It’s been a long, winding road for Bigby Wolf in The Wolf Among Us. Enduring the scrutiny of the entire Fabletown community in a case wrought with dramatic twists and turns, things have finally come to an end here in Cry Wolf. And while some may have been frightened by the lack of development in the previous episode, In Sheep’s Clothing, I can assure them that it merely served as the setup to a grand finale befitting the game’s comic book and noir influences.
As with most classic noir, the final act is much more about our protagonist fighting and/or deducing his way to arrest and conviction than it is about him snooping around and investigating. Telltale fully embraced this, giving players nothing but heart-pounding action and suspenseful dialogue throughout Cry Wolf. And despite being one who enjoys every aspect of a Telltale adventure game, I can’t advocate enough how fitting this choice by the developer was. It was a time for answers, and Bigby found just enough to satisfy while leaving enough intrigue to make you clamor for more. In other words: perfectly noir.
It helps that the action sequences themselves were well scripted and at no point to me felt shoehorned. In fact, the adrenaline-fueling yet terrifying confrontation with Bloody Mary may very well be the best QTE I’ve experienced to date. Not only was every button prompt exciting, but the choreography and scripting of the scene truly felt like being in the midst of a bout between two epic characters of fairy tale lore.
But perhaps the greatest battle in the entire game is not one of actions, but of words. In the episode’s climax, all of the choices I made as Bigby throughout my playthrough came back in my face as I had to outwit the season’s most intelligent character in order to win the favor of Fabletown’s residents. Games have forever been notorious for giving players a superb challenge when it comes to sparring with swords and/or guns, but few – even among Telltale’s own library – have given a verbal sparring match of equal satisfaction. Having to think steps ahead in order for Bigby’s words to outwit the silver tongue of the antagonist was something I won’t soon forget.
When the narrative finally wrapped up, it threw so many twists and turns my way that my head was left spinning, but not lost. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, a new revelation would come that changed my perspective on just how the entire case began. This no truer than the game’s final scene, which both blew my mind and had me hoping that the series gets a second season.
If that does happen, then there is one thing that will hopefully be remedied thanks to the power of a new generation of consoles: scene lag. The one unfortunate technical setback from earlier episodes continued for me here, as a scene would stall for just a few seconds whenever a camera angle in was about to switch. Strangely, however, I had grown accustomed to it from Episodes 1-4 and it didn’t break my immersion as much this time around; the key words there being as much.
But despite the minor technical lethargy, The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 — Cry Wolf put an exclamation mark on what was once again a successful comic book adaptation by Telltale. To see characters that have taught me and many others countless valuable lessons as children now teaching us more as adults is an absolute treat. It’s turned me into a fan of the Fables comics, and I’m dying to flip through more of its pages until a second season is greenlit.