Tuesday
Jul152014

QCF: The Wolf Among Us-Episode 5

he fifth and final episode of The Wolf Among Us Season One released recently, however I have been having some difficulty in finding time to enjoy the conclusion to this adult themed fairy tale. I have not been able to decide if the reason is due to the newborn baby that rocks next to me as I write this review, or if it is because I’m afraid of how this will end. As Sheriff Bigby Wolf, I have made some mistakes, and I’ve hurt people that may not have deserved to be hurt. I’ve also attempted to do the right thing, and to make justice my top priority. However now we find out if that was all really worth it; if doing the right thing means that the wrong person has to suffer and if the big, bad wolf is human or just a vicious animal.

Bigby is in a room full of mean people and bad intentions as the episode begins, and his words can do little to bring The Crooked Man to justice. Like many moments in this title, Bigby will chose to either intimidate, convince or threaten whomever he is speaking with. In this last installment each decision felt more impactful than any other this season. It was exactly what I would hope to see throughout the entire run of the previous four episode but never really seemed to reach that desired feeling. It was stressful as well and exciting to choose each word as I spoke to the Crooked Man and his henchmen, and later on as Bigby followed a bloody trail to the center of all the evil than has run through Fabletown.  During this encounter against Bloody Mary I not only saw how bad the big wolf could really become, I also saw Telltale finally nail down good combat in their game.

The fight was by far the longest in any Telltale game to date, and what a fight it was. The quick time event style of the fighting was no longer clunky or riddled with any slow-down. The battle was tense and satisfying as every strike connected. In a moment that I will not forget, Bigby finally took off the gloves and showed how he became so feared in his previous occupation as he huffed and puffed away the villainous Mary. As a fan of several games by this developer I was very pleased that the fight was orchestrated so well, and it makes me confident that they will be able to take this into future titles. The game continued to surprise as the sheriff approached The Crooked Man and was given the first of several major decisions on how to handle the situation. Would the sheriff chose to take the accused in peacefully, with violent intentions or perhaps decide to make a deal? The choice would not only impact how things would be handled during the trial but also would dictate what kind of person Bigby Wolf truly was.

During the trial of The Crooked Man, his willingness to be taken into custody begins to show his true intent as he begins to leverage the rest of the community against Wolf and Snow White. I know that several of the decision I had made and regretted would come back to haunt me, and during the trial those mistakes made the ability to bring The Crooked Man to justice that much more difficult. It would take quick thinking and effective talking in order to win the crowd over. Thankfully some of the good that the sheriff had done in the community did not go unnoticed and suddenly the approval began to swing back to our side. However with the group being evenly split on the punishment for the man that had caused so much pain and suffering to the Fables, it is decided that only one person is appointed to be the judge in the proceeding, Bigby Wolf. What will the final verdict be? Will the need for revenge outweigh the desire for justice? Will the voice of the people determine what happens to the defendant? These questions all weighed heavy on me as I made my decision. I will not go into specifics on what was decided or what the outcome was. I can only say that the choice did come with its own consequences and that at the end of the episode it feels like maybe the fairy tale may still have a few pages left before it is truly over.

This final episode was the perfect representation of what Telltale has been able to accomplish throughout their previous games and overall made the experience of The Wolf Among Us that much more enjoyable. I suppose that compared to the somber and bleak outcomes in titles like The Walking Dead, anything less brutal would be considered a positive experience. The game not only put more of my faith into the work of the developer, it also introduced me to a new world of Fables and makes me want to find out even more in the graphic novels and comics of Bill Willingham. It was a perfect representation of the genre and deserves the perfect score to go with it. We will be rapping up this series with a Games Club of the title very soon and we hope that everyone will be able to play the series and discuss their outcomes with us. 

 

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