The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 Review - Hang on to That Cliff

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 Review - Hang on to That Cliff

The last episode of Telltale?s adventure game series based on the Fables comic may not be the last you play.

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Seracen

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Sep 20, 2009
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Uh...what is it about endings? I haven't gotten the last episode yet...but now I dread finishing the damn thing. The story has me hooked, but I don't want another cliffhangery, unsatisfying, "artistic" ending. It wouldn't be so bad if the sequel was being developed for release relatively soon...but with all the other projects, it may be years before we even see trailers for "Wolf 2."

Would have been much nicer to have an ending with a few outstanding questions...resolve just enough of the plot to satisfy, but leave us wanting more. I am hoping that is what happens here, and I will reserve further judgement until I've played the game.
 

Sanunes

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Mar 18, 2011
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Seracen said:
Uh...what is it about endings? I haven't gotten the last episode yet...but now I dread finishing the damn thing. The story has me hooked, but I don't want another cliffhangery, unsatisfying, "artistic" ending. It wouldn't be so bad if the sequel was being developed for release relatively soon...but with all the other projects, it may be years before we even see trailers for "Wolf 2."

Would have been much nicer to have an ending with a few outstanding questions...resolve just enough of the plot to satisfy, but leave us wanting more. I am hoping that is what happens here, and I will reserve further judgement until I've played the game.
I found it to only feel like a cliffhanger if you picked one of the two options. One left with questions and the other was a "to be continued moment".
 
Dec 14, 2009
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*Finishes finale*

[HEADING=1]That just raises more questions![/HEADING]

It was awesome though, I'd really love to see more from this franchise.
 

Vareoth

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Mar 14, 2012
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Seracen said:
Uh...what is it about endings? I haven't gotten the last episode yet...but now I dread finishing the damn thing. The story has me hooked, but I don't want another cliffhangery, unsatisfying, "artistic" ending. It wouldn't be so bad if the sequel was being developed for release relatively soon...but with all the other projects, it may be years before we even see trailers for "Wolf 2."

Would have been much nicer to have an ending with a few outstanding questions...resolve just enough of the plot to satisfy, but leave us wanting more. I am hoping that is what happens here, and I will reserve further judgement until I've played the game.
Great finale. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire story. And in my case it was only a cliffhanger if you didn't let it go. I hope that information is both soothing and abstruse enough for you.
 

Gizmo1990

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Oct 19, 2010
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I am not seeing the cliffhanger here or is it because I chose to let her go at the end? Anyway I loved it. And the part in the warehouse, I have been a Bigby Wolf fan for a few years now and I have been dying to see the real Bigby since October. I am so happy right now.
 

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Sanunes said:
I found it to only feel like a cliffhanger if you picked one of the two options. One left with questions and the other was a "to be continued moment".
I'll agree it's less of a cliffhanger and more of a "to be continued" but I would have rather had more resolution.
 

Alleged_Alec

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Sep 2, 2008
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SPOILERS AHEAD.

I was kind of annoyed with the entire ending sequence, to be honest.
I chose to take him back, since I plan to do another playthrough of the last episode doing what I should've done and not bother with the trial. I was highly annoyed that I wasn't able to talk about the other bullshit he had done. The money lending schemes, which were only mentioned, the slavery involved in making the charms, which is completely skipped over, sending armed goons after people. It felt like the writers were trying to make too much of a point that it was a case of grey and grey morality, while it is in this case clearly a case of grey and black.

Furthermore, what was the deal with Toad still being sent away? I gave him Crane's money, so he can pay for his charms. This was another blatant fuck you, I think.

Although I understand what they wanted to do with the ending sequence, make it a rather noire-like thing in which a pretty girl tricks someone into helping her, it still doesn't make sense whatsoever. There was no way to see it coming, and it just felt like a bad "bet you didn't see that coming" moment.
Furthermore: it is interpretable in multiple ways. I've had friends thinking they meant it was Nerissa in ep 1 pretending to be Faith and others thinking it was Faith in ep 5 pretending to be Nerissa.

As for the fight scene: I found it very disappointing. They did try to set up Mary as some foil of Bigby and what he could've been, someone taking what he wants through strength and intimidation, but they do it so badly. And the fight itself was kind of... I don't know. Why could Mary suddenly make clones of herself? I'd have liked it if there had been some in-battle banter or something, or some kind of puzzle to solve with smashing a mirror, anything to break up the monotony of clicking on the Maries.
 

DirgeNovak

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Jul 23, 2008
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Alleged_Alec said:
SPOILERS AHEAD.

