Review

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 - A Crooked Mile Review

  • Game release: October 11, 2013
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

Bigger and badder.

The more you know, the less that's clear. In A Crooked Mile, the third episode in the ongoing Wolf Among Us saga, details start coming into focus, but the role each character plays in this noir mystery is still hidden behind a thick veil. There are puppets and there are puppetmasters, kings, and pawns, and the big bad wolf can't win this murderous game using his wits alone. It's time for the claws to come out.

Sheriff Bigby does not roar his way through the episode, however, with his animal instincts barely under control. In fact, the Bigby I've come to know has learned how to better navigate the politics and personal relationships that heat up the series' plot advancements. In this episode, I could have disrupted a funeral and devastated those in mourning, but Bigby understands love and grief better than his fellow fables give him credit for. It's hard to forget the sheriff's violent choices--not when facing a former victim of his wrath, and certainly not when staring at the empty space where that victim's right arm used to be. But for Bigby, respecting someone's grief is more vital than revisiting a grudge.

Bigby's scars tell a tragic tale.

I love that The Wolf Among Us allows me to claim authorship in this manner. I know that I am constrained by the choices developer Telltale Games allows in this story-driven adventure series, yet somehow I'm always presented with options that make sense for the Bigby I have helped craft. My Bigby cares, but he has no patience for nonsense. He is fearless when peering down the barrel of a firearm, but is scared stiff by the prospect of interrogating a sweet-voiced child. In one excellent scene after another, I could express these traits, and in the process, learn about the fables that surrounded me. In one of the episode's most poignant scenes, an investigation of a medicated crime victim turns into a touching exploration of familial devotion. In the midst of tragedy comes an oasis, and while I might have disturbed the reverie, I chose to share in the comfort. Given the episode's unrelenting tension, I needed it. Bigby needed it. We needed to know if seeking answers was worth being feared and distrusted.

When the boys come out to play, Georgie Porgie runs away.

The episode builds this dramatic tension with great care. Where episode two simmered, episode three boils, and then erupts in volcanic fashion, with the most strenuous narrative events smartly enhanced by equally tense quick-time events. Near the story's end comes a moment of extreme desperation--desperation that is mirrored in the key presses that accompany it. It's a fantastic scenario, made more effective by the episode's gradual crescendo. The narrative arc reaches an eye-popping climax, but there's no catharsis. Bigby huffs and puffs, but the murderer's walls have yet to come tumbling down.

I wish I could say more, but I fear that divulging the details would risk spoiling events best discovered on your own. I can tell you that one of Bigby's associates demonstrates unexpected resolve, and in doing so complements Bigby's increasingly empathetic tendencies, but the who and the why of it I shall keep secret. You learn how easy it is to interpret emotional weakness as calculated evil, but I'm not prepared to offer anything more on that subject. What I can say is that playing A Crooked Mile was exhausting. Each line of dialogue pulsed with meaning, and at every turn, I feared that Bigby and I might tumble over the edge we kept peering over. Episode two made me wonder; episode three made me ache.

For the good-natured Flycatcher, the glass is always half-full.

The Wolf Among Us' triumphs are even more impressive when you consider how rarely it stumbles. In A Crooked Mile, I carefully avoided disclosing to an inebriated Grendel the purpose of my visit to the Trip Trap bar, making his sudden acknowledgment of that purpose seem incongruous, as if the game were forcing every conversational avenue to reach the same junction. The fact that such moments are rare is no small feat, and the episode's overall consistency and expert pacing ensured my uninterrupted attention. I am wholly invested in this world of contorted fairy-tale fantasies, and I long to iron away its crooked customs, though I suspect that I, as Bigby, can only treat the symptoms but never cure the disease.

The Good
Impressive branching story options let you fulfill your vision of Bigby Wolf
Excellent pacing that slowly builds tension on the way to an explosive cliff-hanger
Climactic plot points are smartly accompanied by climactic gameplay events
The Bad
A few dialogue inconsistencies
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Wolf Among Us

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd is enthralled by The Wolf Among Us, and is voraciously reading the comics that inspired Telltale's newest series. He has a few theories about where this mystery is headed, and looks forward to having them proven wrong. He finished A Crooked Mile in about 90 heart-pounding minutes.

