I've got a tricky decision to make come episode five of Telltale's comic spin-off, The Wolf Among Us.

It all stems from some promises I made in this instalment, In Sheep's Clothing. In a moment of pity, I told beleaguered couple Beauty and Beast that I'd sort out the Crooked Man, once and for all.

But when Snow White asked me to bring the mysterious crime boss in alive, I just stood stoic and silent.

Will I keep my pledge to Beauty and her vicious husband and go chomp up the Crooked Man like Red Riding Hood's Grandma, or will I lay down the law properly and help Snow bring Fabletown back from the brink of lawlessness?

Howl at the moon

It's this sort of uneasy diplomacy and these conflicting relationships that have made the series worth playing up to this point.

We're certainly not playing for the choose-your-own-adventure narrative, because it's become alarmingly obvious that your decisions make little difference to the overarching flow of the storyline.

Telltale's course-correcting narrative renders many choices meaningless as all the strings eventually lead back to one another, twist up tight, and thread the same needle.

It doesn't really matter how you conduct your investigation. Your hunt for the murderer of two prostitutes was always going to lead you to the Crooked Man's parlour, surrounded by his shadowy cabal of criminals.

Big and bad

And there's still no detecting in this detective game (though, I'm thankful that the insultingly obvious deduction mini-game from episode two has yet to make a return).

And I think that's why the artificial choices here feel more hollow than they did in The Walking Dead. When you're tasked with solving a murder, it's demoralising to see the actual police procedural work automatically done for you.

In fact, the only crime-fighting in this chapter is a literal fight against the Jersey Devil - who looks like a balding New Jersey pawnbroker when he's magicked himself a human form.

All the better to eat you with

We've said pretty much the same thing about every episode since the pilot. The story feels like filler, your choices feel hollow, and it fails to be a compelling detective game.

But I also maintain that the characters are written with wit and depth, and that Bigby Wolf is an interesting and three-dimensional character to inhabit.

So even if you can't make much difference to the direction of the plot, it's still a fascinating and enjoyable experience - month in, month out - to make the smaller, more subtle, interpersonal choices.

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