I was kind of annoyed with the entire ending sequence, to be honest.
I chose to take him back, since I plan to do another playthrough of the last episode doing what I should've done and not bother with the trial. I was highly annoyed that I wasn't able to talk about the other bullshit he had done. The money lending schemes, which were only mentioned, the slavery involved in making the charms, which is completely skipped over, sending armed goons after people. It felt like the writers were trying to make too much of a point that it was a case of grey and grey morality, while it is in this case clearly a case of grey and black.

Furthermore, what was the deal with Toad still being sent away? I gave him Crane's money, so he can pay for his charms. This was another blatant fuck you, I think.

Although I understand what they wanted to do with the ending sequence, make it a rather noire-like thing in which a pretty girl tricks someone into helping her, it still doesn't make sense whatsoever. There was no way to see it coming, and it just felt like a bad "bet you didn't see that coming" moment.
Furthermore: it is interpretable in multiple ways. I've had friends thinking they meant it was Nerissa in ep 1 pretending to be Faith and others thinking it was Faith in ep 5 pretending to be Nerissa.

As for the fight scene: I found it very disappointing. They did try to set up Mary as some foil of Bigby and what he could've been, someone taking what he wants through strength and intimidation, but they do it so badly. And the fight itself was kind of... I don't know. Why could Mary suddenly make clones of herself? I'd have liked it if there had been some in-battle banter or something, or some kind of puzzle to solve with smashing a mirror, anything to break up the monotony of clicking on the Maries.
Completely agreed, except for the ending.
Not being able to mention the bloody shackles at Johann's shop was especially grating. He didn't just keep people in debt, he literally chained them to the floor and forced them to work for him. Disgusting. I was going to throw him down the Well alive, but after he attacked me, he was done. Buh bye.

And as for Snow sending the Toads away even though they had the money to buy glamours, what the fuck, lady? I'm especially pissed I couldn't do anything to reverse it.

I would have liked more dialogue with Mary too. She was (is?) a really charismatic villain. And the clones might have made sense if the room was filled with mirrors, but I don't even think there were any. It was still badass, but just a bit disappointing.

And whatever happened to Dee? I wanted more Dee.
The ending is a bit confusing and raises a few questions, but I really dig it.
I'm pretty sure "Nerissa" is actually Faith. She is Donkeyskin, after all. Not having her disguise herself as someone else would have been a waste.
 

Ratty

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Thought it was great. Not too-cliffhanger-y, just right. There were some questions left open but since this is a prequel rather than a side story starring side characters (like "The Walking Dead" games are) you've gotta expect some amount of ambiguity in the ending. Particularly considering Fable's author has said the game is canon, and that a sequel is probably already in the very early writing stages.
 

Xman490

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May 29, 2010
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The conclusion seemed bad to me only in the sense that it made me think, "Oh, so now I definitely have to shell out another $20 or so for another Telltale season."

And yet, I'm not sure. This season pales in comparison to The Walking Dead: Season 2. Episodes 2, 3, AND 4 all seemed like filler, while decisions weren't even painful to make, let alone ultimately meaningful - it's a Telltale trope, and excusable by great storytelling in general. And then there are the villains.
Carver is still my Most Hated Villain, with the way he kills because of the slightest discrepancies.
 

Laser Priest

A Magpie Among Crows
Mar 24, 2011
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I can't say I am familiar with the Fables universe outside of The Wolf Among Us, but I've definitely been invested in the game.

After finishing this episode, I have to say, I ultimately like the game as a whole but my feelings are a bit mixed on this episode.

I enjoyed every part of it, from
the battle with Mary and Bibgy finally having his full wolf transformation to having to keep the crowd from turning to the Crooked Man's side.

While I was in the game, I was enjoying every bit of it, but at the end, it all felt like it wasn't enough. Maybe that's good that they left me wanting more, but I felt as if more time should have been devoted to so many parts of this. Mary seems to get hardly enough screen time for how much of a threat she was presented as in episode 4. The resolution especially all felt like it flew by far too quickly.
Plus, a few small gripes:
- Snow seemed to have no role in this episode outside of the Crooked Man's trial, and even then, she seemed to mostly be turning to Bigby

- Toad got sent to the farm despite me giving him money in a previous episode. I understand it's possible he misused it and didn't buy a glamour, but the game never explains as much or even gives me an opportunity to address it.

- Gren and Holly seemed to play no role in this episode. They were there demanding the Crooked Man's head on a platter, but nothing ever seemed to come of anything from them throughout the series

- Many other characters seemed to have been forgotten, such as the Woodsman.

I'm sure some of this is just to tie the game into the existing canon, but without knowledge of anything outside of the game, it just seems like a whole lot was left unresolved and the episode felt short without it
 

Raggedstar

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Jul 5, 2011
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Aye, a bit mixed here as well. I love it as a general whole, but there was a lot lacking when looking at this as a conclusion. I feel like the first 3/4 were great (first 1/2 was non-stop fangasm), but like mostly everyone else, the ending itself didn't quite sit well with me. Not bad, but a disappointing Cliffhanger/to-be-continued.

