Review

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 - In Sheep's Clothing Review

  • Game release: October 11, 2013
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

In life, the monsters win. - George R.R. Martin

At the opening of the fourth episode of The Wolf Among Us, titled In Sheep's Clothing, the pieces of a silver bullet remain lodged in Bigby Wolf's arm. The shards come out, and Bigby's bones slip back into their proper positions, but not without some pain--pain on the part of the snarling victim, and pain on the part of the cringing player. It's not an easy scene to watch, but watch you must as you help Bigby connect the two halves of his snapped radial bone.

While the third episode led to a final scene of great drama, In Sheep's Clothing begins with gut-wrenching tension and then relaxes. Given this strenuous opening, it's nice to have time to take a breath in the scene that follows, though the air is as thick with smoke as it always is when Bigby is near. In fact, Bigby's obsessive tobacco habit becomes a subtle story point, with several characters remarking on his cheap taste in cigarettes, and Bigby choosing whether or not to ignore a no-smoking sign. My favorite moment of the episode came when one of the four choices I was given was simply "smoke," and the scene ended with the loud snap of the sheriff's lighter. I am not sure if the frequent smoking references foreshadow events to come, but they are certainly effective at setting the proper noir tone, and acknowledging Bigby's deepening frustration.

Why so serious? Oh right. Murder.

It's no wonder that Bigby's frustrated: Colin tells him that it takes monsters to fight monsters, while another Fable insists that he play the game by the book. Nevertheless, whether you follow the monstrous path or the diplomatic one, you make some vital discoveries that shine light on past events as well as on the Fables that surround you. Beauty and Beast in particular come into sharper focus, in part because they are clearly living beyond their means. "You know what they say: with centuries of marriage come centuries of baggage," says Beast, creating a new adage on the spot. That baggage apparently involves pretending you still live in an opulent castle. Some Fables cannot let go of the past, only to discover that holding onto the past limits the future.

This scene goes on for a bit too long, but it at least it demonstrates the couple's rising desperation. Another scene focuses on a butcher's desperation, and it, too goes on for too long, and without much of an emotional payoff. The episode designates him as a stand-in for the "everyfable," as it were, but it's difficult to get invested in the plight of the average fable when its representative snivels almost as much as Ichabod Crane did. I grew impatient during these scenes. An early meeting in Bigby's office made my heart heavy by drawing thematic ties to the original episode's gruesome murder; these later scenes imparted information without building tension, causing them to feel inert by comparison.

When God closes a door, he has no obligation to open a window.

That inertness, in turn, made it easier to notice a number of distracting hiccups: interrupted voiceovers that halted in unnatural ways, animations that didn't flow very well into the next, and a plot point involving a monkey and a mirror that is never sufficiently explained and stands out as an obvious delay tactic. Fortunately, In Sheep's Clothing allows you to momentarily forget the minor blips and unsheathe your claws in a confrontation that might have you bonding with an unlikely ally. I adored this moment not just for its gruesome and impactful imagery, but for how I was able to form it into a finale of its own. I shared a cigarette with a fellow fable and then said goodbye. It was a moving bookend to a troubled relationship, and I was glad I had the chance to mend a few cracks, though not an entire fence.

I left the third episode of The Wolf Among Us with my heart in my stomach; I left the fourth with burning curiosity, which is not as striking of a feeling. But given what other fables tell me of the Crooked Man, I suspect that it will not just be my curiosity that burns in the final chapter of this episodic tale. I want closure, I crave closure, but The Wolf Among Us has taught me that conclusions aren't always neat and tidy, and that you must suffer pain before you can earn relief.

The Good
Several scenes are heavy with dread
Steering the story leads to some emotional outcomes
Gruesome opening sets a violent tone
The Bad
A few scenes last too long
Some distracting technical hiccups
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Wolf Among Us

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd finished In Sheep's Clothing in about 90 minutes. His Bigby is a no-nonsense detective who is gentle with his friends but aggressive when cornered, and he hopes this season of The Wolf Among Us is successful enough that there will be more in the future.

Discussion

21 comments
HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

Looking forward to that fight with Bloody Mary.

mihael88
mihael88

much better than episode 3 but lower score ? pff i spit on you

namirast
namirast

Ha- Love the quote there, a quote from A Song of Ice and Fire, but most importantly from Sansa Stark. Tells you much about what you can expect from fairy tales and fairy tale-like lives. :) I like how in the last few years we are getting darker fantasy stories and stories in general- like Tomb Raider and ASoIAF/Game of Thrones and The Wolf Among Us. It gives us grittier and more interesting stories to delve in, and deeper and interesting characters like Bigby Wolf and Snow White.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Hm - I find it interesting how many people like Wolf, just because I found it a bit on the boring side.  I really liked the visual look - as well as the music - however the story failed to really draw me in.  It may just be because I'm so partial to the walking dead series that when i play WOLF it just makes me wish i was playing a new TWD episode instead.  i played the first 3 episodes, but reading this review doesnt have me particularly excited to dive into 4


wildcharms
wildcharms

I loved this episode almost as much as I loved the first one. So many amazing moments... I just didn't want it to end. I'm going to miss this game a lot

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

Hmm Kevin did you really just complain over some scenes that are moving the story forward and giving you vital information as lasting to long? anyways they are not lasting to long since they are part of what fills in the story about the fables and their life away from "home"


Anyways a 7 is decent enough, the negatives though are not really negatives.







observer98
observer98

According to the comics, Bigby smokes lots of cheap cigarettes to dull his senses so that the smell of the city(and Snow) don't overwhelm him.

Onallion
Onallion

Hey Kevin, great review as usual.


Regarding Bigby's constant smoking, this is actually explained in the comics. Bigby has a hyper-sensitive sense of smell, and the many smells of the mundy world can drive him insane. He smokes that stinky brand to obscure other smells :)

warriors30
warriors30

I think 7 is a fitting score, even though I have mixed feelings about this episode. Some scenes were awesome (there's one epic fight scene), some were just dull and (like Kevin mentioned) too long. The ending is great though and builds up a lot of tension for episode 5...but right when things got really interesting the episode was over, that's kind of a bummer. 

In my opinion this was the weakest episode so far and (compared to The Walking Dead) I'm having a hard time really caring about the story and some of the characters. 

I don't know what technical hiccups Kevin is referring to, the game ran perfectly fine for me on a 4 year old laptop.  

shepowy
shepowy

As long as there isn't an arbitrary time limit imposed on me when i want to comb over a crime scene i'll be happy. That really bugged me in ep 3.

RobDev
RobDev

cannot wait for episode 5. then i can start playing the game. same for walking dead 2. Only series i buy season passes for. Would do my head in to play and then wait weeks for another episode.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

So when is this out... Today, tomorrow or maybe even Friday? I look forward to playing it, so I can't read the review just yet.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

So when is this out... Today, tomorrow or maybe even Friday? I look forward to playing it, so I can't read the review just yet.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@pip3dream It's funny you should say that because I never really felt myself caring about the people in The Walking Dead, and I can empathize with the people in Wolf Among Us much more.  I kind of like its non-nonsense approach to progression too, where there's less aimless wandering around than TWD, and it cuts right to the relevant story stuff you're actually interested in.


I like them both quite a bit though, good, fun, games.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@punksterdaddy 

I suppose that you are worried about spoilers? If so, why do you even bother to read reviews after you have played the game?

I suppose that you do so to see if someone else's opinion matches yours?

HipHopBeats
HipHopBeats

@nl_skipper @pip3dream TWD Season 1 was good but Season 2 is rather disappointing. Just more whiny people complaining and all depending on an 11 year old girl to resolve their problems. Its turned into a soap opera with zombies At least in TWAU, you are a badass and so are most the people you come across.

pip3dream
pip3dream

@Gelugon_baat @punksterdaddy you're always so negative and judgemental on this site dude... lighten up a little bit!  


also,  i love to read reviews after ive played games as well - i might skim a reviews score or opening paragraph, but for story rich games,  reviews will almost always invariably spoil the experience if you want to go in completely FRESH.  and these games really benefit from just experiencing the story without knowing too much.  whenever i finish a game, its always nice to read what other people think of it, and what other people have to say about a game, or just have a conversation with them...


what is so bizarre about that to you?   im the same way with movies... after seeing  a good movie, i love to go out and read articles, ideas, theories, see what other people think about this or that character.



Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@pip3dream 

You can say that, but just wait until someone tells you something which you don't like to hear about a game - I doubt that you would think "its always nice" afterwards. ;)

The Wolf Among Us More Info

  • First Released
    • iPhone/iPod
    • Macintosh
    • + 6 more
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    The Wolf Among Us is a five episode series from developer Telltale Games where your every decision can have enormous consequences. As Bigby Wolf , the big bad wolf in human form, you will discover that the brutal, bloody murder of a Fable is just a taste of things to come.
    8.5
    Average User RatingOut of 439 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Telltale Games,
    Published by:
    Telltale Games, Telltale Inc
    Genres:
    Action, 3D, Open-World, Adventure
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
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