By now, everyone who has played a point-and-click adventure created by Telltale Games will know what to look for. A gripping story, emotionally attachable characters and an experience which will always leave you desperate to know what happens next when those credits roll. The developer's most recent title, The Wolf Among Us
, has had a bit of a rocky journey. The episodes have been coming out at a reasonably slow pace, and for a game such as this, that's a big risk to take. Now that we've been able to delve into the third chapter of Bigby's journey, does Episode 3: A Crooked Mile
continue to capture the essence of Fables
or is it just becoming a tale that no one cares about anymore?
"A Crooked Mile" carries on immediately after the events of the previous episode. There are no time skips or scene switching; Bigby is right where we left him. With this introduction, it is easy to remember what had happened before and it didn't feel like the episode was too disjointed. Because of the cliffhanger of "Episode 2", there is a dramatic opening and that feeling of shock soon returned as the horror of the particular scene flooded the screen once again.
While "Episode 3" greatly helps to progress the story forward, it can sometimes feel like it plods along ever so slightly. We know that there is a serial killer on the loose, and it's up to Bigby and Snow to get to the bottom of it. As is conventional of the game, there are plenty of conversational scenes. Bigby will go from place to place and engage in conversation with a number of people. This "go here and talk to this person" structure makes it easy for The Wolf Among Us
to fall into a monotonous trap. With the search for the killer being in full swing in "Episode 3", it does occasionally feel like you are just asking questions, searching buildings, asking more questions and then searching more buildings for answers. Luckily, there is a variety of player-controlled segments, quick-time events and sudden decisions to be made to keep players engaged and break up the pace.
"Episode 3 retains characters from previous episodes and introduces couple of new faces. These new characters fit perfectly with the plot and aren't simply added in to beef up the story or stop the game from getting stale. The game still revolves around Bigby, and he retains perfect balance of complete badass and compassionate friend. It is the player's choice in which way he leans towards more, but either way, Bigby's emotions never feel forced by the developers and he reacts realistically to any given situation.
The episodic format that The Wolf Among Us
takes relies heavily on the way it ends an episode. Fortunately, "Episode 3" continues to hook players in with its cliffhanger style ending. The Wolf Among Us
has constantly nailed each episode's ending, presenting a shocking revelation that ends abruptly. Like the previous entries, "Episode 3" features a tense ending sequence and a thumb-crushingly long quick-time event, which injects fun and breaks up that "plodding along" feeling.
"Episode 3" also presents us with a decision to go to multiple locations. Like "Episode 1", which featured a decision between Mr Toad's place or Laurence's apartment, Bigby is given the options, and he stands there, thinking upon his decision as the player decides which is the best route to take. There is a unique build-up and it's a decision where the player needs to really think about what to do. It puts you in the shoes of a detective so you can hone in on the illusive killer. It will be interesting to see how this mechanic (and the decision's repercussions) is incorporated in future episodes.
The achievements for "Episode 3" follow the exact same structure of those that came before it. You will find six story-based achievements, and then a final one for finding all the Fable
entries. Like previous episodes, a few of the entries will require some concentration and, in case you miss them, you will need to replay certain chapters and make the opposite decision. It can detract from the natural way of playing, but fans of the game should be used to it by this point. On release day, the achievements hadn't registered properly and so those who played the episode the second it was available will have to replay it to get the points. This problem was quickly fixed, though, so anyone jumping in now will encounter no problems on that front.
In all, "Episode 3: A Crooked Mile" is a solid continuation of The Wolf Among Us
story. New characters are introduced to keep the plot moving and the game's incredible music adds more emotion to certain segments. Occasionally, the episode slows down in pace, and, unfortunately, the loading screen lag returns, which may ruin part of the immersion. These issues are minor, however, and in no way does they make it not worth your time. If you love the world of Fables
and want to know what happens next in Bigby's hunt, you will definitely want to head back into Fabletown and track down the ruthless serial killer.
The reviewer spent approximately one and a half hours playing through the entire episode, and gaining six of the episode's seven achievements. Unfortunately for him, he will need to replay it all over again due to unregistered gamerscore. The episode was obtained personally by the reviewer as part of the Season Pass.