Oh god it happened! Wolf Bigby was fantastic in his fight with Mary (let's be honest and call it a boss fight). Had a feeling we would only control him for a brief moment, but it was golden while it lasted (a bit on the derpy side, but likely because of the style and my own personal preference in wolf designs). I wished there was more banter since Mary got SO little air time in the series. The her little monologue rose the tension very well, and shit just escalated so fast. I don't care if her true form and abilities were unexplained. Love it.

And afterwards, the whole bit with the Crooked Man was tense as hell. Perhaps it was because I took most of the "bad" options, I felt so much catharsis with Bigby grinning and shuffling closer and closer with the look of wildness in his eyes.

I didn't see the trial for the Crooked Man (I killed him), but I liked Bigby's little trial as well for all he did, and I was a baaaaad woof-woof. It's similar to the man who tossed all the crap you did in Walking Dead. However, difference here is that you don't have Clementine to keep your moral compass here (Snow has nothing on Clem).

This is perhaps also the more "game-y" out of all the parts so far. Lots of action without a whole lot of talking for the first half with a fast pace. Lots of QTE too, for better or worse.

Actually, the tension itself was pretty superb in the entire episode. From the action scenes to the dialogue, LOT'S of tension.

I feared that this would happen with how much new information was being added with ep 4. Quite a few loose threads that weren't resolved. A lot of them were wrapped up with all the details involved with the killing of Faith and Lily, but I feel like that was the only thing given attention. I thought it was much bigger than that, but that was all it came down to other than the explanation that Crooked Man was a business man working the underbelly of Fabletown. What about Detective Brannigan, the detective from ep 2? It may not sound significant, but the Tweedles had a file on her despite her minimal involvement. What about Crane? What about the glamor ring and how it's obvious there were slaves in bloody shackles working making them in the butcher shop. What meat did the Tweedles have in all this beyond working as messengers and detectives? Eps 1-3 made it seem they were really deep in this plot. What happened to Woody? We had a nice tag team in ep 4 and he wasn't here. For the first episode he had such a prominent role as a suspect, and then he just kept to himself beyond then. He didn't even show up for the trial. Perhaps it was the choices I made, but what role does Jack have in all this? It seems like he might've been the one to burn down evidence in Crane's room (if you don't go there first, someone burns evidence in the fire. If you go there first, you see Jack and get some information), but he appeared in several key spots and never really did anything. And what about the money laundering and how everyone seemed to be in debt? That was barely touched on despite how it affects so many characters. I almost thought the debt was another later in the Crooked Man's web (since it did force Beauty, Flycatcher, and Nerissa into situations that directly benefited the guy's inner circle). Or was that just the economy?

The ending was very much a sucker punch and I don't believe the detail adds a whole lot. I know how Faith could hide her beauty, but the donkey hide is in Jersey's pawn shop (unless this is an outlawed glamor). Also a matter of how if there even was a Nerissa. Wasn't there a picture of Lily, Nerissa, and Faith together, or am I remembering things wrong?

I don't like sequel bait like this. It wouldn't have bothered me if we didn't roll to a stop so early. Perhaps they were shot in the foot because this had to be a prequel. And I WOULD read the graphic novel (the game even tells you to), but for a series running for over 10 years, it's a bit hard to catch up :(. I would if I could, guys. They look good.

Perhaps a bit foolish of me to hope, but while everyone yelling at Bigby was a nice little consequence, I wish I could've just given into the beast and just go "Screw all of you, Imma wolf". Perhaps not a real criticism considering part of my mind knew they wouldn't/couldn't do it, but it would've been nice. I wanted to see how far Bigby would take me.

And lastly, I thought this would've been the longest episode considering it had an extra chapter. Dead wrong. From the clicking the button to the menu screen, I started at 9 PM and ended at 10:11 PM (and in that time, I had an anti-virus update pop-up interrupt me, put the laundry in the dryer, and had to restart a sequence *points to next paragraph for why*). I even let the credits roll just in case there was a scene at the end. So let's just say it was about an hour and 5 minutes counting all that, which makes it slightly shorter than the other eps. Bummer.

Also, I don't know if anyone found it, but I found a "Game Over" screen. I've never seen a game over in the entire time playing it until that point (and I've failed a few QTE because...yanno...keyboards aren't meant for mashing). Perhaps because of the situation at hand over-riding how hard Bigby is to kill, but I kind of laughed lol. In fact, it just said "Game Over" on the background of the menu screen (unlike the splattery screen of Walking Dead) like they had to install it as a technicality. No alternate story either. Not a criticism, but just my funny little "Hey, I found the Game Over screen :D". Shame I had to redo the entire scene though.

