The Wolf Among Us Episode 4: “In Sheep’s Clothing” Review

0
Posted June 3, 2014 by Eduardo Gueiros in Video Games

After the revealing and emotionally draining climax that ended Episode 3, In Sheep’s Clothing takes us through the fallout as Bigby and Snow attempt to pick up the pieces of a catastrophic setback to their investigation. Unfortunately, however, this episode lacks the same focus on character and plot progression that its predecessors have, and instead seems to merely be an uneventful stopgap between the two intriguing plotlines.

The chapter picks up in the aftermath of Bigby’s grueling encounter with Bloody Mary, the Tweedles, and the Crooked Man himself, which proved to be the most enjoyable and stimulating event of the series so far. As he recovers from his injuries, we are treated to a vulnerable glimpse of our seemingly invincible character. In addition to providing some more depth to the character, this initial scene also serves to further highlight the increasingly complex relationship between Bigby and Snow, as well as establish the fact that characters are more dangerous and ruthless than we originally thought.

However, after this intriguing and slightly poignant (in a good way) beginning, the episode starts to unravel in a way we haven’t seen yet in the series. There isn’t a lot of excitement except for a brief encounter with a new character called the Jersey Devil. This wouldn’t be an issue if there were the significant focus on the characters we are used to, but there isn’t. Instead, this episode just seems like it is trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, with little regard for any sort of development. This is especially disappointing given the fact that the highlight of the series so far has been its careful exploration of the true nature of the characters who are struggling to assimilate to a new world, and in some cases attempting to distance themselves from their existing reputations.

The-Wolf-Among-Us-Bigby-Bandaged-with-Doctor-and-Colin

In terms of the narrative, not much happens until the end. We are introduced to a couple of new characters, the Jersey Devil being the most enjoyable and interesting one, and witness another encounter with Beauty and Beast, which provides a little more insight into their troubled lives. Unfortunately, there aren’t any significant decisions to be made either, which is surprising given Telltale’s proficiency in making us constantly question and regret the paths we take. This combination results in an underwhelming (by Telltale’s standards) experience. The ending, however, saves the day and reminds us of what The Wolf Among Us is capable of.

The final scene is exactly what you want in an ending. An eerie and suspenseful walk leads to the climactic moments that conclude In Sheep’s Clothing, leaving you anxious and eager to see what comes next. These final moments are reminiscent of something you would see in a movie, and Telltale cleverly gives you the opportunity to react through Bigby before the credits roll in. Each reaction choice also brings with it a different cinematic tone to the situation, which gives you complete control over how you end the episode, and begin Bigby’s new journey.

Overall I still had fun with this episode despite the issues I have pointed out. The negative elements I mention are based purely on the high standards I have come to set for The Wolf Among Us, and still make up an entertaining game when considered in a vacuum. The beginning and ending are in line with the amazing artistic prowess we’ve come to expect from Telltale, while everything in between seems more like filler. Additionally, the usual technical issues from the console version (slow loading screens and quick freezes) hinder the experience and slightly plague the aesthetic beauty of the game. However, despite these miscues, the overarching plot is becoming increasingly exciting as sinister elements and characters are revealed. The simple times when Bigby was investigating Faith’s murder seem like a lifetime ago. Now that things have become more complicated, I am excited to see just what decisions will have to be made, and what direction I’ll be able to take Bigby in.

The Wolf Among Us “In Sheep’s Clothing” was developed and published by Telltale Games, and is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and iOS. I played this episode on the Xbox 360.

 


About the Author

Eduardo Gueiros