Before we start, I will just flag up the obligatory spoiler warning. If you’re reading this review, I am working on the theory you’ve played the first three episodes of The Wolf Among Us. I'll try not to give too much away, but proceed at your own peril!
Episode 4: In Sheep’s Clothing finds Bigby looking rather the worse for wear after suffering at the hands of everybody’s favorite psychotic henchwoman Bloody Mary…
Following the dramatic conclusion to Episode 3, Episode 4 follows Bigby deep into the darkest corners of Fabletown as he tries to discover more about the feared and hated Crooked Man, and just how great a hold he has over those Fables for whom expensive Glamors and an apartment in The Woodlands are nothing but a pipe dream. As the story unfolds, it starts to become clear that what began as a simple murder investigation has become something a hell of a lot more sinister, as the social divides of Fabletown grow ever more apparent and the question of who is really in charge of the displaced Fables becomes increasingly at the forefront of the story.
It's an extremely fast-paced episode, with a huge number of locations packed in as Bigby tries to find as much information of Fabletown's criminals as he can before they find him. You'll have your chance to make an impact on a large number of characters, and the difference in playstyle between good and renegade is more marked as you come face to face with a number of vulnerable and desperate fables hoping for the Sheriff's mercy and approbation.
What I particularly enjoyed about this episode was how decisions made in previous episodes finally seem to be paying dividends. I’ve commented previously how this has not always been the case, but my leniency towards Colin in Episode One resulted in him being utterly charming in his defence of old Wolfy this episode, whilst my flagrant disregard for the rules doesn’t seem to be playing out too well with Snow White. Episode Four has definitely reasserted the sense of agency in The Wolf Among Us, however. The sense that the decisions you made were something bordering on sacred was a key part of the first season on The Walking Dead, and In Sheep’s Clothing definitely reawakened this sense in me.
With the first three Episodes having pretty thoroughly introduced us to the social structures, characters and financial and political issues of Fabletown, In Sheep’s Clothing really feels like it is getting down to the nitty gritty of the dark underbelly of New York’s Fable inhabitants. The sense of class tensions, of great wealth divides and of different levels of social privilege has been something I’ve complimented the writers on previously, and this sense is only exacerbated in In Sheep’s Clothing. Run-down butchers shops and dodgy pawn brokers are juxtaposed with luxury bourgeois apartments. The contrast between the idle, entitled attitudes of the likes of Beast or Beauty and those - such as Nerissa - for whom the situation seems utterly desperate is genuinely powerful, and it’s a mark of Telltale’s storytelling skills that, with such a large cast of characters, they have created such compelling personalities and backstories.
One thing that did disappoint me a little was, once again, the incredibly brevity of this Episode. After complaints as to the length of Episode 2, I thought with the longer Episode 3 that we might be getting solidly back to the realms of the 2 hour Episode. In Sheep’s Clothing, however, is once again fleeting in length, with my own playthrough taking a mere one hour. Sure, perhaps those who chose to play this episode in another order might have found it lasted slightly longer, but I have to feel that one hour’s play really doesn’t merit the price asked for an individual episode.
I’m not saying it isn’t enjoyable; on the contrary, it all points towards a truly thrilling conclusion when the final episode hits later this summer. However, I do hope the final instalment of The Wolf Among Us season one has a little bit more flesh on it.