The Wolf Among Us – “Cry Wolf” (PS3) Review
Kalvin Martinez / Jul 18th, 2014 No Comments
The fifth and final episode of The Wolf Among Us, “Cry Wolf”, picks up immediately where “In Sheep’s Clothing” left off. Bigby entered the Crooked Man’s hideout to find his office crowded with all the cronie on his payroll. Everything is coming to a head as these two gigantic personalities prepare for a clash. Will Bigby decide to acquiesce to the Crooked Man or pursue justice for everything that happened?
“Cry Wolf” ends the season masterfully. It follows up on the plot points set up throughout the last four episodes and packs in exciting moments. In a series built on character interaction and choices, there is always the risk of player decisions seeming inconsequential to the ending. The Wolf Among Us’ finale shows exactly why even seemingly trivial choices matter in a captivating manner.
Check out reviews of previous episodes, “Faith,” “Smoke & Mirrors,” “A Crooked Mile” and “In Sheep’s Clothing.”
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Forget It, Bigby. It’s Fabletown
Fabletown has been living under the thumb of a greedy extortionist for a long time. It only effected the most destitute and hard-on-their-luck Fables until a dead girl showed up on the business office’s door step. A series of murders sent sheriff Bigby Wolf down a path to uncover the dark truth of a parasite eating off the misery of Fabletown.
Even when it appeared to be a murder investigation, too many unsavory elements kept popping up. As Bigby kept pulling at the thread, he slowly discovered the individual pieces of the truth. When he thought he found the murderer, the entire case unraveled, revealing the Crooked Man, the cancer destroying Fabeltown.
Bigby’s entire investigation has led to a showdown with the Crooked Man. Now, Bigby finally gets a face-to-face meeting with him. It goes about as well as could be expected, which is to say it doesn’t go well. By exposing the Crooked Man’s entire network, Bigby has to contend with the Tweedles, the Jersey Devil, Georgie Porgie, and worst of all, Bloody Mary.
“Cry Wolf” ends The Wolf Among Us in spectacular fashion. Even in the heat of the moment, there are plenty of excellent small character moments. The one that stands out the most is during the Pudding ‘N Pie scene featuring Bigby, Georgie Porgie and Vivian. Not only is this moment tragic, but it further fleshes out the depth of Fabletown.
There are moments in the finale that are heartbreaking, including the final conversation. It reinforces the subtle noir overtones the series has played with since “Faith.” This conversation illustrates how clever these elements were the entire time.
“Cry Wolf” demonstrates how important all the little decisions, character interactions and choices Bigby made during the season mattered. More often than not, there is an illusion of choices being significant.
You get the opportunity to make a decision or treat someone a certain way, but it may amount to nothing by the end in favor of some preconceived desired outcome. The episode’s final few scenes effectively show how important even the slightest decisions and interactions matter. It rewards you for role-playing and engaging with that aspect of the gameplay.
Patterns and formulas naturally form when you create games in a specific style and genre. The Wolf Among Us’ gameplay fell into a pattern as each progressive episode released. You knew there would be a generous amount of dialogue options allowing you to make decisions about the Bigby you wanted to be. Each episode would have one or two major choices to make dictating how Bigby gained crucial information. There would be some combat peppered in to keep you on your toes.
The Wolf Among Us’ formula had varied results over the previous four episodes. Dialogue decisions and role-playing was top notch, while choices felt a bit ho hum by “In Sheep’s Clothing.” Combat never quite captured players like the Woodsman fight or chasing down one of the Tweedles. That changes in “Cry Wolf.”
Dialogue is as razor sharp as ever. Since it is the end, deciding how to proceed with characters solidifies who your Bigby is. This is where the choices you made in dealing with the citizens of Fabletown and the investigation come into the play. The end game of “Cry Wolf” sees the entire Fabletown community confronting their tormentor (should you choose the justice route).
When putting the Crooked Man on trial, you must win over the Fabletown citizens. When deciding how to punish the Crooked Man, the tide of favor can turn quickly against you. It is riveting to experience Bigby have the entire crowd on his side only to have a single piece of dialogue or doubt turn them against him and Snow.
The season finale sees Bigby chasing down cars in traffic. The chase requires fast reflexes, quick decisions and a careful eye. It puts the Tweedles chase to shame and shows some of the more involved inputs in the season. A real fight between Bigby and Bloody Mary is so intense and visceral that it likely will be what everyone remembers from the seeason. This is where you learn why Bigby got the Big Bad Wolf moniker.
The aspect of gameplay that has given diminishing returns over the series has been the combat. It never quite hits as hard as in “Faith,” but the combat segments in “Cry Wolf” far exceed those and are the most memorable in the entire season.
There is a real benefit to binge playing a game like The Wolf Among Us, in the same way of binge watching a television season. Each episode may not have the most lurid moments. Some may seem weaker on the surface of a single consumable piece of media.
However, it is when the season finishes out that you realize there were deliberate decisions for each episode to play out the way it did. While playing each episode of The Wolf Among Us as they released was still enjoyable, those consuming the season in a single go will have a greater appreciation for the story and structure.
“Cry Wolf” is an excellent way to close out the first season of The Wolf Among Us. It has been an exciting ride that has thrown twists at players in an organic and interesting manner. The season has provided so many memorable moments. It might be the most complete Telltale game to date. Hopefully, this is not the last we see of Bigby and the denizens of Fabletown.
tags: Cry Wolf , ps3 , review , telltale games , The Wolf Among Us