The Wolf Among Us – Episode 4: In Sheep’s Clothing Review – PC/Steam
Beautiful graphics, and a fun take on modern fantasy noir.
Waiting for the end.
If you’ve been along for the ride with The Wolf Among Us, episode 4 keeps things going with new twists and turns. And if you’re waiting until the entire game’s out to pick it up, well, you’re almost there and the game’s still worth getting. Though the game’s as sharp as ever, and had its share of fun scenes, I felt like this episode, In Sheep’s clothing, was more of a bridge to the ending rather than anything super exciting in and of itself. But, still, that has value, and it looks like it could be a great conclusion.
The characters from fantastical stories have been driven out of their native land, and settled in New York, under an amnesty that brings monsters, villians, and fallen nobility together. The lucky live in Fabletown, a neighborhood protected from mortal attention by magical means, while the less fortunate live on the outskirts, away from the protection of the fable government.
In the middle of this, you’re Bigby Wolf. After the amnesty given to fables, you’re the sheriff of Fabletown. Trying to enforce the rules is a thankless job, and your history – eating Red Riding Hood, blowing down pigs’ houses, and your time as a terrible manifestation of nature, red in tooth and claw – doesn’t make it any easier. After the fight that capped off the third episode, Bigby is adrift without many leads to follow up on, and shot full of silver.
The situation soon changes, though, giving you a hot pair of leads with new locations and new suspects. As you follow up on them, you’ll make snap decisions that determine how things play out, and you never know what will come back later and what won’t. It does a great job of putting you in the shoes of Bigby, making those decisions and hoping things will work out. Knowing when to ask questions, make statements, or just shut up and let things unfold is vital.
The voice work continues to be excellent. A lot of fascinating dialogue unfolds in the background as Bigby talks with others, and the game does a great job of mixing these conversations together.
The visuals are pretty much perfect. On a technical level, the cel shading is ace, to the point where screenshots have the look of being hand-drawn pictures. The color palette isn’t quite as muted as I remember the comic being, but gives a lurid air to the investigation. Meanwhile, the environmental details are amazing. The pawn shop, full of magical goods sold by fables trying to make ends meet was probably the highlight of the episode.
The Wolf Among Us is pretty much the video game version of a page turner. Every time a new episode comes out, I can’t wait to dive back in, and nothing will take me out until I get to the end. Even with the long wait between episodes, it’s such a delight that I’m already hoping there’ll be a second season.