I HUFFED AND I PUFFED UNTIL…
The fourth installment of Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us is the inevitable pre-cursor to the season finale and the story doesn’t let you forget it.
Remember what I said about the ideal pacing in Episode 3? Not so much this time. The decisions do not feel vital and rarely did I feel pressure to choose one option over the other. In fact, I didn’t feel a rush of excitement until the very end. I mean the absolute end.
The episode starts off immediately where Three left off. We met Bloody Mary last time and Bigby is recovering from the incident. Some early tension arises between Bigby and Snow White as you are forced to decide between defending Snow and your roommate Colin. I’ve been trying to develop my romantic relationship with Snow since Episode 1, so naturally I tried to find the best common ground I could without making an enemy of Colin. On that topic, this episode made little to no progress with Snow and Bigby’s relationship. I’ve felt as if the breaking point would have happened by now, but clearly that isn’t the case.
After the opening fifth of the episode, Bigby meets a character from a past episode and learns some startling news. This leads to a deeper investigation, as Bigby finally has a lead to work with. That lead brings him to Beauty and the Beast’s apartment. An underlying theme as been evident all season – the Fables (fairytales living in New York City, banished from their magical worlds) are not well off. Some are living in poverty, some resort to any means necessary to make a living. Beauty and the Beast clearly lived in a large palace before, but now struggle to make ends meet in an apartment. While there, Bigby learns of two possible leads and the player must choose which one to attend first. Typically, I would have felt some urgency, but both locations will be visited regardless of which one you choose first.
Upon meeting the Jersey Devil, Bigby finally finds the missing piece of evidence he needs to put back together the Magic Mirror. Every episode, a brawl takes place that is full of loose quick time events. Bigby gets to choose which path to take here, but it holds little weight. One character’s story arc is concluded after this scene, but it yields little emotion. It was a character that I felt little to no connection with to begin with.
As the story unfolds into its last act, I certainly felt awakened. After using the Magic Mirror to discover the Crooked Man’s location, Bigby goes to Central Park to confront the series’ antagonist. Bigby then meets a classic Christmas Fairytale character (who shall remain unnamed, as his role is likely small but still undetermined). I won’t spoil the only somewhat eye-opening sequence of the episode, but it did enough to leave me pining for closure. I suspect Episode 5 will release in the beginning of July and I have faith that the ship will be steered back on course for a big finale. Mysteries and thrillers are some of my favorite games (Heavy Rain & LA Noire come to mind). When Telltale decided to combine the two with a major emphasis on story in The Wolf Among Us, I was hooked immediately. The cell shaded graphics are pretty as well.
While Episode 4 was less action packed and didn’t move the story along as much as I had hoped, it is a necessary puzzle piece of the season’s arch. I can’t wait for Episode 5.
+ Consistent Gameplay + Another solid cliffhanger
– Barely 65 minutes (as opposed to the 90 minute average of the other 3 episodes) – No consequences to decisions – Bland, lacking action
Josiah LeRoy is Geekiverse’s Senior Editor. He hopes to one day see Telltale and EA collaborate on Star Wars.