(This review of The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 — Cry Wolf is the concluding review to The Wolf Among Us series. As such, the review will not only contain the individual episode’s critique but also an overall critique of the series accompanied by an overall score towards the end.)
(This review of The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 – Cry Wolf contains spoilers from episodes 1-3, but does not contain spoilers from episodes 4 or 5. Therefore, this review will include no pictures as they may contain spoilers.)
In my review of The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4, I expressed my concern over how the series would conclude; last episode’s lull in compelling character or plot progression put what had been a streak of interesting narrative into a rut — a rut that I feared would carry through to Episode 5 — Cry Wolf. However, after playing the final chapter in this Telltale interactive graphic novel, I can safely say the series ends on a high note with plenty of puzzling twists and frantic fights that ends on that great note of “Where do we go from here?”
As an individual episode, there’s not a lot of conversation in Cry Wolf except for a few hard-hitting revelations and some dire player-driven choices. Some might argue that involving more action in a Telltale noir game, which prides itself on branching, well-written dialogue, is a misstep in The Wolf Among Us series, but I’d argue that it’s one of the better decisions they’ve made. Each action plays a larger purpose; it gives the player a better sense of control and ramps up the intensity of the events unfolding. It doesn’t accomplish this in a flashy or superfluous way however as each reflexive choice seems important to the character’s progression. I’ll admit that the design choice for these actions — repetitive QTEs and clunky tank controls — aren’t the most enjoyable or engaging, but its the purpose behind them, what they enable the character to do, which gives the player enjoyment. That being said, there is a design choice near one of the endings of the episode which, unfortunately, derails the immersion. I won’t spoil which one, but it jams an unnecessary pause into pressure-filled situation, killing the momentum of the scene.
Story-wise, Cry Wolf is probably my favorite of the five episodes, but I’d still say that Episode 3 is the best technically. The denouement, or final act where everything comes together then is resolved, presented by Telltale Games is spectacular and a fitting end to The Wolf Among Us. It ends in true noir fashion, playing on tattered strings of trust and deceit strewn about the entire series as you confront the mastermind of Fabletown’s misfortunes. There is a moment that must be mentioned in the middle of the episode, a tense confrontation, that interjects tragedy into one of the most unexpected characters; the scene succeeds at creating sentiment, making you feel regret over a character whom you thought would be the last character to sympathize over. Furthermore, what makes this ending truly great is that it’s resolution doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is resolved; it’s what I’d expect in any story that is labelled as a noir.
The Wolf Among Us is a thrilling, contemplative noir-mystery that manipulates trust and tension expertly at every turn. Telltale Games once again proves that they are capable of delivering an engaging narrative filled to the brim with complex characters and enthralling plot twists. However, there is also a lot of room for improvement. The technical aspects of the game are extremely rough as the game is riddled with clunky controls and processing issues that break the immersion of the overall game experience. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in experiencing a great game narrative or even just a story in general — to anyone who likes a little bit of attitude and intrigue.
Final Score: 8.5/10
Written and Edited by Tim Atwood