By: Mike Chen
Note: The Wolf Among Us series looks, sounds, and plays the same from episode to episode. For an examination of those series characteristics, please see our Episode 1: Faith review. This review will only provide an overall score for Episode 5: Cry Wolf.
The penultimate episode of Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us set the stage for a big confrontation and an epic finale.
Without spoiling anything, Episode 5: Cry Wolf delivers. It’s tense, action-packed and morally conflicted in a spectacular way. Most importantly, one of my major complaints of the last few episodes has been resolved. There’s a sense of control in Cry Wolf that didn’t really seem to be fully grounded in previous episodes. While Telltale seems to have fully eschewed traditional adventure game tropes of exploration and puzzle solving, this episode feels the most and immersive and responsive.
Broken up into several distinct acts for a runtime of about 90 minutes, Cry Wolf rockets Bigby Wolf into a conclusion that ultimately decides the fate of the Crooked Man and the inhabitants of Fabletown. Each act features signature set pieces, be they dialogue or quick-time action. While the game may throttle along a fairly set path, decisions feel weighty and create a small but tangible impact on the reactions of key characters. The episode starts with a recap of many important choices from previous episodes, and you’ll see the ripple effect of those as things come to a close and characters pick sides.
I won’t discuss any further story specifics, but I will say that my only real letdown with this episode was the final short epilogue. I get the feeling that this could have been left out or altered depending on whether the game was commercially successful, as it sets up things for a second season. However, the final beat throws a lot of information at you in the closing seconds, and after the emotional rollercoaster that just happened, I did a double-take when the credits rolled. The actual end comes at a logical point, and you can feel it coming, but you may need to play it a second time to figure out what the final takeaway is (I had to).
A gritty and at times gut-wrenching conclusion to Telltale’s first season of The Wolf Among Us, Cry Wolf delivers the goods while moving the story ahead for further adventures. If you’ve been waiting for the whole series to come out before dipping in, it’s worth your investment.