REVIEW: THE WOLF AMONG US – EPISODE 3 – A CROOKED MILE / DEVELOPER: TELLTALE GAMES / PUBLISHER: TELLTALE GAMES / PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION VITA, PLAYSTATION 3, IOS, OS X, XBOX 360, PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Just passing the story’s halfway point with this latest episode, A Crooked Mile sees a number of major developments take place in the The Wolf Among Us. With many establishing points now covered and an impression of Fabletown’s social structure established, there is a definite push towards raising the stakes further.
Following directly on from where Episode 2 left off, Wolf has to contend with a ticking clock and developments which only deepen the mystery. Sticking to its guns with old-fashioned detective work in a fantastical world, the episode has the player following up leads. With a major plot element from past stories violently removed and a character now fleeing town, the addition of a ticking clock only enhances the sense of desperation. It gives a much greater sense of purpose and makes the game feel as if it is truly progressing towards something.
The small conversations and interplay between characters stand out extremely well, with dialogue and delivery shining through at every point. The noir influences which are evident at every turn continually make your investigations a joy to play out, brilliantly juxtaposed with the nature of the characters themselves. There’s rarely a scene you’ll feel no desire to return to at least once.
Yet in many respects A Crooked Mile is more of the same from Telltale games. While keeping up a strong narrative and presenting an interesting world, it fails to truly improve upon past flaws.
While it utilises quick time events in a clever way, the combat itself is still frustratingly poor. Also, A Crooked Mile’s exceedingly short length is not worth two months' wait, and you’ll have finished it within a scant couple of hours.
Furthermore, a real sticking point by this episode is the lack of answers to certain nagging questions looming over the narrative. You keep being told “The Huntsman Will Remember This” and the like in response to your choices, but you’re never any the wiser as to how this is impacting your experience. While they impact the scene itself, later events seem unable to fully take your decisions into account. Similarly, the other characters' attitudes do not seem to significantly change despite your choices. Regardless of how you behave in your investigations, your actions barely seem to change anything.
Despite some definite failings, A Crooked Mile is a solid addition to the ongoing story, but it could have been an outstanding one. Buy it if you’ve enjoyed the series so far, but don’t expect any real improvements over last time.