First of all, I’m going to get some of the technical glitches and game design issues out of the way up front…that way we can revel in the story that Telltale has provided for us. It is well documented that these Telltale games, The Wolf Among Us in specific, have some problems with the game engine. Lagging, being the worst of these issues, rears its ugly head again in episode three. The main problems here are the areas in between scenes where either a semi-cut scene or the “Previously/Next Time on The Wolf Among Us” parts begin. There is so much lag and/or sound with no visuals that I actually had time to play a quick game of QuizUp before the game started back. That’s about a minute…it was bad. Now I understand that not everyone experiences the same problems (which is also very frustrating) but these problems aren’t new and need to be addressed by Telltale regardless. The other issue I had is with a game design choice. Previously in Telltale games if you selected a button on a conversation tree either Lee, Clementine or, in this case, Bigby would wait until the other characters finished talking to give his opinion on the subject; that is, unless it warranted interrupting. However, in episode three of The Wolf Among Us, if you make a conversation choice Bigby interrupts whoever is talking immediately. This was severely frustrating to me since I wanted to hear what Snow or Crane might have to say; this made me wait until the very last second to make a selection in order to hear what they were going to say which also caused several “no answers” which also effect the reactions of the other characters. Why was this chosen? Either way, be prepared…
WARNING: There will be full spoilers below, so be forewarned!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s get on to the story. Because it’s awesome! The end of episode two left us with the some shocking news. After Bigby and Belle find the second murder scene in a hotel, Bigby discovers some pictures where Ichabod Crane was fondling the troll Lily (Holly, the Trip Trap Bar’s owner’s sister) who was using the Glamour of Snow White. This is complicated by the fact that Lily was beheaded in episode one and Crane comes from a tale where beheadings are commonplace. Hmmm. So the rest of the majority of episode three revolves around Bigby and Snow searching for the missing Crane. Episode three opens in a somber location as Snow, Holly, Gren and a few others close to Lily gather for a troll funeral. The Tweedles show up to spoil the party as they threaten to kill everyone here if Bigby doesn’t call off the search for Crane. My choice was to tell the Tweedles where they could stick it and then things got real! Holly and Gren get shot and Bigby takes a shotgun blast to the torso trying to stop Dee from blasting Snow White. Swish! It’s the best start to The Wold Among Us yet.
After Crane becomes the number one suspect in the Fabletown serial murders, Blue Beard comes into the main office of the Woodlands administration building and demands justice in his oh-so douchey ways. He decides that the best place to look for information on Crane is in his apartment. Snow suggests Lily’s sister Holly may have some information at the Trip Trap bar and there may be some clues at the Tweedles office. After some prodding, the flying monkey Bufkin tells Bigby and Snow that he overheard Ichabod saying he was going to his personal witch before leaving town at 2am; this puts kind of a time table on things and it will only allow you to travel to two locations before sending you to the witches place. Huzzah replay value!
Once you locate the witch (you have to root her out of hiding before she reveals herself), you threaten to burn down her Glamour tube making tree before she spills the beans on Crane: he went to Georgie Porgie’s Puddin’ and Pie strip club to find out who really killed Lily. Once there and you locate Crane interrogating these girls and start laying on the intimidation to try and get a confession out of him. The only thing he confesses? That he loves Snow and has for years. That’s why he would pay prostitutes to sleep with him while they were under the guise of his lovely office assistant. Well, Bigby decides he’s had enough and is taking Crane downtown. Once outside, a couple of cars block off the group’s escape and then the Tweedles and a new character emerge. Bloody Mary makes her triumphant debut and to an amazing stage. She is the ultimate badass with a giant pistol and even has the thug-like Tweedle brothers cowering in her gaze. She warns Bigby that Crane is not worth protecting and that he would regret not handing him over to The Crooked Man ASAP. That’s when things get AMAZING! The showdown in the alley of the Puddin’ and Pie is my absolute favorite moment in The Wolf Among Us and shows what Bigby truly is when he’s angry: an unstoppable rage monster that can take and dish out massive amounts of damage. That is until Bloody Mary ends the fight with a silver bullet from her hand cannon. The car with The Crooked Man leaves with Bloody Mary and Crane while the Tweedles flee in their own car (you do have the option of slaughtering Dum…I chose not to). Meanwhile, Snow tends to Bigby’s serious injury while the Little Mermaid, Narissa, looks on in dismay. Phew!
I have to say that this story is soooooo cool it makes me forget about all of the game engine problems…almost. I love the way that Snow is turning a cold shoulder (see what I did there?) to Bigby throughout the course of the episode saying things like “You need to check with me first about things like this” and “I’m the boss here”. My Bigby ignored these comments and went about business as usual as the Sherif in this jacked up town. I can feel a showdown with Blue Beard coming and to be honest, I can’t wait to put that a-hole in his place! Also, The Crooked Man? Who in the hell is that?!? The real hook here though is the introduction of Bloody Mary. She is so cool and collected and has no worries at all as far as who is going to come out top. She’s the ultimate assassin and doesn’t take any junk from anyone…besides The Crooked Man. The conclusion to this epic retelling of some of histories all time classic fables is coming like a freight train and I am both excited to find out the ending as well as sad that it will be ending soon. Telltale has us by the throats here as we wait for another taste of the Fable life. Hurry up and get here May…I need more Bigby in my life!