Review

The Wolf Among Us, Episode 5: Cry Wolf Review

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

Huffing, puffing, and wheezing.

"So what if it wasn't the truth? It was true enough."

This line came in the final moments of The Wolf Among Us' concluding episode, called Cry Wolf, and it was an appropriate proclamation given the episode's murky end. The mystery had been--well, I don't know if "solved" is the proper word, but the case was now closed and it was time to move on. It was time to reflect on what Bigby Wolf had learned, what his decisions had meant for Fabletown and its residents, whose fairy tale lives of the past had been torn apart by murder, prostitution, and social upheaval. It was time to consider that I might have done the right thing for the wrong reasons, or perhaps the wrong thing for the right reasons. I am still not sure which it was, and the game certainly isn't telling me.

I didn't feel all that hopeful. Instead, I was struck by a pervading nihilism as I learned even more information after already making life-changing decisions that affected multiple Fables. Had I done the right thing? Was there a "right" thing at all? It didn't seem so. The truth was now defined by its sliding scale. There was such a thing as "true enough." It was this nihilism that had Bigby--this loyal, gruff, impatient Bigby I'd created through the choices I'd made over the course of the series--lowering his head in shame. "It doesn't matter what I do," he said. "In the end, it's all the same shit it always was."

It's a good thing Fables are so hard to kill; Bigby's smoking habit can't be healthy!

In many ways, this nihilism is fitting for a series that clearly would have no happy ending. I'd confronted Ichabod Crane's lecherous ways in previous installments. I had torn a Fable's arm off, a decision I had to confront every time I glimpsed him out of the corner of my eye. And as it turns out, many Fables had turned to the Crooked Man for assistance when they felt their own leaders had let them down. I don't know that even a government led by Snow could turn this place around, a suspicion verified by a Cry Wolf scene that mirrored one from Episode 1, demonstrating the inhumanity of government bureaucracy. Fables weren't making good choices because there was no good choice to make, no path leading to freedom and happiness. No--I should never have entertained the notion that The Wolf Among Us would come to an easy conclusion.

Nevertheless, I had hoped for a finale that offered a bit more clarity and focus than Cry Wolf does. The episode's climax came to me not by way of a heart-pounding action sequence but rather a roomful of Fables yelling over each other, trying to sway me to make one choice over another. The scene plays out for more time than seems necessary, and is more focused on reminding you of various choices you'd made over the course of the series than it is on revealing anything new or important. "Hey, remember that thing you did two episodes ago? We're going to refer to it now," Cry Wolf seems to say, pointing out that all those choices were just switches you flipped and variables you gave values to. "Hey, remember that character? He doesn't seem to really belong in this scene, but we wanted to remind you he existed."

More smoking.

The action still heats up, however, particularly in an excellent sequence that has you taking on a multitude of attackers. You must keep your eyes glued to the screen, lest you miss a single button prompt and cause Bigby to take a painful blow to the head. In Cry Wolf, there is no turning away from the violence Fabletown has become steeped in--and certainly no turning away from the wolf that has always howled out from within Bigby, hoping one day to exact vengeance. Another action scene, one similar to Episode 1's chase scene, is equally exciting, but doesn't make total sense from a plot perspective, depending on your choices. If they wanted to escape, why would the Fables you chase have chosen the obvious destination?

I'm so glad to have spent time in the Fables world. I'm so glad to have gotten to mold Bigby Wolf into a redeemable hero rather than a seething mass of lupine rage. I'm disappointed by Cry Wolf, not because it suggests that Fabletown is destined to remain troubled, or that it doesn't overtly answer a vital nagging question, but because a few too many events are overtly manufactured to fit the plot's needs, rather than making each event feel like it progressed from those that came before. But there's no denying the episode's emotional impact, even in the midst of some questionable plotting. One goodbye in particular had me close to tears as one of Fabletown's few innocents asked me to pass on a gift to the only Fables who had ever shown him kindness. The road this Fable was soon to take was paved with Bigby's good intentions, but as The Wolf Among Us reminded me in its final episode, such paths may still lead to hell.

