Review: The Wolf Among Us – A Crooked Mile

Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: Out now
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Vita
Version Tested: PC
Price: £3.99, or part of TWAU season pass

The dramatic concluding events of Episode 2 flow directly into the opening of Episode 3. A Crooked Mile starts off with a bang and synchs up wonderfully with everything that has come up to this point. This is the episode you’ve been waiting for. The development of Bigby as a good or bad sheriff in Episode 2 determines so much in Episode 3.

And it’s also about control. Who is really in charge of Bigby Wolf? Is the Sheriff the one calling the shots, or is he beholden to his superiors? Is he the one barking out orders or does he take them? That’s for you to decide in A Crooked Mile.

The Wolf Among Us hasn’t coasted along to this point, but it’s had one or two big moments then just settled back into the story. A Crooked Mile changes that. It spins the narrative on its head and changes the questions before you’ve had time to figure out the answers. The character development here is really off the charts and everyone is growing and developing in ways you might not have first expected. The decision-making laid out in A Crooked Mile may change your perception of people, for better or worse.

Regardless, the tempo in this episode blasts through the roof of expectation this season has set, thus far.

 twau_crooked_mile_deadline

The facial responses to certain plot points fits characters to a tee and the voice-acting is superb. Everything flows together, nothing feels under or over-acted. It all comes together perfectly. There’s even time for a neat little Telltale in-joke during one of the scenes that made me genuinely laugh out loud.

And so often in Telltale games the music is overlooked. But it was more noticeable than ever in A Crooked Mile. I found the score to be beautifully composed. There’s a hard-edge, sci-fi esque feel to it at first, almost like something you’d hear out of Blade Runner and Minority Report, but it switches and blends into themes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Sin City or any detective mystery. There’s tension, suspense, drama and even uplifting, comical twittery to the tunes: all setting the tone for genuinely unique and enchanting atmosphere.

The PC version was generally very responsive. The use of the mouse felt so much more natural than a joypad, though QTE on keyboards did feel ever-so-slighty strange and a tad uncomfortable. Also the transition between loading screens was overly long. However, the frame-rate issues we experienced in the 360 version of the game were nowhere to be seen.  Unquestionably, PC is the best place to experience these games, unless you absolutely have to have Achievements or Trophies.

Pros:

  • The tempo raises another notch. This is the episode you’ve been waiting for.
  • Fantastic use of existing characters and introductions to some interesting new ones.
  • A total head-spin of a cliffhanger
  • Soundtrack is particularly brilliant

Cons:

  • Overly long loading screens
  • QTE can feel a bit uncomfortable on keyboard

Rating:

4.5 out of 5

A Crooked Mile is the best episode of The Wolf Among Us yet. It has everything you could possibly want: from excellent narrative pacing to intriguing character development. What’s more, it sets up the rest of the Season beautifully. Telltale are in the form of their lives and keep producing one golden wonder after another. We need more. Right now.

About the author

Ray Willmott

Ray is one of the original founders of Expansive. He is also a former Community Manager for Steel Media, and has written for a variety of gaming websites over the years. His work can be seen on Pocket Gamer, PG.biz, Gfinity, and the Red Bull Gaming Column. He has also written for VG247, Videogamer, GamesTM, PLAY, and MyM Magazine,
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