GAME REVIEW – The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile (PC, PlayStation 3)

By Marty Mulrooney

The Wolf Among Us Ep 3

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile is the third instalment of a brand new episodic adventure game from Telltale Games, based on the long-established, award-winning comic book series Fables by Bill Willingham. Following on directly from Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors (which Alternative Magazine Online described as “a thrilling two hours of entertainment”), Episode 3 sees Bigby Wolf unleashing the beast within as he draws ever closer to catching a killer…

Bigby Wolf certainly lives up to his fearsome reputation as the Big Bad Wolf in A Crooked Mile. During the previous two episodes, the sheriff of Fabletown always tried to deny his baser animalistic instincts. Here, the increasingly darkening plot taps relentlessly at the vein constantly throbbing in Bigby’s head until he looks set to explode. It’s not a case of if he’ll lose his cool… it’s when.

With the Major of Fabletown, Ichabod Crane, directly beneath the spotlight of suspicion and nowhere to be found, it falls upon the shoulders of Snow and Bigby – with some unwanted help from the equally suspicious Bluebeard – to track him down. Unfortunately, Crane’s parting gift was to smash the Magic Mirror and steal the last shard so it couldn’t be pieced back together again – which means that he will have to be tracked down the old-fashioned way. Bigby is a detective after all.

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Complaints about the previous episode being too linear and ‘on-rails’ are soon addressed and rectified. There are certain points where the player must choose where to go next on their investigation, and this isn’t just a superficial decision. Locations visited and events experienced will be different for each individual player based on the decisions made during these moments, making them even more excruciating than usual. It may still all just be smoke and mirrors behind the curtain (pardon the pun), but Telltale does a fantastic job of making your input feel like it truly matters.

As usual it’s hard to review a Telltale release without giving too much away, but it can be safely said that the plot is only continuing to deepen, twist and turn. Thankfully, there is always a prevalent feeling that everything will make sense in the end. This means that the moments where Bigby – and the player – is somewhat left in the dark only serve to increase emotional investment. Each character feels truly alive (Adam Harrington and Erin Yvette continue to have superb chemistry as Bigby and Snow) and the comic universe is adhered to faithfully. The comics certainly have a knack for making the fantastical seem real and the games nail that approach with 80s throwback style.

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The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile is another superb instalment in a series that shows no signs of running out of steam (or Bigby rage) anytime soon. It’s becoming clear now that this is more than just the work of a lone killer – there are dangerous residents of Fabletown operating in the shadows with a vested interest in this delightfully dark modern-day fairy tale. They’re not the only ones. If you haven’t dived headfirst into The Wolf Among Us yet, stop reading and do so immediately. You won’t regret it – but Bigby’s enemies certainly will…

9 OUT OF 10

AMO_alternative-offerings
GAME REVIEW – The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 – Faith (PC)
GAME REVIEW – The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors (PC, PlayStation 3)

INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Adam Harrington (Bigby Wolf, The Wolf Among Us)
INTERVIEW – In Conversation With Erin Yvette (Snow White, The Wolf Among Us)

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