The Good
Some tense action sequences
An appropriate and pervading sense of futility
The Bad
Some odd and unfulfilling story beats and plot conveniences
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Wolf Among Us

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd played The Wolf Among Us in its entirety, but wishes it had concluded on a stronger note. He continues to make his way through the Fables comics, and will be sad when he runs out of Fables-related stories to experience.

Discussion

84 comments
DirkXXVI
DirkXXVI

*Small Spoilers*


Seriously stop reading if you don't want spoilers


The final fight didn't make as much sense to me given the difference in power from the previous encounter with the same antagonist.  And though this might sound like a con I did like how the ending I got wasn't too crazy.  Just enough plot twists and cliffhangers to be satisfying but simple enough where I didn't feel cheated.  Generally speaking crazy plot twists are great when they work but when poorly executed they can serve to ruin an entire experience.  It seems TWAU refrained from getting too crazy with the plot twists.  

megakoresh
megakoresh

I felt like the ending was, as is usually the case, significantly hampered by the "prequel syndrome". THIS is why I don't like prequels. There is always this crap. Even without reading the comics it was obvious that a lot of the "seemingly-changeable" things remained the same in a contrived way because the comics ahead implied them to remain the same. It was annoying. And the qualms of this review are real enough.


I still think Wolf is a ten times better game than Walking Dead (and that considering my admittance to the fact that Walking Dead IS a good game itself), but I hope the next instalment of this franchise will either disregard the comic's story and make it's own, or happen after the latest comic's storyline.


And if any of the devs read this: please stop making prequels. You will only create more problems for yourselves and frustrations for the players.

Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

The game as a whole is awesome definitely 10/10 from me. But I still don't understand the most idiotic behaviour of the main antagonist in the end...

sweetsword
sweetsword

Way too short. VERY disappointed. Not enough investigating in this one. And nothing was added to the storyline. As a whole the series was good. But it has such potential to be great and unfortunately, the ending just fell... limp. I hope there is another season, but this time, please spend more time on the story script. :)

System4Ever
System4Ever

Not a perfect episode by any stretch of the imagination, but a 6? come on Kevin...

herviross_2
herviross_2

I just finished playing this episode, and personally, I think it's the best one.

frogwod
frogwod

The twist at the end seemed rushed and almost made up in the last second. Bit disappointed. I would've given it a 7.5 but then again my tendency on being overly generous highlights my suckitude on being a critic.

titmo71
titmo71

TJ, NOOOO!!!!!!!

(and KVO is outta his tits, much better than a 6)

speedfog
speedfog

The episode was very good, Kevin is trying to get attention again...

Darknight765
Darknight765

You must not have got the twist at the end.  That was definitely a solid 8 and I give it an 8 just because I felt it was a little short.

tansei
tansei

6? GTFO.


Maybe episode 4 but definitely not this.

computerheat
computerheat

I would really like it if Gamespot Gameplay would do a spoiler-cast for The Wolf Among Us. Any chance of that happening, Kevin?

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

A pretty solid episode except for the cliffhanger, plot twist ending. The Bloody Mary fight , which is what I was looking forward to, didn't disappoint. 

Wasn't feeling the Toad wrap up, especially with everything him and his son endured. I enjoy this more than season 2 of TWD which is now basically a soap opera with zombies and insecure adults who depend on an 11 year old for answers.

oskuuu
oskuuu

my only minus for this game is; when i see bigby smoking, it makes want a smoke too and im trying to quit :D

TheGreatPhoenix
TheGreatPhoenix

Considering that the complaint for episodes 2-5 were that they were to short, why didn't they just release this in 3 episodes, each of them would've had more impact and more interesting concepts, now it just feel shallow but drawn out at the same time. And yeah, by the end, the deus ex machine became a bit of a problem.


Episode 5 is however the most entertaining one since episode 1, so that's a good thing.

