The final episode of The Wolf Among Us is out. FInd out if its a fitting end to the season in our The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf review.
Published on Jul 10, 2014
The strength of The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf is summed up in microcosm in the game’s climactic scene, a scene that - without spoiling its contents – represents the coalescence of every decision the player has had to make throughout The Wolf Among Us’ five episodes.
In that moment, The Wolf Among Us forces the player to reflect on the events of the game and some of the difficult (in many cases regrettable) decisions that the player has had to make, using that history to underpin a wonderfully tense and dramatic conclusion.
Yes, it doesn’t take a genius to pull back the curtain and see Telltale’s emotionally manipulative cogs at work, but the execution is so masterful, the ride so exciting, that you’re unlikely to think about it while you’re on the journey or care when reflecting on it after the fact.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf Review - Balancing Action & Drama
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf is probably the most action heavy yet, meaning it’s also the most exciting and fastest paced of the bunch.
It’s worth nothing, though, that this works for Episode 5 because of the build that the series has had up to this point.
Throughout the course of The Wolf Among Us, Telltale has got the player invested in the characters, hooked them with the mystery and increased the sense of danger in order to provide an appropriate platform for the high-octane Cry Wolf.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf isn’t all about action, though.
There’s also some real edge-of-your-seat drama that emerges primarily from the way that The Wolf Among Us’ brilliantly realised antagonist, The Crooked Man, seeks to manipulate those around him by making use of some of the player’s more questionable actions.
He is a conniver, but an articulate one, with an urbane, refined demeanor that makes him deliciously detestable.
He is also a perfect counterpoint to the physical threat offered by Bloody Mary. Together The Crooked Man and Bloody Mary represent the foils for the two poles of Bigby Wolf’s personality – the thinker and the fighter.
Both those aspects are challenged in The Wolf Among Us, but it’s really the intellectual threat presented by The Crooked Man that ends up stealing the show.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf Review - Morals That Miss The Mark
Not all is well in the final episode of The Wolf Among Us, however.
Much of Telltale’s success has come from forcing the player into painful deliberation in morally ambiguous situations.
In Episode 5 of The Wolf Among Us, there’s some desperate scrabbling to find that moral grey area in situations where it feels inappropriate.
This leads to the developers almost begging the player to have sympathy with certain characters in a way that feels forced and at odds with the portrayal of those characters and their acts.
In that sense, The Wolf Among Us as a whole perhaps falls victim to the idea that moral ambiguity equates to sophistication when at times, it would be better served by hopping off the fence.
We should also mention that we encountered one or two of Telltale’s trademark technical issues in The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 (we’ve been playing the PC version).
Fortunately, those technical issues were few and minor.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf Review
It would be fair to argue that the choices presented to the player in The Wolf Among Us series don’t always weigh as heavily on the mind as in its Telltale stablemate, The Walking Dead.
However, The Wolf Among Us’ final episode retrospectively validates that fact to some extent by showing that Telltale opted for the slow burn this time, bringing everything to a crescendo in a brilliant finale that draws on the player’s past decisions to make them feel like they're right on the precipice.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 5: Cry Wolf is arguably the series’ finest episode, though it would perhaps be more fitting to say that it’s a great final chapter that represents only part of an excellent piece of genre fiction.
If you’ve been holding off on The Wolf Among Us until the first season was complete, then hold no more, because The Wolf Among Us is brilliant.
Bring on Season two.
Version tested: PC
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9.0 / 10
An excellent conclusion to The Wolf Among Us, Cry Wolf smartly uses the events of the series as a whole to create a tense and dramatic climax.