Platforms PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/PC/Vita/iOS
Developer/Publisher Telltale Games
Genre Point & Click, Adventure Platform Played PC
In Sheep’s Clothing directly follows the explosive ending of the previous episode of The Wolf Among Us, which showcases Bigby Wolf at his most physically vulnerable moment in the series. The opening scene showcases Bigby’s true weakness (silver bullets) and allowed me to truly understand how dire the encounter with Bloody Mary truly was. After seeing Bigby as an unstoppable force during the entire season, the realisation that Bigby has a true weakness was an interesting concept to comprehend. Like everyone, Bigby is vulnerable.
Following the events of the previous episode, many of the characters we have come to love over the series are in panic mode after the curtains were finally lifted, revealing the true mastermind behind the heinous murders in Fabletown. We have seen these characters struggle with the tragic events of previous episodes, but seeing these individuals change their attitude because they are backed into a corner was an aspect I truly enjoyed. Seeing characters react when they have been rattled offers a new side of their personality, which during my playthrough caused a new offering of friction between Snow and Bigby which has not been present throughout the series.
The Wolf Among Us has become known for providing some of Telltale’s best action sequences, and Episode 4 is no different. During the latest action sequence I was reminded of the intense action scene between Bigby and the Woodsman from the debut episode of the series. Though the new scene did not provide as many action oriented choices as the one previously mentioned, it showcased Bigby fighting through the damage he suffered from the previous episode. It was interesting to see Bigby become the underdog during the fight, which further emphasised Bigby’s lack of physical strength following his defeat.
In Sheep’s Clothing’s main problem is the lack of story progression. We are given more questions regarding the Crooked Man’s grand scheme and barely make any forward progression throughout the entire episode. Telltale weaves previously introduced characters into the Crooked Man’s plan, but most of these conversations feel minor, inconsequential, and suffer from a case of déjà vu. Conversations with the likes of Bluebeard, Toad and others feel reminiscent of previous conversations throughout the series, which merely make these repetitive issues feel throwaway when there is a bigger problem at large. The focus on these minor characters, alongside the significant lack of time spent with the previously introduced villains, felt out of balance towards the main narrative at large.
It’s obvious Telltale wanted In Sheep’s Clothing to lay the foundation for the series finale, but instead Episode 4 feels like the slow first half of a two part finale; which in-turn leaves In Sheep’s Clothing feeling empty. The focus on building towards the conclusion of the series means Episode 4 does not provide many memorable sequences. Sure there is an impressive action scene, but aside from that the episode felt as if it was going through the motions rather than setting its own standard.
In Sheep’s Clothing does an excellent job at reinstating the hardship Fables are dealing with while living in the real world. These individuals are in strife, dealing with poverty, unemployment and misery; which introduces us to an aspect of the Crooked Man I never expected. Many Fables have hit rock bottom and been forced to seek out the help Crooked Man provides, since the business office has not provided many Fables with the help they truly need. Though the Crooked Man is seeking his own financial gain while helping the Fables suffering from poverty, some Fables see the Crooked Man as a necessary evil. Introducing these aspects to Crooked Man vs. Bigby Wolf plot provides an interesting aspect to consider, one that may play a bigger part throughout the finale.
The penultimate episode of The Wolf Among Us also suffers from a distinct lack of choices, with only one major decision being offered to the player. Certain characters in Episode 4 state this choice could provide some huge differences depending on where you decide to investigate first, which instead it only provided minor differences depending on your choice. Similarly to the previous episode in the series no matter what you choose, you will encounter the same plot threads, the same dialogue, and the same conclusion; albeit involving different characters. It is disappointing that choosing entirely different options will only offer a cosmetic difference to how you receive the information, rather than different versions that lead to the same conclusion.
In Sheep’s Clothing is the weakest out of the four episodes in The Wolf Among Us series, despite the episode ending on an excellent climax. Episode 4 focuses on setting the foundation for the series conclusion, offering little forward progression and a distinct lack of noteworthy moments. Though In Sheep’s Clothing does provide some interesting aspects regarding the main narrative, Episode 4 struggles to find its footing while leading towards the series conclusion.
+ Interesting aspects to the Crooked Man plot.
+ Introduces new sides of characters we knew.
– Minor forward progression.
– Throwaway conversations.
– Lack of choices