When it comes to episodic adventure games, we all know that Telltale has the market cornered. They’ve done a tremendous job of not only reviving the long-dormant genre, but modernizing it and showing that strong storytelling can not only exist in gaming, but thrive. The Wolf Among Us is a hard-boiled detective noir that takes place in the world of the comic Fables. There is murder, there is intrigue, even damsels in distress. The setting and the tone are nothing short of magic, honestly.
This week episode three of The Wolf Among Us was released, “A Crooked Mile.” Episode three picks you up precisely where it left you off at the climax of episode two, which was inside of a seedy hotel-room soaked in the blood of a now-deceased prostitute. The evidence that you’ve uncovered points to someone using black market glamors to turn these prostitutes into a facsimile of Snow White, it also points to these girls being murdered and that none other than the head of Fabletown, Ichabod Crane, being the man behind all of this.
Episode three is a mad dash to find Crane before he can harm Snow while Bigby tries to hold it together and prove to the residents of Fabletown that he’s not some reckless, uncaring asshole, but instead just another lost soul like the rest of them. What is different about this episode is the pacing. You are told that Crane will be meeting this witch at 2am and you have three locations to investigate to try to find him in time. Needless to say, it is a tense affair where you face some incredibly tough decisions.
That is the brilliance of this episode. You know how the people of Fabletown see Bigby, you know that you are walking on eggshells around them, especially after the death of a few loved ones, but you also know that you have a limited amount of time to get to the bottom of it. What ensues is an exercise in tension, patience and a marvel of interacting with the fully-realized citizens that inhabit this world. What’s really awesome is that it’s three episodes in and I find myself caring what these people think about me, I find myself wanting to express to them that I’m not a bad guy, that I’m trying to do the right thing for them.
That is some great storytelling, right there.
I won’t give away too much as to what happens within the episode, but the story that they are spinning within this world is absolutely captivating. It feels like this game is getting a lot less attention than The Walking Dead is getting, but the truth is, this game feels more polished and deliberate than The Walking Dead. I wouldn’t say that it is better, because it is just different, is all. It tells a different kind of story and does so with a lot of care and thought. Simply stated; nobody can top Telltale when it comes to storytelling on this level right now.