Well, it's still short, but not to the point of the previous episode.
And, you know, much as I've been smitten with The Wolf Among Us so far, I am now feeling I'm truly and fully falling for this game. I have previously mentioned that it could be a competitor to Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, and three episodes in, the series is at least its equal. Time will tell if it can take the crown and truly become Telltale's best game thus far, a challenge we all should celebrate. More goodness for us, is… Well, good.
A lot comes down to how the story has developed throughout the episodes. "A Crooked Mile" is an excellent entry in its own right, but it's the way it integrates into the greater arc that sets it apart. I realize that sounds a bit… odd… but in a way it's like the second year of Grim Fandango: that's my personal favorite individual act of the game, but it's still propped up on the excellence of the other parts. There's a "synergy" between them, as a 1980s motivational speaker would say.
The continuity does things with you in this episode. I felt paranoid, always suspecting every character to be a liar, something that's the trait of any good noir story. Here your choices seem to matter more than in the previous episodes, and those you made earlier slowly come back to affect other characters's opinions of you. Does it change the gameplay dramatically? Not really; only up to a point; but the change in the NPC's behavior certainly impacts the tone of the game.
Note, too, that the action parts have steadily changed to the easier from the first episode. I think I was the only person who actually found those hard, so I will singlehandedly take the credit for that. You're welcome!
This has put the focus more on detective work. Some characters will be more cooperative if you treat them kindly; others need to get their faces bashed in. Again, the outcome is often similar, but the journey to it certainly makes a difference.
As for the general tone, this episode seems just a smidge funnier than the previous episodes. There is a bit of background chatter between the different NPCs that make the world seem alive, and one sequence, in particular, kind of reminds me of the mardi gras party scene in LeChuck's Revenge. High praise, indeed.
And even higher praise to the actor who voices the long awaited Flycatcher. This is someone who easily could have become a stereotypical parody -- you know, the "yuk yuk!", Goofy kind of voice -- but is handled perfectly by… whoever voices him. He is also well-written, capturing the source perfectly.
Yeah, it's a great episode. The minor issues I have with "A Crooked Mile" are just that -- minimal. As with previous episodes, there are scenes that run sort of jerkily on the 360. And there are some odd, almost movie-like continuity errors with Bigby's shoulder wound. Blood on the shirt comes and goes at random, it seems.
Nitpicking, I know, but it is what it is.
Overall, "A Crooked Mile" is another great entry in The Wolf Among Us series, a series that quickly is turning into a favorite for me. Should you be on the fence, you need to jump off and start playing these episodes, right now. They are, for a lack of a better word, delightful.