The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf (X360) Review: The Bloody Conclusion Arrives
, the finale to Telltale games’ impressive The Wolf Among Us
has a lot to live up to. Finales already have a level of expectation anyway but when a series is focused around trying to figure out mysteries and get answers, if these answers aren't delivered in the end it’s easy to feel cheated. Cry Wolf
thankfully gives us those answers in dramatic and satisfying ways, whilst still leaving a few questions that leave you wanting more. Take a deep breath before playing as this finale could be Telltale’s best work to date.
The episode begins directly where the last ended almost prematurely with the first face to face confrontation between Bigby and The Crooked Man. While I still think this scene would have been better suited to end the previous episode rather than starting this one, it still served up an incredibly tense and at times unnerving situation to deal with. Trying to stay assertive while also aware that I was incredibly outnumbered felt great and how things panned out set up the rest of the episode very well.
What followed was perhaps my favorite action sequence that I have every played in any Telltale game. The quick time events felt important and dramatic while the onscreen action continued to escalate; I struggled to keep up with it all which I believed was it’s intention. Sometime the action does feel quite small, usually contained within one small space. So it was great to see something take place over a vast area (nearly all of Fabletown) and another sign that Telltale are still thinking of new ways to impress within a familiar formula.
Sandwiched between two action sequences was a more somber moment where we arrived back at the Pudding & Pie and learned more about the unravelling mystery. Georgie and Vivian try to justify their parts in it all which continues to muddy the water in who really are the bad guys in all this. I mentioned in my previous review that the dynamic developing regarding who really is looking at for the best for the people of Fabletown is even more present here and really creates a more fleshed out story than just simple characters and plot. The Crooked Man in particular plays on this a lot towards the end of the episode and really makes you question what your motivation has been throughout the entire series.
In such a fantastic episode it would usually be hard to pick one moment that stands out but without a doubt the fight between Bigby and Bloody Mary stands above almost anything I’ve played in this genre so far. Great boss fights need two things: originality and creativity and this one ticks those boxes so amazingly well. It’s rare that while playing a game I am continually shouting things like “THIS IS AWESOME” but during this fight I couldn't help myself as the action continued to escalate to a point that I never saw coming. It’s seriously worth playing the entire series just for this moment alone. Bravo to everyone involved in crafting such an incredible sequence.
This moment really felt worthy enough to be a ‘final boss’ in most games and from this point things are way more stripped down but still carry a huge amount of weight and consequence as to how this story will finally be concluded. The Crooked Man as I mentioned likes to turn the mirror on Bigby and Snow White and really makes everyone ponder; are the answers we really want not to the questions we are asking?
It’s final moments play out like a epilogue to all the events and by no means feel like a victory. It stays with the tone of the game throughout in that no one was really going to get the conclusion they wanted and ultimately life in Fabletown is never gonna be the way they all hope it will be. Some questions are left unanswered but it feels more natural rather than just leaving certain things unresolved just so they can be in a sequel. Whether the series continues we will have to wait and see but that either way won’t affect this episode. And that’s exactly what you want from a finale.
Overall, The Wolf Among Us
has been an outstanding series. It’s clear that it’s middle episodes were the weakest (2 & 4) but the majority have been excellent and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it throughout. While not having the same name recognition as Telltale’s fantastic The Walking Dead
series, I hope that doesn’t deter people from playing as it would be a tragedy for this series to go under the radar. If you haven’t played it already, now that all five episodes are out there hasn't been a better time to start. So what are you waiting for?