Platforms: PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/PC/Vita/iOS
Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point & Click, Adventure Platform Played: PC
‘A Crooked Mile’ takes The Wolf Among Us series past the half-way point in the story, with only two episodes left to wrap up this ever-increasing dark tale. Episode 3 doesn’t just provide some of the toughest decisions in the series, but it also introduces new hurdles that Bigby Wolf must face, if he is to catch the murderous Fable that is on the loose.
When you think you have the plot of The Wolf Among Us figured out, Telltale Games pulls the rug from beneath your feet. Episode 3 continues directly from the shocking ending of the previous episode, which is the central motivation throughout. ‘A Crooked Mile’ also delivers an extremely memorable and explosive final scene, one that will shock the foundations of Fabletown, depending on the decisions you make. The final scene capped off a powerful 90 minute instalment in the series.
One of the most interesting aspects of ‘A Crooked Mile’ is the focus on the old world the Fables left. These are small scenes in the overall episode, but they give us a slight glimpse into the culture of certain fairytale species, as well as introducing us to a character who holds onto the world once lost. Though these pieces of information are mostly irrelevant to the overall plot, they are interesting facets that continue to further develop Telltale’s Wolf Among Us universe.
‘A Crooked Mile’ features an emphasis on investigation, as Bigby must explore a series of locations in order to piece together the whereabouts of a prime suspect. These investigations are reminiscent of a crime series, where the more evidence that is discovered only provides further questions. It provided me with a sense of intrigue, as theories I had hypothesized were obliterated to dust, but it also did an excellent job of emphasising that Bigby isn’t only a powerful individual physically. It showcased Bigby’s excellent intelligence, which was a factor of his personality that hasn’t been explored.
The Wolf Among Us continues to succeed at keeping previously introduced characters relevant, allowing us to further discover information and experience the personality of the beautifully developed individuals. ‘A Crooked Mile’ also introduces many more well-crafted characters, in particular a new villain that appears to be as intelligent, as they are cold-blooded. The new addition to The Wolf Among Us narrative is excellent, and continued Telltale’s perfect run of brilliant voice talent. The inclusion of such a brutal nemesis for Bigby left me excited to see how their relationship will unfold over the final two episodes.
Choices are also prevalent throughout Episode 3, with some decisions meaning you will miss certain areas and moments. After playing through ‘A Crooked Mile’ my first thought was to replay the adventure, excited to experience these extra scenes through different choices. Even after finishing two playthroughs of Episode 3, it felt like there are many more pieces of interesting dialog and interactions between characters that I have still yet to experience. Which further emphasises that those not experiencing a second playthrough are missing out on a large chunk of extra content.
Episode 3 also continues to produce strong written dialog that has been showcased throughout the series. General conversation between characters is riveting, and there is a strong variety in dialog, depending how you tackle certain situations. Characters will act unfavourably to Bigby, depending on how he addresses them – choose to punch a character instead of reasoning with them, and they will act frightened and intimidated; which allows us to further craft our own personal Bigby Wolf.
Unfortunately, the variety in dialog when choosing between the tougher choices in ‘A Crooked Mile’ doesn’t measure up. There are certain moments when big decisions are made, and although these choices effect where Bigby’s investigation takes place, the dialog between certain characters is almost line-for-line, even though the location is vastly different. Though this isn’t a huge discrepancy, making my way through a second time definitely made these repeated dialog lines stand out amongst the amount of variety that general conversations include.
The Wolf Among Us also struggles to make some choices matter. One scene in particular has you interrupting an emotional event, if you choose to do so. Interrupting this event should be considered a heartless action on Bigby’s part; however, following the conclusion, certain characters will still act fondly towards Bigby, despite ruining the proceedings; it made this decision irrelevant. No matter if I chose to be respectful or not, characters still acted as if I did the right thing. Telltale usually provides a high standard in making decisions matter, which makes choices that don’t very obvious and out of place.
‘A Crooked Mile’ is another strong episode in Telltale’s depiction of the Fables universe. It produces some new memorable characters, while keeping previously introduced characters relevant. Episode 3 also encourages replayability, with some scenes unable to be experienced in a single playthrough. Although the lack of varied dialog in these scenarios stands out, it’s the lack of effect some choices deliver that feels out of place.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 3 left me excited for the final two instalments in the series, which will hopefully provide strong payoff for characters I have grown to love.
+ Explosive conclusion.
+ Investigation aspects.
+ Introduction of new villain.
+ Choices emphasise replayability…
– Second playthrough lacked dialog variety in new scenes.