(This is a tentative review critiquing an ongoing series. As such, this review will contain no final score on the game as a whole, but an individual summary that is solely based on the experience of the episode. This game’s overall critique is subject to change in other episode reviews.)
(This review of The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing contains spoilers from Episodes 1 and 2, but will contain no spoilers from Episode 4. As such, this brief review will include no pictures as they may contain spoilers.)
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing presents a kind of lull in the Fabletown murder mystery, especially when compared to last episode’s climactic build up. Bigby, and by extension the player, focuses on sleuthing a bit more in this episode and trying to slowly piece together clues and conversations all to prepare for the final showdown. But, unfortunately, this latest episode suffers in terms of story as the series wraps up.
In terms of the narrative, the pacing takes an odd turn here. After last episode’s action-packed finale and shocking discoveries, I wanted the pace to keep ramping up, to keep the player on their toes with more twists, more lies and more cryptic reveals. But In Sheep’s Clothing sets Bigby back to running the same sleuthing errands he ran in the first couple of episodes. Sure there are some action sequences and some interesting interrogations, but nothing comes close episode 3’s level of intrigue and insight. Furthermore, most of the revelations presented in episode 4 seem rushed and incomplete, like a lot of the answers were a result mostly of circumstance rather than previous investigation as a result of the series being almost over. It’s like riding a roller coaster over its signature drop only to realize the rides not over, but you have a smaller drop still coming up; the reveal at the end of episode 4 doesn’t carry that much awe behind it as it seems to go for a “calm before the storm” vibe. Episode 3 already showed the villain, showed the goal, showed the motivation behind the mystery mostly; it makes me worry that the series’ conclusion will lack weight because it’s already been revealed and is now just being shown.
In Sheep’s Clothing was, unfortunately, one of the weaker episodes in the five-part series. Plot holes and odd pacing really throw off the build-up of the mystery, and characters seem to be having reversals, acting in ways contrary to their established personalities, development included. One major example is Snow who, despite acting in a stern but caring manner most of the series, is now acting unreasonable, cold-hearted and tyrannical without so much as a reason besides the possible power trip/responsibility freak-out explanation. My hope is that episode 5 will pick up the slack and end the series on a high note, but after three fantastic episodes and the lackluster performance of the most recent, I have some doubts now that the series will surely deliver.
Written and Edited by Tim Atwood