WRAPPED UP WITH A PRETTY RIBBON
The Wolf Among Us’ first season wrapped up this week, answering some questions I have had for weeks and some I have had since last Fall when Episode One debuted. The action reached new heights and the decisions that I had to make really put me on the spot.
The Episode takes place immediately where Episode Four leaves off, in the middle of most of Season One’s antagonists. The Crooked Man denies having anything to do with any of the murders that have taken place, instead blaming Georgie. Things escalate quickly, as Bloody Mary and The Crooked Man escape through a vortex-like object. It is here that the weight and culmination of your season-long decisions take effect. Who should I attack first? Does it even make a difference?
This starts a pretty cool chase sequence that ends up with Bigby confronting Georgie and Vivian. The blame game takes place, with a remorseful Georgie offering some interesting information and a moral split second decision that left me pondering. I played the game on Xbox 360 and it was moments with high action such as this and the chase sequence that showed a weak game engine. It was slow and sluggish, if not delayed. When the full season of episodes comes to Xbox One and Playstation 4 this October, it will be interesting to see if the system can handle those sequences smoother (as they should).
I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but the fight with Bloody Mary that follows was exciting because I knew I would be close to finally bringing The Crooked Man to justice. Bigby’s power is finally truly unleashed as he transfers into the Big Bad Wolf for the first time. Upon finally meeting The Crooked Man again, the game actually gives you the biggest decision of the entire first season, and it gives two largely different scenarios to follow. I chose the way that felt most “Sheriff” like, most just. Upon your choice here, the last few scenes are vital and it is important that you stay on your game. Telltale does a wonderful job of really pushing you to move quickly in the final moments. At some points, I felt like pausing the game just to ensure that I was making the choice I wanted to make, not an impulse choice. I resisted the temptation and am proud to say that I did not pause the game on any of the decisions throughout the entire season.
Though the dialogue can get heavy at some points, it was necessary. In a specific scene, you have to listen to a group of individuals and ensure that they are on your side, as losing them could have created more chaos. In the first 4 episodes, it was seemingly necessary to perform multiple playthroughs to get each achievement or trophy. In this episode, it is possible in one sitting.
Telltale’s beautifully crafted world is nothing new – the cell shaded, comic-book style, Borderlands appearance is so neat to look at. Episode 5 truly flies by with all of its action-heavy sequences. Episode 1 was my favorite to date, but 5 is right up there with it. Looking forward to what is hopefully a second season, Telltale leaves the episode with one last decision. I have no idea if it will be a major one, or if they will abandon it. If Telltale can find more consistency in the episode to episode arch and improve upon its game engine (which should absolutely come with the next-gen systems), it will be an improvement on a game that I consider to be in the running for 2014’s game of the year.
Episode 5’s action heavy feel left me with a great taste in my mouth as I will remember it fondly. I love The Walking Dead series and cannot wait to jump into Telltale’s view on Borderlands and Game of Thrones in the coming years. A second season should be right around the corner. Bringing a comic book to life is no easy feat. I will likely be purchasing the entire first season when it makes the jump to Xbox One and Playstation 4 this Fall.
+ Episodes 1-4 decisions weighed in heavily and truly mattered + Impulse decisions were highly difficult to commit to + Satisfying ending to an awesome first season, yet room to continue into Season 2 and beyond + Memorable villain in The Crooked Man
– Game engine struggled during fight sequences – Dissatisfying use of Snow and lack of relationship development
Josiah LeRoy is Geekiverse’s Senior Editor. Be sure to check out his reviews of the other Episodes from The Wolf Among Us Season 1.
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