Platforms PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/PC/Vita/iOS
Developer/Publisher Telltale Games
Genre Point & Click, Adventure Platform Played PC
Over seven months ago I began my journey as Bigby Wolf in The Wolf Among Us, searching for the ruthless perpetrator behind two vicious murders in the Fable community. After a long wait Telltale Games has finally delivered the final installment in the season. Cry Wolf, the fifth and final entry in the season begins directly from the cliffhanger in which Bigby found himself in a hazardous situation.
The Wolf Among Us series has ultimately revolved around two key aspects, an intriguing narrative and an action orientated focus. Cry Wolf is able to deliver prominent and memorable moments in both these credentials, striking a perfect balance between exposition surrounding the main plot and providing Telltale’s best action scenario to date.
Having finally come face to face with the puppeteer pulling the strings of the unfortunate occurrences throughout Fabletown, Bigby must face off against the Crooked Man and his group of cronies. The interaction between Bigby and the Crooked Man are some of the best moments throughout Cry Wolf. Though they both know that the Crooked Man has been capitalising on the misfortunes of fellow Fables, the cat and mouse verbal interaction between the two is excellent. Crooked Man knows exactly how to play those around him against one another, either by fear, intimidation or simply by using his intelligence to carve the situation to his advantage. His expertise is showcased extensively through the main narrative driven components of Cry Wolf, making for one of the best performances the series has seen.
Though we are only truly introduced to the personality behind the Crooked Man in this episode, his presence is endearing from the opening scene, until the credits roll. Crooked Man’s performance steals the show and delivers some excellent dialog throughout the episode. Lacking the physical strength of Bloody Mary and Bigby Wolf, Crooked Man uses his intelligence to corrupt those around him and watching him work his magic twisting every decision you have made through the series to paint himself in a brighter light is fantastic.
These moments even made me regret some of the choices I had made in previous episodes, making me rethink whether my spur of the moment choice to murder one of my enemies was truly the right choice. Had I really made the wrong choice and become as bad as those I was trying to stop? Seeing my allies questioning my motives due to Crooked Man’s magic consistently had me in a corner and forced me to justify each action I made to reach this point. Though, it did feel quite odd how easily individuals would be influenced despite their previous affiliations with Bigby in the series. Characters will switch between seeing your argument in a positive or negative light in rapid fashion. The abrupt nature of these switches became strongly apparent after replaying this scene, leaving a small blemish on the otherwise tightly woven narrative.
Cry Wolf successfully provides a satisfying conclusion to the series, tying all the loose ends together in a well written plot. Without spoiling the conclusion, those who have paid close attention to The Wolf Among Us’ narrative will be left with some intriguing questions that can be interpreted in many ways. I also appreciated the fact that upon the conclusion of this dark plot, nothing becomes inherently positive. Though some evil may be vanquished throughout the finale, I was left questioning whether or not my actions as Bigby truly left a positive effect on the Fable community.
The lack of depicting a “puppies and rainbows” ending to the series felt true to the season arc, in the end this was a dark tale regarding brutal murders within a community, one which won’t be able to recover from such an onslaught overnight. This leaves players to envision their own future for the Fable society following their actions.
Cry Wolf also delivers one of the best action scenes Telltale has provided, creating a sense of scale that leaves its previous efforts in the dust. After Bigby’s first interaction with Bloody Mary I have wanted to deliver some sweet vengeance, and thankfully these two physical titans are allowed to meet again in the finale. The grand battle is complimented by some dramatic sweeping camera angles, immaculately haunting character design and impressive audio accompaniments. Though the battle certainly lacked the choice of previous action scenes in the season, the battle delivered a sense of grandeur that allowed for the lack of choice to be overlooked. Throughout the battle I felt one wrong move could be Bigby’s last and that intensity continued to increase as the odds continued to stack against Bigby Wolf. This action experience certainly stands out as one of the most unforgettable moments of the series.
Choice also plays a huge part in how players will experience Cry Wolf. As always smaller changes in dialog will have minor alterations, while substantial choices that can provide an almost entirely alternate second half of the episode are also present. After experiencing two entirely different playthroughs of Cry Wolf, I was surprised to realise that there were many more choices that could perhaps alter the experience. Seeing how my two different versions of Bigby Wolf (one who plays by the law no matter what, while one will seek justice no matter the damage) both experienced such drastic changes throughout Cry Wolf left me intrigued as to how else I could manipulate the events of the series’ conclusion.
The conclusion to The Wolf Among Us series provides a satisfying conclusion to a great experience. Despite the problems within Episode Four, Cry Wolf delivers a (mostly) tight narrative that fills in the loose ends from the series and also left me with more questions that I will certainly continue to consider for weeks to come.
Impressively as soon as the credits ended I wanted to replay the entire series to see what small instances I may have missed throughout, which only further emphasises the masterful story telling Telltale can provide.
+ Crooked Man steals the show.
+ Telltale’s best action scene yet.
+ Balance between action and narrative.
– Characters easily influenced, despite history.