|System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC*|
|Dev: Telltale Games|
|Pub: Telltale Games|
|Release: April 8, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
The Wolf Among Us Episode 3 is out, and once again Telltale changed up the way we play the game. While Episode 1 was about interpersonal relationships, a lot like The Walking Dead was, and Episode 2 was about stretching your morals and seeing how far you would go to solve a case, Episode 3 is all about active detective work. You are given multiple ways to approach solving the case here, and it’s up to you to decide how you go about doing it. Once again, Telltale perfectly shows how your choices matter, except this time it’s not because saying the wrong thing might piss someone off or make a witness clam up; it’s because your choices determine whether or not your prime suspect gets away.
Episode 3 kicks off right where Episode 2 ends… literally. No time has passed since the end of Episode 2 and the beginning of Episode 3. In fact, if you weren’t expecting this instant transition, you might get a little whiplash. Bigby has just found evidence leading him to the prime suspect in a series of Fabletown murders, and he is pissed, partially because the suspect was right under his nose this whole time, and partially because the suspect has some sort of sick perverted obsession with Snow White. Right off the bat, you are asked how you are going to handle this info by putting you in a situation where you have to tell Snow White that the murderer has been having sex with prostitutes that look like her. Unfortunately, Snow White is speaking at the funeral of one of the victims. Do you crash it? Do you let it proceed?
While this is a pretty tense scene, it does more than just put you in a hard situation. In Episode 3, Telltale does a lot to make you second guess every choice you make. Later in the game you are given the option of sifting through the victims belongings, after the funeral. Depending on what you did at the funeral, you may feel guilty for disturbing her final rites and may not do it, and so you’d miss any possible evidence. Of course, her loved ones have to be willing to let you do it as well.
Perhaps the coolest point of choice in the game comes around the middle of the episode. There, you are given a time-limit before the suspect flees Fabletown. You have three places to investigate, but only have time to hit up two. At the same time, Bluebeard will be “investigating”, and you are a little wary about whether or not he will tamper with a crime scene. So you know that only the first area you visit will be completely untouched, while the second will have to be examined after someone had already been there.
This is a simple choice that has got me to play through the episode dozens of times. There is no “wrong” choice, spoiler spoiler, as you’ll find evidence at each locale. However, the evidence you find, where you find it, and how it leads you to the suspect vary greatly. If there was any Wolf Among Us episode that I would suggest playing multiple times, it would be this one.
Episode 3 also does a great job making you doubt everything you know up until this point. When you start the episode, you are almost 100% confident that you know who the murderer is. However, as you get closer and closer to your suspect, you realize that he is a pretty horrible scumbag, but he may not be the murderer after all. Then you have to ask yourself whether or not you are willing to follow the evidence or your gut, and that’s not an easy decision to make as lives are on the line.
Episode 3 introduces some new fables that haven’t shown up in the comics. For example, the Crooked Man shows up, which you can probably surmise from the episode’s subtitle “A Crooked Mile.” He’s a shadowy figure, and we never see his face, only a hand wave from the window of a limo. The episode also introduces us to Bloody Mary, and it’s perhaps the coolest interpretation of the myth that I could have possibly thought of.
There are a lot of other fables from the comic that show up as well. This episode marks the first appearance of Dr. Swineheart, who heals fables from serious wounds, though to be fair he is a lot less surly in the game than I expected him to be. We also get to see Flycatcher for the first time, whose personality was absolutely spot on. Also, though this is a bit of a throwaway in terms of the larger plot, we get to figure out how Flycatcher ended up as a Janitor at the woodlands.