Discussion

31 comments
OneStrong2
OneStrong2

"The more you know, the less that's clear...details start coming into focus.."   and after reading all three of their series reviews, much to my chagrin,  I generally have no idea what the heck these games are  ACTUALLY even about. Wikipedia, you say.? Um, what's the point of a GAMESPOT review, again? 

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

played through the episode but didnt encounter the fly catcher.....where can he be met?

Afinati
Afinati

I had that same awkward moment at the Trip Trap. Otherwise, that was one seriously intense conclusion to an episode full of meaningful choices and powerful character development. I wasn't a huge fan of the second episode, but given how the third ended ... I'm pretty excited for the fourth.

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

Hah, nice. No vid review?

RobDev
RobDev

hmm, which to play first? this or the new walking dead?

diego_corleone
diego_corleone

This game is hilarious, i can't take it serious, it's too funny.

davisx3m
davisx3m

I just finished the episode and wow. I'm blown away!

This is easily the best episode of The Wolf Among Us, it might even be the best episode in any of their games! Wow again! 

sohail5566
sohail5566

waiting for the all episodes to release then i will buy it

lilflipp
lilflipp

This shit is so much better than The Walking Dead.

swedensior
swedensior

Finally a new episode and im first!

redder1111
redder1111

@RC-Sev I guess GS's video review will be longer than the game itself ...

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@AnimeNutJill  You realise that there are no ".5"s any more, which means you're saying that this game deserves "at least" a perfect score.

It sounds a lot like you're one of these.... emotionally.... intelligent people.

Mlee6659
Mlee6659

@davisx3m  hell yeah! I'm with you there! This episode had me on the edge of my seat all the way through! loving all the plot twists. Plus that ending was pretty intense to say the least :O

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

Great...thanks a lot for that....

AnimeNutJill
AnimeNutJill

@naryanrobinson @AnimeNutJillThere's still a lot of reviewers that use the ".5" system. It's not dead. And yes I do feel like this episode in particular deserved a perfect, if not near perfect score.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@AnimeNutJill

Upon reading this argument just now, I noted that you were being told that the .5 scores no longer exist and that is almost right.

The only scores that have a .5 in it now on Gamespot are all the reviews done before the new site launched back in October 2013.

I do not know why people can not just explain this without being a total arse in the process though.


AnimeNutJill
AnimeNutJill

@Gelugon_baat @AnimeNutJillI'm fully aware of that, I'm more realistic than you are assuming. I was giving my opinion, nothing more nothing less. I don't agree with the review, bottomline. And I know that no matter how I feel about it other ppl are gonna feel differently. That being said everyone has a right to their opinion.

AnimeNutJill
AnimeNutJill

@RogerioFM @Gelugon_baat@AnimeNutJillProbably, I definitely agree with that. I wasn't trying to start anything, I was just trying to say that this game is much better than the reviewer was trying to give it credit for. 8 is not a bad score, it's rather good. But IMO I feel like this game is better than just "good". So many games are the same, but this series really stands out on its own. I feel like it deserves to be looked at as superb.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@AnimeNutJill 

And you have a nice life too - until you realize that many things just don't go your way and won't ever will, regardless of how loud you protest.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

@AnimeNutJill On this website, ie. the website we're currently on, yes it is dead.  Let's just all be glad you're not a reviewer then.

The Wolf Among Us More Info

  • Released
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Macintosh
    • + 6 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    The Wolf Among Us is a five episode series from developer Telltale Games where your every decision can have enormous consequences. As Bigby Wolf , the big bad wolf in human form, you will discover that the brutal, bloody murder of a Fable is just a taste of things to come.
    8.5
    Average User RatingOut of 426 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate The Wolf Among Us
    Developed by:
    Telltale Games,
    Published by:
    Telltale Games, Telltale Inc
    Genres:
    Open-World, Adventure, Action, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms