The penultimate chapter in The Wolf Among Us story, In Sheep’s Clothing struggles to feel little more than a primer for what will almost assuredly prove to be a bombastic finale.
Oh and it’s short as shit too. The shortest chapter so far, in fact.
Spoilers be past this point. Ye be warned.
Taking place right after Bigby’s near death experience at the conclusion of the third episode in the series, In Sheep’s Clothing starts out sluggishly as the Sheriff and his buddies argue, moan and complain about what their next course of action should be.
Annoyingly, Bloody Mary, perhaps one of the most compelling villains seen in the game so far is barely glimpsed in this fourth episode. Instead, we are introduced to the Jersey Devil in her stead; an obnoxious greaseball of a man who taunts and incites Bigby at every opportunity.
While he lacks the nihilistic and softy-spoken psychotic tendencies of Bloody Mary, Jersey Devil remains an acceptable replacement as the Villain of the Week; although not an equal one. That said, his transformation into his true, non-glamoured form is quite the sight to behold and is arguably one of the most brilliantly stylized in the game yet.
The presence of villains and a number of other characters afford players significant creative latitude to play Bigby as a violent asshole, should they so wish. Characters can be shouted at, punched, slammed and much more besides. So if you’ve been playing the Sheriff of Fabletown like an absolute cockbag and enjoy it that way, then this episode is for you.
Elsewhere, events are set into motion which build up to an absolute humdinger of a cliffhanger but the desperately finite length of the episode proves difficult to ignore. Clocking in at somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours, much of In Sheep’s Clothing’s energy and pace is sapped by the sluggish introduction mentioned earlier. Additionally, there simply isn’t a whole lot for the player to do in this episode here either; something which further exacerbates the issue of its meagre length.
Yes, it’s a well-known fact that Telltale’s games tend to err more toward immersing players with the story rather than the gameplay, but In Sheep’s Clothing stands as a particularly extreme example. There is nothing here to even remotely stretch the grey matter and, in fulfilling its status as a lead-in to the fifth and final chapter, it feels as if the player is no longer being gently guided by the unseen hand of the writing team but rather unceremoniously tossed toward the narrative endgame instead.
Regardless, the penultimate episode of The Wolf Among Us ends on a brilliant and well-conceived cliffhanger. It’s just a shame that the rest of the episode was treated like ninety minute chore to get there and that In Sheep’s Clothing comes nowhere near to the impressive caliber of the previous episode, A Crooked Mile.
One more, then.
A season pass for the Xbox 360 version of The Wolf Among Us was independently acquired by the reviewer.
Published by Warner Bros Interactive and developed by Telltale Games, The Wolf Among Us is available on PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360 and iOS
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5