Article first published as PC Game Review: ‘The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing’ on Blogcritics.
Telltale games has reduced the turnaround time of The Wolf Among Us episodes from four months down to five weeks with Episode 4: In Sheep’s Clothing. While the mature narrative is compelling, a talent the developer perfected in their The Walking Dead series, the level of interactivity seems to be on the decline. As the plot really begins to pick up in this fourth episode, I can’t help but begin to feel that a mobile device, like a tablet is probably the best medium with which to enjoy what is beginning to more resemble an interactive story than a video game.
In Sheep’s Clothing continues almost immediately after the events of A Crooked Mile that closed with Bigby lying in puddle of blood in the alleyway. I complained earlier in the series about the story referencing parts of the narrative that weren’t in the game. That is no longer the case. Enough has taken place in the previous three episodes that The Wolf Among Us is now a sufficiently self-contained fable. Even though the cast has grown, I finally feel as though I have a grip on the Bigby and the world with which he lives.
Throughout my playthrough of The Wolf Among Us Series, I’ve tried to play the role of the sheriff diligently. I’ve tried to be the peacemaker whenever possible, let the beast out only when necessary and of course try to keep snow white safe. Along the way, I’ve also tried to build and maintain relationships with the citizens who’d let me. In Episode 4, that finally seemed to payoff, though who knows what will happen in the finale. By the time In Sheep’s Clothing ends, there’s no doubt that Bigby has gotten to the bottom of it all. It’s just a matter of how it all plays out. Even the preview for Episode 5: Cry Wolf can’t do much but imply some kind of resolution is coming.
Actual gameplay has never been a strong point with TellTale’s offerings and The Wolf Among Us is no exception. The 3D controls, in their games have always felt a bit rough and their exploration reticule can be a tad confusing. In Episode 4, there are actually more quick time events than 3D segments though neither mechanic was utilized very often. Throughout the vast majority of my two hour playthrough, my controller sat unused on my desk. Most of the time was just spent watching and occasionally choosing Bigby’s dialogue to move the story along.
TellTale Games has built a solid reputation and gathered a number of licensed properties. While there is plenty of fair criticism for their execution, the story telling seems to currently be a sufficient counterbalance. Surprisingly, though I am an unabashed horror fan, I do find The Wolf Among Us a more compelling narrative than TellTale’s second season of The Walking Dead. That’s probably just because the main character’s role is a little less easy to immerse myself in. Of course, like The Wolf Among Us, it’s still an interesting story. I’m just not quite sure that you can call these increasingly short episodes video games, anymore.