And not sure if this happened to others, but it seemed like Telltale's choice table derped again. I'm playing my Steam copy and I didn't get any showing of my choices. Not the first time it happened, but I've played these games day of release and still had them work.
 

Robot Number V

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May 15, 2012
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[HEADING=3]SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE. I MEAN OBVIOUSLY. IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THE GAME, JUST GET THE HELL OUT.[/HEADING]

OK, there. Now I don't have to put it in a tab. I realize that this disclaimer is probably taking more effort than a tab would have (especially this part explaining it) but I think it's silly to censor a conversation about the damn game for people who haven't played it. Just leave the room, guys.

OK.


I don't think the ending is a cliff-hanger at all. Faith was already dead before Ep1 started, and Bigby met Nerissa while glamoured as Faith. It was all part of her ploy to get Bigby involved and take down the Crooked Man.

So..Nerissa was kind of a crazy *****. That's all. Interesting twist, but unless I'm missing something...It changes almost nothing. Right?

I mean, what's the cliffhanger? Where's the loose ends? If the series ended right there, it would be a perfectly great ending, as far as I'm concerned. Everything's nice and tied up, right?

Now that that's out of the way, some pet peeves:

-I was really annoyed that Toad got sent to the farm, despite the fact that I gave him money. The ENTIRE TIME the issue has been framed as "Toad can't afford a glamour, so he goes to the farm. Glamours are expensive because Fabletown needs money." So I fucking give him money. AND SNOW JUST TURNS IT DOWN??! What? Why? That hurts everyone involved for no reason, as well as invalidating a choice I made! What the fuck, guys?

-Yeah, not being able to mention the literal slavery in the Trial was a little weird. Why did they include that detail if it was just going to make a plot hole? They could've easily shown us that he had someone making black market glamours to pay off yet another debt. I mean, I liked the Trial a lot, but that detail really stretches the situation.

Other than that, I thought it was fucking brilliant. Great episode, great series.
 

Elfgore

Your friendly local nihilist
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Apr 3, 2020
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Well I would have loved to finish this game. But for some fucking reason the game decided to change my choices. The game claimed I did a certain something to a witch in dire straits, which I did not. After that I turned my PS3 off. Seriously, that just killed my entire excitement for the ending.

Up to that point I was loving it. Bigby's final wolf form was awesome as hell and so was Bloody Mary's. I like the Crooked Man too.
 

sXeth

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So what was up with Bluebeard and the Tweedles offices? Hell it seemed in general they had some plot in mind for Bluebeard, then threw it out the window and ended up with him randomly arguing all the time for no reason.

The Keyser Soze thing was just kind of lost on me. Either I don't remember the details well enough or it was just poorly executed.

Crane's in Paris. Woodsy just up and left the story. Toad's fate was apparently just a complete railroad, since I kept helping him and Snow sentenced him to the Farm offscreen still. Snow just kind of felt redundant in this one anyways, mostly deferring to Bigby via "Protagonist makes choices cause Protagonist" syndrome (Except for Toad, apparently)

The trial seemed a little forced, just to integrate the choice spreadsheet in on you, but didn't seem to have any significant consequence of your actions, just dialogue references.

For Fable's being so hard to kill, allegedly, Georgie and the second Tweedle seemed to drop pretty readily from one wound each. Jersey at least had been in the prior fight.

It wasn't unsatisfying, but it definately felt like they overwrote themselves to the point of dropping or ignoring points, or shelved things for a sequel.
 

Kingjackl

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Overall, I enjoyed the last episode. I've seen a lot of cynicism surrounding the trial section of the game, which is very similar to the Stranger encounter of the Walking Dead game in that it's basically a device for the game to judge you on every decision you've made thus far and let you choose how to justify it. While that may be all it is in practice (since the outcome is always the same), I was still on the edge of my seat. Also, I think it's a testament to the game's writing that they can create these complex characters and that the villain's arguments actually have weight.

The Toad situation was a bit of a cop-out though, since I gave him the money. What's especially problematic about it is that Toad gets sent to the Farm no matter what, while making the same decision for Colin seems to stick, even though you only gave him vague reassurances. I haven't read the comics though, so I have no idea what the Farm's like or what goes on there.

Finally, the cliffhanger. If I'm honest, it didn't really feel like a cliffhanger. From the looks of it, we were just getting information form a different person than we were led to believe. While it was a bit out of left field, now that I think about it, it doesn't really invalidate any of the rest of the story.

Looking forward to season 2.