is a AMC television series about a group of survivors of a zombie apocalypse. It is based on a graphic novel and season 2 is being filmed now and is set to premier in October.

When I first began watching the series, I was pleased that AMC kept the gory nature of zombie movies. Believe me when I say there will be blood, gore, and death, but it is done well and fits with the story so it is not gore for gores sake.

The season begins in a small town outside of Atlanta, and by the way, it is shot on location there. The story follows the town sheriff as he wakes up in a hospital after being shot in the line of duty to find blood and bodies everywhere. Soon he discovers some of those bodies are walking and after being saved by a manand his son he learns the recently dead have begun walking.

Since this show is based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel I knew, right away the story would be decent. While it is true the survival horror of zombies has been done a lot recently, so far, this television adaptation has been excellent. The beginning visuals of the hospital with blood splattered everywhere to the rows of bodies scattered across the streets. Even when it came to killing a zombie the action is brutal with clear headshots and lots of blood, brains and guts.


The story immediately begins exploring the human condition with the father and son duo knocking out County Sheriff Rick Grimes. They were not sure who he was and because of his bandage believed he may be infected.

These are slow-walker zombies and for those who read and watch a lot of zombie flicks you will be able to understand what these people are up against. While it is not clear exactly how the zombie outbreak began, we know that a bite or scratch can turn you within a day and you can return from the dead within hours. Now while the zombies are slow there are a ton of them and we see more swarm kills than anything else. Another great thing about the show is some of the zombies are badly decomposed with some even missing parts or half their body so it’s not just a ton of extras with make-up.

The father and son story is short and leaves open the possibility for them to meet up later. The sheriff meanwhile was desperate to find his wife and daughter. The story continues with Sheriff Grimes arriving in Atlanta and being overwhelmed by the amount of zombies and finding himself trapped.


There are many great visuals in the show. From the empty streets of Atlanta to the swarm of zombies and the gruesome way they devoured a horse, this show does not pull any punches. The story makes sure to hit many common points in zombie movies like the father and son in which the father watched his wife die and turn. There is a great scene where the father has a clear shot to kill his now zombie wife, but cannot.

Grimes ends up being recused and discovers a small group of people held up in a department store. We quickly learn big cities are to be kept away from and we get to another big point in zombie stories, human survivors can be just as bad as the zombies can.

There are a lot of different character types in the show as well as races and nationalities and they do not always get along. We get to see how people lose hope and revert to their animalistic tendencies when faced with death and fighting to survive.

We also learn a little bit more about the zombies. These zombies cannot see very well, but can smell death and react to sound.  Shooting off guns just brings more of them so it adds a nice plot device. At one point, the group has to cover their scent and walk through the zombies to escape.


With the group free, they meet up with a large group near a rock quarry and finally Grimes is reunited with his wife and son. Unfortunately, the peace is short lived as the group has to return to Atlanta for a left bag of guns and a person left behind. During the split, we see how the effects on the zombie attack has devastated families and we see some social advance redacted like the women being made to wash clothes while the men hunt.

There is a small amount of peace at the camp and then an attack happens. Another great thing about Walking Dead is people die. There were a few storylines you believed would continue only to find one or both persons dead the next episode. After the attack, it is decided that the group should leave and head for the CDC, but one of the men was bitten and we see how the disease attacks the body.

The story then slightly switches to that of a CDC doctor who has locked himself in the CDC while attempting to find a cure. Eventually the group arrives and the doctor lets them in. For a while there is peace as the CDC has food, water and power, but when questions on the outbreak are asked the group soon discovers it is worse than most of them thought.


I don’t want to spoil the ending, but as you can guess there are not going to be many happy endings in this story. It is not clear how much of the story will focus on the outbreak itself or the character stories, but so far it is a decent mix of both. I at no point found the story boring or slow so the pacing is well done.

As said at the beginning of this article, season two is filming now and will be released in October. Overall, Walking Dead is a great series and if you like zombies or survival horror, this does it extremely well.

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