The Ninjabot

The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 Review: The Bark Stops Here

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm by Victor Chaves

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Episode 5 of The Wolf Among Us is the final entry in the Telltale series based on the comic Fables by Bill Willingham. What the last episode accomplishes is giving us answers to the mysteries plaguing Fabletown, as well as rounding out the character arcs of several of the fables you meet. It’s a great ending to an awesome series, and it makes an amazing argument for seeking out the comics.

A Roller Coaster Finish

Unlike Telltale’s golden series The Walking Dead, the story in episode 5 of The Wolf Among Us is pure closure. Where the first four episodes were meant to establish the mystery and characters to build tension, episode five is a cathartic release that not only solves every mystery, but addresses several actions the player (as Bigby Wolf) made in the course of the series. Considering that at several points, the game made sure to point out that characters would remember Bigby’s actions, episode 5 does an amazing job at paying off the choices and their consequences. Not to mention the game doesn’t ease off the accelerator at all in the two hours it takes to run through this episode; well-directed action sequences with incredibly heavy choices make up the entire episode with nary a pause. In my opinion, it’s a perfect narrative way to end the series.

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Much like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us employs some very basic gameplay concerning simple interactions and quick-time events (QTE) to convey interactive action. Seeing as this is the conclusion, this episode includes the most amount of quick-time interactions out of all the episodes combined. Usually this can be an issue, but Telltale makes a great effort in making QTE’s as painless possible. The buttons are visually obvious, and failing a simple button press never results in a game ending mistake. Although this might seem too easy, the point of The Wolf Among Us is to interact with the story, challenging your moral instincts.

Visually Unimpressive

What gave me pause was that the cinematography and art direction was rather lacking, unlike the other episodes. Where the fourth episode had interesting and new environments to explore, this one had bland and uninteresting locales. Locations in previous episodes were dense with charm, visuals like advertisements, and graffiti that showed that these locations were used and lived in. In the final installment, there are two locations so devoid of charm and personality that the scenes were entirely boring to me. The cinematography doesn’t help either as some of the bigger moments in the episode are drained of emphasis due to the bland environment. Such blandness offers little in the way of creativity, so it’s pretty tough to create a visually interesting scene when the location is so boring.

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Final Thoughts

Aside from the visual aspect of the art direction, episode 5 of The Wolf Among Us ends on a perfect note. The characters are excellent and a treat to interact with, and the gameplay doesn’t get in the way of progressing through the story. What I appreciated most was that so many choices I made came back to bite me in this final episode, really putting in perspective the road traveled to those final moments. Looking back, I can say for sure that I’ll replay this series to try other options, just to see how differently the story will play out. This was an extremely fun episode, and a great way to end the series.

Presentation: 8

Gameplay: 8

Replay Value: 8

Legacy Score: 8.0

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But Wait, Should I Get the Entire Series?

Absolutely! As a whole, The Wolf Among Us creates an amazing world with an amazing story. The characters are fully realized, the art-style is fantastic 90% of the time, and the game is simple to play. Each choice the player makes has wide-ranging consequences, creating weight to your decisions as other characters challenge you and call you out on your choices. If there’s anything negative to be said, it would be that releasing the series episodically probably didn’t serve the game very well. For instance, The Walking Dead game starts each episode with a conflict and ends the conflict within that episode, all held together with a few overarching subplots. The Wolf Among Us, however, doesn’t answer its own set of conflicts in within the individual episodes. In fact, most of the conflicts start in episode one and two, then end in four and five. I think that the reason most people weren’t a fan of the second episode is because they expected each episode be its own contained story, but the The Wolf Among Us uses those episodes as chapters to tell one small part of a larger, all encompassing story.

Presentation: 10

Gameplay: 9

Replay Value: 9

Legacy Score: 9.3

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

Check out Victor’s reviews of the firstsecondthird, and fourth episode.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him drown in tears of soccer sadness.

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