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    Tasch's A Wolf Among Us (PC)

    [January 23, 2017 01:30:28 AM]
    Going further into A Wolf Among Us has been such an experience for me and I don't know that I can fully do it justice in words. It has been very enjoyable and refreshing seeing this medium paying homage to the styles of classic film and comic books and demonstrating such stellar writing quality, all while being such a great game in its own right. This is definitely demonstrating the true power in narrative of games and what potential the medium has in the clamor of the entertainment industry. This type of execution has to be the most powerful and effective means I have seen in sharing a story and I don't think I can ever get enough of it now.
    The biggest thing I have seen however has been the game's effect on me personally and how engaged I grew to be in this story -- and I only made it through 2 episodes in the timeframe of this project. Not only have I grown extremely attached to all the characters but I have also been restarting scenes and chapters repeatedly because I expected a different outcome and/or wanted to make sure my intentions were clear within the confines and limits of the choices available. It was so strange when I thought, “Well obviously I don't want to hurt their feelings or have them misunderstand me” but then realized, “...These are fictional characters within a fictional world. They are not real. They do not have opinions of me and even if they did it would not have any effects on me. Also I'm playing as Bigby, not even myself, so why do I care??” Now I've always been a fairly empathetic person and really can't play bad guy in games usually. But in A Wolf Among Us especially, I was hellbent on caring for all the characters through Bigby's actions. I feel his duty and responsibility to them as if I were literally in his shoes, but at the same time not...I mean you see him in front of you doing everything and this game is obviously very stylized so it's not exactly pulling you in with realism. But the immersion comes through the whole picture, the characters feeling real but more importantly actually reacting and in many ways making you feel responsible for your actions. This is so valuable because it's reinforcing like “Hi, Player. You make the choice alright, but you certainly don't get to choose consequences.” That level of accountability is rare and actually playing though it is so effective and really gets you thinking about what choices and words will cost you. I don't really know how to describe this. But I can tell you that the moment in which Bigby arrived on scene to find Snow's decapitated head on the ground hit me so hard. So so hard. My mouth was literally hanging open and I was physically covering it with my hand wide-eyed. Like this was eliciting an actual physical reaction for me and legitimately made me feel as if I was coming across a corpse myself. THAT is how you tell a story.
    I want to study these effects more and the accompanying jargon in psychology, because I think it's obvious that I don't have enough of a basis to discuss the nitty gritty details of what this game is eliciting in me or understand what exactly is going on behind why I as a player react that way. Or how the game developers are accomplishing any of this in the first place. I am looking forward to finishing out the game regardless so I can continue studying such a great work and try to find more insight in these areas myself. But I can't stress enough how much I've enjoyed this fresh experience and truly stepping into a new world for the first time in years.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 23rd, 2017 at 01:32:20.

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    [January 21, 2017 01:04:22 AM]
    Delving into this game a little deeper for my second play, I noticed a few things gameplay-wise that allows the narrative to take more precedence in the game and impact the player more effectually.
    Something that struck me with the gameplay is the fact that the cameras are always fixed and only shift when cutting between angles or scenes – the only movement the cameras typically exhibit is during an action scene, and maybe an establishing pan to show the cityscape. This is very much a trait of films and filmmaking rather than games as we traditionally know them (although many of the classics such as the original Silent Hill, Resident Evil, interior shots in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, etc. also did this because they were still treading the new ground of 3D, so it's almost paying homage to that as well). This subtly reinforces to the players that there's a story here and that it carries the most weight, just as it would in a film. It also allows the developers to carefully design and frame the compositions so you see what they WANT you to see -- which is fantastic because then you can keep going back and picking up on subtle symbolisms and other imagery - it certainly encouraged me to pay more attention.
    I also wanted to talk about the choice system briefly. I think it's great that not only are there three speech options of varying intentions, but there is also a silent option. That is powerful and a good reminder that sometimes good answers are none at all. I haven't progressed very far in this game because I sometimes reload and try other options. The replayability and duality of events and the subtle changes (especially people's changing perceptions of you, I LOVE that aspect) is incredibly addicting and I can see why these series hold such appeal. It's really hitting home for me as a player that I need to more seriously think through things and look at the more nuanced consequences of my actions.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 21st, 2017 at 01:08:58.

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    [January 20, 2017 01:07:16 AM]
    For my first game choice, I decided to go with A Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games.
    I've always heard excellent things about the narrative and know it's essentially a novel playing out in front of you based on your choices and quick time events, but apart from that I was going into this completely blind. I'm very glad I did as this created a completely fresh experience for me which was so enjoyable and I haven't had that in a long time where I know nothing up front – people usually talk up games online and certain plot points are brought up to convince other players to try it, but I somehow avoided all spoilers! I was very pleasantly surprised to find out that this was a gritty modern twist on classic fables and seeing as I'm a sucker for that to begin with I was immediately excited. However, the gameplay and visuals really struck me in ways I didn't expect.
    As a game art major I could go on all day about the graphics and chunky-lined comic art style with psychedelic colors that I love so much, but the thing that struck me most in this first 30 minute playthrough was that the pacing was excellent. When I heard about these games that were “story + quick time events,” I was a bit hesitant and expected a slow novel with lost of conversations and a couple quick time events just thrown in to spice things up. I personally don't mind slow pacing like that but still – when I was then thrown in and fully engaged in the initial fight with the Woodsman I was taken aback. It was awesome despite my...somewhat embarrassing death very early on. However this demonstrated a few things to me about the narrative and my own perception. When I was prompted to use the axe on the Woodsman in the intro's fight, I thought it would kill him. I really didn't want to and I'm typically as peaceful and diplomatic in these kind of games as possible. I thought that since silence was an option that perhaps in-action would allow me to spare him. Unfortunately he jumped up and killed me instead so the game quickly illustrated to me that I needed to try and jump in with their flow of things. I was glad the Woodsman wasn't dead after all that despite him being a dick, but this showed me “Look just like in real life, certain situations can't be resolved peacefully and inaction can in fact be a bad thing.” I think having that degree of realism was incredibly insightful and I really look forward to continuing this game through all of its episodes!
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    Tasch's A Wolf Among Us (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 19 January, 2017

    Tasch's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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