RogerioFM
RogerioFM

I really enjoyed said episode, although I understand VanOrd's issues, the story does end too neatly also there is a lot of quick time events, this series wasn't much a detective story either but an unfolding drama, it's ok with me though, although I have to be honest and say that a truly investigative story where your clues mattered and you had to use logic and reasoning would be better.


But it would be unfair to blame this single episode for this since I noticed this trend since episode 3. I do have to say it was a nice story, but what really sold me was the setting and characters, I hope they are able to develop and even better story next season, although it was emotional and I cared for the characters the plot itself wasn't so fulfilling.


So people can complain about the actual score, but to be honest, just read his points on the actual review, it was proved again and again that scores are harmful when reviewing a game as there are lazy people who just check the number, but there is not sight in a near future that it will change so in the meantime, ignore the scores and read the full reviews.

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

I love the entire The Wolf Among Us series. While I really liked the last episode, I was slightly disappointed with the length of it. I know that Telltale Games has increased the number of staff, but I can't help but think that TWAU would have been a lot better if they didn't have too many projects on their hand - TWD, TFTB and GOT.


---------BRIEF SPOILERS----------  


I'm also getting the distinct feeling that some of the stuff was cut out because they wanted to release the episodes as quickly as possible. Any one remember when Episode 1 : Faith released? If you checked the Episodes in the Main Menu, Episode 3's image had Detective Brannigan behind cover with her gun up. If you look at the picture for Episode 3 now, all you see is Bigby chasing a car. I know these images were placeholders for future episodes but only Episode 3's picture has been changed. The rest of the pictures for the other episodes are still the same. I think Brannigan was developed as an important character but Telltale decided to axe her for pushing out the episodes quickly. 

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

I loved this game, truly I do but the 5th episode is the weakest one really. (my opinion only)

I think that Kevin's rating of 6/10 is fair, but I would rather judge the whole thing as an 8/10, (great story telling but the *bugs really got on my nerves and the whole episode felt way too short). *Xbox360

I was really annoyed when I got an achievement saying completed chapter two, them mere minutes later I got another saying I completed chapter three. Thankfully chapters 4 and 5 felt a little longer but the fact that the whole episode was completed in 70-80 minutes, left me feeling disappointed.

The conclusion was satisfying and although I hate blatant sequel baiting in games, this story felt like it could do with one similar to that of the end of Season One of The Walking Dead. In this game I wouldn't actually have minded.

These are minor concerns, I will admit, as the game overall is really good and I hope to see more of The Wolf Among Us from Tell Tale in the future?

For now though, I think my appetite needs a little **Game of Thrones fairly soon!  ;)

**When is that by the way?

norman69
norman69

6 out of ten? Pfft.


Personally, this was one of my favourite episodes in the series- that chase scene near the start was probably my favourite action segment (closely followed by the bar fight with Grendal in Episode One), and it makes sense that it was tied up with a big conversation with the whole town, because if the whole episode was just an action sequence it wouldn't have been very balanced out. 


And a lot of the choices made me feel really uncomfortable in trying to decide what was the best course of action, especially as I'd been playing Bigby as the righteous sheriff- when I made my final decision regarding the Cooked Man and you're told 'Fabletown will remember this', it reminds you that not everything's been tied up in a nice bow. Especially with the very last conversation, how it just ends after you choose to go after her or just let her go. 


Hope there will be another season in the future.

sethfrost
sethfrost

Kevin, destroying the Metacritic(TM) score by his higher standards, haha... ;)

I prefer reading 'minority report' opinions. They are the most interesting. Life is neither only black nor only white neither?

Overall, this series was a complete surprise to me. Well worth playing. Reminded me of Robert Coover's work (a novelist) - only much more dire in tone and texture.

koraykorac
koraykorac

Perfect score, doesnt deserve more.

