Summary : Telltale wraps up The Wolf Among Us with class, correcting its mistakes with nearly everything you've been asking for and maybe a bit more.
How do you tell a lie? Why, if you tell it often enough, and it becomes the truth. There’s hardly a difference between the two in Fabletown; rather, the truth is however convincing the story at hand is being told. That’s not good enough for Sheriff Bigby Wolf. It’s a tangled web that Telltale has spun, and even more spectacularly unraveled, in this fifth episode of the Wolf Among Us. Twists, turns, and splendid action all craft a season sendoff that puts Cry Wolf as the fitting finale to a challenging series.
It’s on that note that Cry Wolf wastes little time in getting straight to business. Skipping the usual late-credits sequence, you’re put you right back where you ended Episode Four, and into the lion’s den. Face to face with the Crooked man himself and his circle of familiar confidants, there’s little time for pleasantries before the fur starts to fly and you find yourself on one last race against time to uncover The Wolf Among Us’ menacing murder mystery in all its harrying finality. Getting those answers comes with as much of a price as you’d come to expect from the series. You can’t save everyone, and good people will die.
Choice comes as the episode’s salvation and for the first time in a long time, actual lives hang in your hands with the press of a button, and suffice to say, Cry Wolf leaves little to your imagination, bloodied hands and all. To put a murderer out of his misery or to dispense your own street justice, these are questions more deserving of your conscience than whether to share a light with the Woodsman.
What lives hang in the balance are of equal measure to the hearts and minds you fight to win. As much the sheriff as the prosecutor, Bigby finally has his day in court against those responsible for the series’ ills. The Crooked Man takes the spotlight here as a man of appropriate cunning and wicked charms. It’s more brains than brawn that compose his and Bigby’s final showdown in what makes for a brilliant battle of wits among the residents of Fabletown. It’s all a bit disappointing that you recount more, than cash in on the laundry list of choices you’ve made between the two of you, but it all pays off by the time your literally get your hands on the Crooked Man one final time.
It’s all the more surprising that Cry Wolf carries as much action as it does suspense, and it does so in spades. A fast-paced car chase and a boardroom brawl fill out Cry Wolf’s impeccably used QTEs, and not shying away from making outstanding set piece moments. The best of them all, takes Bigby into his most monstrous form yet in the game’s most visually stunning and tense battles we’ve seen this season, and one that brings an untimely end to an even more vicious Bloody Mary. All two dozen of her.
There are relatively fewer technical bugs that follow such sequences than before, minus the occasional slowdown more likely to be blamed on my Mac than the game itself. Players’ mileage may vary, and it may take you out of the universe momentarily, but ultimately Cry Wolf doesn’t bend under pressure.
What players will find most from the episode is closure, and Cry Wolf admirably provides that, all without shutting the door on the series as a whole. The Fables universe indeed overshadows even Telltale’s adaptation of it, and what we have here is a satisfying (if not flirtatious) conclusion to a still vibrant world. To that end, the episode bares a few playthroughs, and despite being satisfied with the conclusion, there are several sections undoubtedly citing major implications for a still potential sequel. Though you may not need to, you’ll probably want to play it again to fully understand everything, but that might be down to the breakneck pace Cry Wolf plays out at, rather than the way the story’s told.
The lineup of goodbyes to characters old and new are more or less ho-hum depending on your chosen investment in them, and their prospects for future entries seem bland at best. Perhaps the best of them can be found in the game’s final scene that so candidly comes full circle, and right where it all began, to suggest a clue that’ll send even the cleverest fans’ heads reeling. Should your in-game choice to pursue or forget it is up to you, but its pleasant mystery almost seems quaint for Telltale to leave be.
Whether cracked wide open or left forever unsolved, Telltale wraps up an otherwise hit-or-miss season with style. Sometimes wandering but always well intended, The Wolf Among Us has captured an inescapable atmosphere of dread and deception, and Cry Wolf is a fittingly to that very potential. While I can’t be sure if Telltale need retire Bigby’s beat by now, you can be sure that it meant something after all.