The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5: Cry Wolf Review– PC/Steam
Beautiful graphics, and a fun take on modern fantasy noir. Final episode is perfect balance of action and drama.
The long wait for Season 2 begins now.
So, The Wolf Among Us is finally over. It’s been a long ride, but a worthy successor to The Walking Dead. One of the few licensed games that’s better than the source material, it manages to bring the mystery to a satisfying conclusion, with twists both magical and mundane, and an ending fitting its noir inspiration. The last episode felt like it was mostly denouement, but a well-deserved one that lets us reflect on how we’ve played Bigby Wolf over the course of the season.
If you’re just reading the very last review and no others, that’s weird, but anyways, here’s the premise: the characters from fantastical stories have been driven out of their native land, and settled in New York, under an amnesty that brings monsters, villians, and fallen nobility together. The lucky live in Fabletown, a neighborhood protected from mortal attention by magical means, while the less fortunate live on the outskirts, away from the protection of the fable government.
In the middle of this, you’re Bigby Wolf. After the amnesty given to fables, you’re the sheriff of Fabletown. Trying to enforce the rules is a thankless job, and your history – eating Red Riding Hood, blowing down pigs’ houses, and your time as a terrible manifestation of nature, red in tooth and claw – doesn’t make it any easier. After the fight that capped off the third episode, Bigby is adrift without many leads to follow up on, and shot full of silver.
The situation soon changes, though, giving you a hot pair of leads. As you follow up on them, you’ll make snap decisions that determine how things play out, and you never know what’ll come back later and what won’t. It does a great job of putting you in the shoes of Bigby, making snap decisions and hoping things will work out. Knowing when to ask questions, make statements, or just shut up and let things unfold is vital.
The voice work is continues to be excellent. A lot of fascinating dialogue unfolds in the background as Bigby talks with others, and the game does a great job of mixing these conversations together.
The visuals are pretty much perfect. On a technical level, the cel shading is ace, to the point where screenshots have the look of being hand-drawn pictures. The color palette isn’t quite as muted as I remember the comic being, but gives a lurid air to the investigation. Meanwhile, the environmental details are amazing, even if I can’t really share anything at this point without it being a spoiler.
This is the end of the season, and it really sells that. The back half of the episode is spent looking back on your actions, seeing the people you’ve done well by and the people you wronged all getting together for one last stretch. I’d played Bigby as a penitent, trying to do well by the people of Fabletown, and give a voice to the voiceless, but I can easily see someone who embraced his brutal side having a far different experience – something worth exploring in a second replay, which the game fully embraces, even it its Book of Fables and Achievement unlocks.
The Wolf Among Us is pretty much the video game version of a page turner. Every time a new episode comes out, I can’t wait to dive back in, and nothing will take me out until I get to the end. Now that it’s over, I’m just hoping that Telltale manages to produce a second season as engaging as the first. As far as interactive stories go this was a good one, and if you’ve waited this long to jump in, now is the time to experience the entire story without the lengthy intermissions between episodes.