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The Wolf Among US – “In Sheep’s Clothing” (PS3) Review

/ Jul 10th, 2014 No Comments

In Sheeps Clothing Review

The Wolf Among Us – “In Sheep’s Clothing” is the penultimate episode of The Wolf Among Us. It follows the events of previous episodes, “Faith”, “Smoke & Mirrors” and “A Crooked Mile”.

“In Sheep’s Clothing” sees Bigby licking his wounds after the shocking conclusion of “A Crooked Mile.” Despite being beaten down, he has a job to do, so he chases down leads on the Crooked Man and finds out how pervasive the Crooked Man’s influence is in Fabletown.

The fourth episode of The Wolf Among Us continues the trend of marrying smart plot development with poignant character moments. “In Sheep’s Clothing” develops the dynamics of Fabletown and how the Crooked Man is leeching off a desperate community. While the episode has some great moments, the cliffhanger ending leaves something to be desired.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Huff ‘n’ Puffs

Things didn’t work out well for Bigby at the end of “A Crooked Mile.” He managed to catch up with Crane and apprehend him; case solved, right? Not exactly. Turns out Crane was a regular Jack Ruby. The true threat reared its besuited hand in the Crooked Man.

A simple flick of the wrist let loose his dogs: Bloody Mary and the Tweedles. This resulted in a gruesome, bone shattering conflict between Bigby and Bloody Mary. Spoiler alert: Bigby got jacked up and the Crooked Man took Crane.
 

The Wolf Among Us

Where can they go from here?

“In Sheep’s Clothing” starts with Snow, Bigby and Swineheart dealing with the aftermath of the fight. As Bigby gets stitched up, Snow decides to play everything by the book, effectively tying the sherrif’s hands. But Bigby is gonna Bigby and deal with the case his way. Now that he knows the lead he needs to chase down, he begins looking for anyway to get at the Crooked Man.

The case became more complicated yet simpler because he knows the end game. Nerissa, Beauty and Beast all return to help set Bigby on the right path. While Toad, Jack, Woody and Bluebeard continue to gum up the works as Bigby chases down leads at the Lucky Pawn and the Cut Above.

Writing and dialogue continues to impress. Bigby’s dialogue mixes sharp, terse lines withe ones that demonstrate the depth of his character and range of emotions. The small character moments that happen within Bigby’s conversations are the most memorable parts of any episode.

Bigby and Snow’s relationship grows and becomes more complex as her role in the Business Office changes. There are still moments of tenderness between them despite the awkwardness of her asserting authority–like when she expresses genuine care about his well being after getting patched up.
 

The Wolf Among Us

Some of the most touching moments are between Bigby and Nerissa.


One of the more touching interactions from earlier in the season was between Nerissa and Bigby. She returns in this episode to try and help out Bigby after witnessing the incident at the Pudding ‘n Pie. Watching Bigby and her fumble at trying to communicate despite her lips being sealed was somewhat sweet.

Then there are interesting moments between Bigby and Woody after the Lucky Pawn that adds layers to their adversarial relationship in light of living in Fabletown. The episode balances the opportunity for Bigby to be the Big Bad Wolf and to be not as bad as they saw, which has been the major success of the season.

The Crooked Man Gives

Pacing is an issue in the episode. The major plot “choice” for Bigby in the episode is whether to visit the Lucky Pawn or the Cut Above first. Like previous decisions, whichever one you choose to do first leaves some vital information, character meeting or item off the table for Bigby.

Since the other episodes had Bigby building up to find the murderer, his choices got more complex. Bigby has nothing this time but a target this time, so he is basically at the mercy of whatever leads he gets. Players will choose between visiting the butcher shop or the pawn shop, but the vital item necessary in the episode will be acquired regardless of that decision.
 

The Wolf Among Us

The choice boils down to whether you want to smack Jack around a bit.

These choices offer strong character interactions and information about how the Crooked Man operates. The choice mechanism is superfluous this time, except for making sure you get the chance to explore two different spaces.

The combat would seem obligatory if not reinforced by solid characterization of the Jersey Devil. Gameplay continues to be a mix between these investigation moments, dialogue choices and roleplaying, and combat, but if the series had a few more episodes to go, it’d wear thin.
 

The Wolf Among Us

The Cut Above will test Bigby’s patience.

The episode builds plot well; everything smartly leads to the Crooked Man. By the end of the episode, Bigby has everything he needs to find his enemy’s lair and confront him. Predictably, once Bigby finally comes face to face with the Crooked Man, the episode ends. The cliffhanger falls flat, but thinking about the little character moments throughout the episode make it much more satisfying.

Overall

Dialogue and character moments in “In Sheep’s Clothing” are the highlights of the episode. The pacing is off and the flaws of gameplay become more obvious this time around.

Obviously, the true interaction between these two men is going to happen in the finale, but that doesn’t change the fact that the cliffhanger is underwhelming. The game leaves players wanting more, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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THE WOLF AMONG US – “IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING” (PS3) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall91%

GAMEPLAY9

The episode has a good mix between the combat, investigation and roleplaying elements that has made the series successful so far, but the structuring and choice elements seem a bit off this go around.

GRAPHICS9.2

The Wolf Among Us continues to look gorgeous. The look of the game always manages to pack in noir underpinnings to the settings.

SOUND9.2

Jared Emerson-Johnson's score continues to pair well with the tone and look of the game, while the voice acting is as spot on as ever.

STORY9

Despite some strong dialogue and character moments, the story spins its wheels as Bigby tries to dig up details on the Crooked Man. Also, the cliffhanger ending is disappointing.

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