Review: The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5: Cry Wolf (2014)
Telltale's storytelling abilities are what drives The Wolf Among Us. Both brilliant and terrifying, this finale is the best 2 hours you'll ever spend playing a video game.
As Cry Wolf begun, I was greeted with a recap of everything that happened through episodes 1-4 and I realised quickly just how brilliant an adventure this had been. Whilst Bigby Wolf and the residents of Fable Town had its ups and downs and wasn’t always perfect, Cry Wolf showed the reason why Telltale are the kings of story telling.
Cry Wolf started and finished with a bang as Bigby’s final adventure started with him surrounded by The Crooked Man forces as he tried to explain that he wasn’t an evil man at all but simply misunderstood as he tried to help the people of Fable Town. Cry Wolf is full of action set pieces but underneath it all is time for you to think on your actions from previous episodes and realise that maybe the real enemies might have been right under your nose. Whether I was fighting off Crooked mans goons as they jumped me in his office, or chasing down a car in a thrilling car chase each action I made I quickly realised had consequences bigger then any before.
The gameplay is fast, fun and thrilling as I took down everyone or stopped and thought on my actions, depending on your play style, doing anything and everything to get my answers. The stand out performance of this episode is the Crooked Man who is charming, intriguing and terrifying as he pushed Bigby to his absolute limits giving you the player a choice listen to what I have to say or kill me where I stood. It’s one of many hard choices you must make as you paint the version of Bigby you want people to see a sheriff, a monster or a bit of both as each decision made across the 5 episodes really come to light here more than any Telltale game. I really felt that my choices made throughout my adventure really mattered and that at the end of this no matter how much I hoped that everyone would be safe there would be lives lost and lives hurt and broken at the end of this.
Side characters that may have seemed less important to the story previously show themselves to be real game players here as Georgi,e the owner of the pudding, and Nerissa show that I you can’t always know who a person truly is. Georgie had a big story ark in the episode that can be played out in a few different ways giving reason to have many play throughs of the episode.The Wolf Among Us is a stand out game that shows that you can’t always really know a person which you quickly come to realise and it leaves you thinking as the credits roll just who was I really fighting.
The ending of The Wolf Among Us is left to player interpretation and lets you make up your own mind on how you feel the story really ends which may not please some people as they may want closure on the story. But I felt it worked for the story as the choices made throughout the 5 episodes makes it hard to give any one ending for the game. Whilst what I say is vague as I don’t want to spoil the reveal, a scene involving Nerissa felt almost like it deserved a full episode itself. As everything comes full circle and she is revealed to a major game player and character from the beginning the fact she was left with a 5 minute scene felt to short for my liking as it felt rushed and out of place. But whilst it was way to short it still packed a punch and for fans of the series it will leave them with their minds blown and leave them thinking for hours.
Gameplay has always felt like something that was on the back burner throughout the first 4 episodes but the mixture of quicktime events with dialogue and branching choices made for brilliant gameplay. Bloody Mary’s fight against Bigby feels like an end boss fight of a video game, both terrifying and brilliant as you search desperately for the Crooked Man. It comes together for a 5 minute quicktime event that is fast, fun and scary as Bigby shows why he’s called the Big Bad Wolf and shatters her from existence. It’s something I feel will satisfy fans of the novels as it’s something that we have never seen from his characters before. It changes the gameplay and makes the game feel fast and fun its a change of pace for Telltale and I hope its something that they will keep to.
Cry Wolf brings the series back to form when it needed it most after a confusing episode 4 that never really hit the mark. Each scene never felt it was going anywhere and you were spinning round and round with the story not going forward. They showed the reason why that was and made me forgive them for the previous episode as the finale gave us scenes of brilliant dialogue, gameplay and choices. Each scene felt like it mattered with each one feeling more important then the last and I felt like each choice I had made really meant something to the story and the overall outcome of the series. Its something that reminds me of The Walking Dead as each action and choice I made showed on the faces of the people of Fable Town.
The Wolf Among Us is a masterpiece of story telling and Cry Wolf puts the icing on the cake of what is brilliant storytelling with some amazing characters that you will learn to love, hate and care about all at the same time. This series is one that I can see myself and others doing multiple play throughs to see outcomes that may have changed the ending of the game and what I may have missed in the dialogue to not see just who the true enemy was. The Wolf Among Us is storytelling at its finest and is something hard to match, giving fans of the novels something to smile about as a truly brilliant version of their characters are brought to life on screen.