TellTale Games' The Wolf Among Us: Season 1/ Episode 3 "A Crooked Smile" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

Images in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, I may earn money or products from the company.

Overview

As one case comes to an end, questions of who really runs Fabletown begin to become prominent.

Review (with Spoilers)

Like episode 1, there is a bit of action in this episode, as well as choices which seemingly may have long term effects. Of course, some decisions lead to inevitable actions, like getting shot with a shotgun, but other decisions seemingly aren’t going to affect you just yet. Either way, episode 3 creates a lot of intrigue, and a new mystery, of which to excite fans until episode 4, which likely will come out in June, if TellTale keeps up this every other month release.

Characters & Story

Bigby is on the search for Crane after believing he is the one who murdered Lily. This is despite the fact Lily could likely easily take down Crane. That aside, with Holly wanting justice, and the Tweedles wanting you to mind your business, Bigby is put into a position where adversity isn’t just getting people to answer his questions, but staring down the barrel of a gun.

Luckily for him, though, finding Crane wasn’t as hard of a task as it would seem. For, despite Bluebeard interference, it only takes him seemingly going to two locations for the answers he seeks. For me, I checked out The Tweedle’s office, where I ran into Flycatcher, as well as Holly’s bar, the Trip Trap. During this journey, I find out that perhaps the Tweedles may not be as bad as Bigby thinks, though that remains to be seen; as well as learn that the Woodsmen seems to have a thing for hookers. Be it ones like Faith or Lily, this fallen hero likes to buy his company.

Back to Crane, though, we find him at the Pudding and Pie trying to get the girls there to help substantiate his innocence. Fortunately for him, Snow believes he is incapable of killing, but he does get charged for misuse of Fabletown funds. But, upon leaving the Pudding and Pie, we meet Bloody Mary and get a glimpse of the Crooked Man. With this meeting, we move from Crane being the central villain, to now the Crooked man and his goons.

Praise

In this episode, they decided to employ a timed decision mechanism, which honestly I’m not sure if it would actually allow you to beat Crane to finding his witch, but it did create a bit more of an intense story. Which was the best part of this. Considering Crane is a crooked fellow, it becomes hard to think of him as a murderer, but with desperation anyone could be anything. Much less, even if his hands weren’t dirty, there are always the Tweedles and various other characters who could have did it for him. And all this mixed together, and with you being able to frame Bigby as either a hero to the people, a stooge for the upper crust, or just someone with selfish intentions, it really does make the story really come alive and remind us, once more, why TellTale Games’ method of handling game licensing is, without a doubt, perhaps the most superior thing seen in years. And I really do hope that if they do expand and take on Game of Thrones, and other properties, each get this excellent spin.

Criticism

But, even amongst this praise, I must admit I still wish that there weren’t funnel type decisions. I.e. the type of decisions where yes, you may decide on something, but the only thing that changes is a bit of dialog before you hit inevitable results. And I solely don’t like this because, be it the effect is shown immediately, or down the line, it does sort of take away from making decisions if you think the majority of them don’t matter. Not to say that has thus far been a big issue for The Wolf Among Us, but with The Walking Dead: Season 2, sort of having that type of feeling, I’d hate for this IP to mimic some of those pitfalls.

Overall: Worth Playing

Without a doubt, even without the AAA graphics; a story which doesn’t take a half a day or more to finish; and a decision system in which you aren’t ever really sure, even with notification, what truly will matter or not; this pretty much is one of the best games out there, and really the only thing that can compete with it is any other game Telltale releases. For while there maybe new games for the PS4, Xbox One, and surely we will see excellent stuff coming out on PC like Watch Dogs, there remains a serious challenge between giving the player a linear story, in which their main objective is killing a bunch of AI and moving on, and allowing them actual control on the story they get to have. And while Mass Effect was one of the first big AAA titles to really open this door, consider TellTale Games to be the one pushing this format further and really challenging those with bigger budgets to do more than have pretty things for the player to look at, but also allow them to be interactive as well.

Which is why I continually say TellTale Games’ releases are worth playing. Whether you wait for the season to be over, or play each episode one by one, it doesn’t get much better. And considering the future properties they are to release, why wouldn’t you want to support this developer?

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?