The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 – Cry Wolf Review
Note: This review contains spoilers for previous episodes.
Finally, after over a month’s wait, the eagerly anticipated season finale of Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us is finally here. Does Episode 5: Cry Wolf leave us with a satisfying conclusion and answer all of our questions?
Cry Wolf picks up, as usual, right where we left off at Episode 4’s chilling cliffhanger – Bigby is now surrounded by the Crooked Man — the mastermind behind all the evil deeds in Fabletown — and his goons, all of whom are characters we have interacted with. Since this is the finale, all the decisions you have made will come to fruition. Characters will call you out on all the choices, both good and bad, that you have made, and can actually make you feel guilty. However, something I really liked was that even though I had been playing bad Wolf and taking every opportunity to hurt or kill someone, not everybody hated me. Some even agreed with my decisions to kill certain people, which really made me go back and reconsider everything I did that had led up to this point.
Cry Wolf also has a lot more action than previous episodes, including an exhilarating car chase, all with the most frantic quick time events I have ever played in a game. I actually missed some of them, for the first time in this series. The QTEs themselves are not always what they appear to be at first glance, as failing one does not necessarily result in a game over. For example, during the car chase scene, there is a moment where the driver of the car challenges you to a game of chicken. As they are driving towards you, the option appears to dodge either to the left or to the right. However, if you do nothing, then the car will hit you and continue driving with you clinging to the hood, and the scene continues.
Even the conversations feel more aggressive this time around, as almost every set of dialogue options includes either “[Hit him/her]” or a death threat of varying brutality. Sometimes both. It definitely encourages you more to play as the monster of legend than in the previous episodes.
As far as graphics are concerned, the issue of character models stuttering or slowing down seems to be negligible in Cry Wolf, or at the very least less noticeable than in previous episodes.
The voice acting and soundtrack are top-notch as always; easily some of the best I’ve heard in video games. The opening theme is chilling, especially so in this final episode. The Crooked Man’s collected and calm demeanor, even in the face of imminent death, was pulled off brilliantly. And Bloody Mary’s screeching and wailing is probably the creepiest thing I’ve heard in video games.
However, there are two complaints I have with this episode. Firstly, Snow White, a major player in the story, does not appear in this episode except for the final moments. And while they are crucial scenes, Bigby’s relationship with her, after four episodes of building it up, remains unresolved.
My second complaint is with the ending itself, in that it is, of all things, a cliffhanger. Some might say that it is simply an ambiguous ending that is left up to the players to interpret using the information given in all five episodes. However, seeing as how there is an option to have Bigby either pursue or ignore the final revelation, I believe it might be a cliffhanger for Season Two, if TellTale do plan on making one. Either that, or it is to encourage us to read the comics, as there is a screen after the end credits telling us to go buy them.
I also have a few minor, more personal complaints regarding Cry Wolf. These are not deal breakers for me, but I do feel that they need to be addressed. First, I wish we could have had more interaction with Tweedle Dee. The Book of Fables entry for the Tweedles states how inseparable they are, and this is even shown in Episode Three if you investigate their office. I chose to kill Dum at the end of A Crooked Mile, and so I was hoping I would get to fight a broken, vengeful Dee mourning the loss of his twin. And if I had spared Dum, then they both would have owed me. But in either case, they just sort of gloss over it.
Second, the fight with Bloody Mary, while it is thrilling and a bit frightening (Mary’s true form looks and sounds like something out of Japanese horror), it is far too short, ends too abruptly, and doesn’t even have a satisfying ending. I mean, it’s Bloody Mary for crying out loud! The legend! Just imagine, watching her eyes widen in terror in her final moments, before we crush her head between our jaws! Personally, I was hoping there would be an “Eat Mary” option.
Secondly, do you recall how in previous episodes, whenever Sheriff Bigby transformed further into his wolf form, no matter how monstrous he became, it still felt like we were playing as Bigby? Well, Episode 5: Cry Wolf does not have that. Oh, we’re playing the Big Bad Wolf, certainly. But is it my Big Bad Wolf? Am I playing my Bigby Wolf that I have been shaping since Faith? Or is it Telltale’s Bigby that I see onscreen? Every climactic fight scene since Episode One gave you a choice. You chose to tear off Grendel’s arm; you chose not to hit Beast while he was down; you chose to kill Tweedle Dum. Here, there are no choices. You do what the game tells you — defeat Mary, and then leave. I understand that she is too dangerous to be left alive, but I was hoping for some sort of decision to make, such as giving her a quick death or a slow, painful one. I even tried failing the final QTE for the Bloody Mary fight. It made no difference. The exact same thing happened as if I had pressed it, which makes me suspect that there is no way to get a game over in this episode. Overall, it feels far too scripted.
If those last three complaints were addressed, then that would automatically fix this last one, which is that Cry Wolf overall is just too short. Clocking in at just over an hour, it is the shortest of the five. The first episode was around two hours long, and since then, they have been getting shorter. This is most likely due to the shorter wait between episodes, but I would rather wait months for a longer, deeper narrative than six weeks for one too short to be properly immersed in.
However, at the end of the day, despite that mini-rant, I still enjoyed what was there in The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf. It wraps up all its loose ends nicely (except for that damn cliffhanger), leaving you satisfied, if only a little disappointed, overall. Whether or not TellTale makes a Season Two, I am confident that players will be returning to this season for future playthroughs. And for newcomers to the Fables universe such as myself , this was an excellent introduction to the story, and I will definitely be seeking out the comics.
Overall, I came away impressed from the season finale of The Wolf Among Us. Cry Wolf left some dangling plot threads, sure, but in my opinion there’s no doubt that Telltale will be releasing at least a second season of this series — the cliffhanger is evidence enough of that, not to mention the game’s critical and commercial success. While Cry Wolf was a pretty short episode, I felt satisfied by the end of it, as the Crooked Man’s fate was determined by the player, and there was plenty of action throughout. Bigby’s final transformation into the Big Bad Wolf was something I didn’t see coming, and it was an awesome surprise. I agree that Snow White needed more screen time, but as Syed said this is likely a symptom of the sped-up development cycle, not to mention Telltale’s team working overtime with the newly-announced Game of Thrones and Borderlands series. The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf has me excited for whatever comes next.
- + Stellar voice acting and soundtrack
- + Exhilarating action
- – Unresolved plot threads and cliffhanger
- – Not enough Snow White