Game Review: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile [Xbox360/PS3/PC/Mac]
Will it continue to grip us with its twists and character development or will we grow tired of the world and story it is trying to build? The answer may differ for each individual, but I’m thrilled to say my answer is the former. With The Wolf Among Us – A Crooked Mile, Telltale truly delivers with every moment in this 2 hour episode filled with important moments or introducing new characters and even fleshing out those who’ve only briefly appeared in the previous 2 episodes.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile starts of where we left Episode 2. Reminding us of the cliffhanger and setting us on our way to discover what is really going on in Fabletown. From a technical standpoint it’s much the same. You’re still making your own choices and exploring small rooms for clues and your decisions will have an effect on certain parts of the game. However the engine feels a lot tighter this time around. I found myself experiencing little to no issues that the Telltale games seem to be bugged with such as the occasional graphical jitter, and it made for a much more pleasant experience overall.
As in the previous episodes it’s the smaller conversations that are more intriguing and move the plot forward, opening the door to the larger cinematic. We also learn a lot more about many of the characters we’ve met already; often giving them an added sympathetic edge that can play a part in the decisions you make about that person or even make you choose their side in the few moments The Wolf Among Us that Bigby become the mediator in arguments.
With a game like this it really is best experienced discovering the key events by yourself so I’ll do my best to avoid any spoilers that may lessen your enjoyment. What I can say though is that this episode builds on the dramatic tension that had been bubbling in the previous episode until it erupts it towards the end in such a violent fashion that it has you question just how powerful characters can become in future instalments.
Throughout the game there’s a sense you need to get things done quickly in order to stop certain events happening. However there is no time limit given to you by the game. It’s simply encouraged by characters in the game and your attachment to them makes you obey and try to act fast. It gives you a sense of urgency and pressure that is seldom felt by other games nowadays and it’s a clever way to get the player to feel more involved in the grimy world of Fabletown.
The ending is one of the best Telltale have done in any of their previous series. Telltale have done this in such a way that not only are you, the player, gripped by what you see and hear on screen, but it’s also translated to your controller as quick time events give you an added sense of desperation that makes you frantically press the corresponding button at the right time or as quick as you can to overpower an opposing force. We also get to unleash the true power of Bigby, fangs and all, before it is all-too-quickly taken from us again by a new enemy. It’s a fantastic way to end the episode and leaves you wanting more. I just hope Telltale can deliver Episode 4 quickly.
One of the great things I love about this series is just how much control over Bigby emotion the player has. Telltale provide you with multiple conversational choices varying from offering support or helpful advice, asking polite questions to being straight up blunt and uncaring and everything in between. The result is that everybody’s version of Bigby will be different because of this. Maybe yours is very kind and understanding or maybe he flips at a moment’s notice and rages any given opportunity. Mine lies somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. He is patient and kind to those I feel I can trust, yet has no time for characters that may obviously be an enemy of Bigby or have double crossed me at some point in the past. It gives me a little more emotional investment in the characters and makes me think about how I want to deal with each situation with the Bigby I have created.
The Wolf Among Us release schedule has been a little infuriating up until now with a huge delay between the first and second episodes, but just a couple of months have passed this time around. In spite of those issues I have to say that I’m currently enjoying The Wolf Among Us a little more than I did with Telltales other big title, The Walking Dead Season 1. While it remains to be seen if it will just as incredible come the end of the series, they’re certainly doing a fantastic job with Episode 3 moving the story along and giving us reason to be excited for the next instalment.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile is out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC with an iOS and PS Vita date yet to be confirmed.