WllDan7
WllDan7

I understand reviews are opinions but come on. Do you like nothing? I ended mine pretty nice. And I like what I played. I just wonder sometimes why they put the people who think it is ok on games. I paid up front and even if I do not I would have got these down the road. Just seems crazy to me to not put people who love certain games on certain reviews.

nidalap1004
nidalap1004

I really enjoyed episode five and thought it was as good as the first episode. I felt that most of the loose ends from the season were tied up, the fight with BM was epic, and the "court" scene was an excellent way to recap what was supposed to be a choice heavy game.  I will definitely agree with Kevin's point that the retreat to the Pudding & Pie was a bit convenient, but a forgivable plot twist at best. I have to disagree with the 6/10 and insert my own 8.5 or 9 out of 10. Looking forward to the next season and to each his/her own. 

highpitcairn
highpitcairn

I try this game at home, beat under 50 min, and i must say its should be Get 8 Rating, some action feel good and some of them not

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

I enjoyed The Wolf Among Us, but it felt weaker than The Walking Dead. Mostly because I never felt like I had any autonomy. I was just being hand held through scenes so the story could be told, instead of being treated as a detective who had to piece together a puzzle.

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

Again Gamespot goes down the road to stir up traffic. 


Together with eurogamer germany this is the only critical review and it seems to come from not understanding that this is episode 5 not a standalone episode that should be treated as such. And as a episode 5 the ending to a series this left you wanting more and not only that it also just in the end left you with a twist.


But congrats Kevin you again manage to be just that different.





MisterBlasty
MisterBlasty

I know people have their opinions and that is part of what makes the internet great and intolerable at the same time. I also have a great deal of respect for Mr. Van Ord. But I disagree with his evaluation on the unsatisfactory writing. The story did resolve itself while leaving you to question some of the decisions you may have made earlier in the game. Personally, I came to regret ripping Grendel's arm off in Episode 1 as I got to know the character more. The Wolf Among Us is a Noir inspired story. It is your personal opinion whether you liked the ending or not but in terms of plot holes, TellTale did a pretty fantastic job tying up almost all the loose ends. Not all Noir stories will wrap themselves up in a neat and tidy bow. L.A. Noire is another great example of this. What had you really accomplished at the end of that game? There are often questions that remain when the final credits roll. For what TWAS was trying to accomplish, I was completely satisfied with the resolution and the surprise twist that involved one character. Bravo to TellTale for this accomplishment! 

PeterDuck
PeterDuck

Bullshit, that was a great final episode.

Flubbbs
Flubbbs

The Wolf Among Us was very meh.. hopefully GoT is better

Quippie
Quippie

This review is a joke.

nethernova
nethernova

It was insultingly short. Feels like I finished it in under an hour.

Handwipe
Handwipe

This is a terrible review, I expect better from Kevin VanOrd.

joke_man
joke_man

@speedfog


Gamespot: Home of the Eternal Contrarians.  


Mind you, this is the title of my review for Gamestop...So, copyright laws apply ;)


It's the story of a failing group of gaming "journalists" that try way too hard to be different, while utilizing a lacking perception of what it means to be edgy by giving games low scores and eliminating decimals from their review scores.  

jecomans
jecomans

@oskuuu At least it's with a controller in the hand. There are so many movies I can't watch right now because idle hands make the temptation to much.

projectpat72988
projectpat72988

@punksterdaddy I know what you mean....it was absurd seeing those achievements pop. You get one for chapter 2 within less than 15 minutes of gameplay. The length is really my only complaint about the series....I felt each one got shorter as time went on.

joke_man
joke_man

@sethfrost


Interesting that you've classified the statistical outlier as being the outlier because he has higher standards...


Because, you know, no other reviewers have high standards and all that...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@WllDan7 

It won't seem so "crazy" to you if you could learn to acknowledge difference of opinions.

Valcrist08
Valcrist08

@nethernova  it was about the same length as the others, I started it at 10:00 tonight and I finished it in about a hour and 40 min.

The Wolf Among Us More Info

  • First 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 439 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Telltale Games,
    Published by:
    Telltale Games, Telltale Inc
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
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