The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing [Review]
We start off The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing bruised and beaten. Bigby’s in rough shape after the events of the last chapter, and is warned right from the start that he needs to take it easy or he won’t survive. As players, we know that can’t happen, settling back onto the rails his life seems to be on. All of these events feel like they force Bigby in one direction – that he has no choice but to become the savage beast that everyone thinks he is. Only this time, he will die because of it, and that outcome feels fairly certain given how grim things are. As answers start to come out and the real players enter the scene, how much choice does Bigby really have any more?
The choices in this chapter felt harder than most of the previous ones, although I’m not sure if they actually meant more. With all of the things at stake, it felt like it was time to take the kid gloves off and cut through all the extra crap that was going on. With the shape Bigby’s in, there’s no time to screw around or pull punches. I felt like I had to get in and get results fast, avoiding fights through fear and intimidation whenever I could. I had to hit these jerks hard before Bigby’s strength ran out, and I felt that need keenly in every call I made.
In that same vein, I also felt that I had to work twice as hard to keep a cool head. The story of The Wolf Among Us is partially about fighting against the beast within. In my playthrough, it’s about learning to control his anger, and in this stage, when anger often seems like the best solution, it was hard not to turn to it. All of the arguing and stonewalling from the other characters felt like it needed a rougher touch to break through, and that I wasn’t going to be able to get results if I didn’t bust some heads. Still, after having worked so hard to steer away from that for the last three chapters, was I willing to throw it all away? Would it have been smarter if I had? I questioned myself constantly as I navigated the decisions in this chapter, and felt closer to the character than I ever had before.
For those who’ve been waiting for some answers on what is going on, you finally do get a few. Events in this chapter finally clear up the full scope of the murders and what they meant, while still keeping the player confused enough to need the next chapter. We know some of the hows, but the whys are still left vague and unclear. It was enough to keep me strung along on the chapter’s every word, and was an interesting real-world take on a fairytale world problem. Then again, the darkness of real-world despair has been what made the story of these fairytale characters so interesting from the beginning, and this chapter just drives that home.
With most of the answers in your lap, though, the end comes much too soon. It’s a perfect time to finish to leave players demanding the next chapter, but also worried about what will come of Bigby. Despite warnings that he’s in bad shape, he still endures a good few beatings depending on where you choose to go in the chapter. He’s in a bad way when he reaches the end, and players are left wondering how he’ll come out of it. I had me both worried and excited for the season conclusion, wondering how the old boy intends to get himself out of this mess. He’s in a worse position than he’s ever been since the beginning of the season, and knowing that he can be hurt and killed has me asking how he’ll get out of it. As the series has been trying to show me, Bigby’s violent nature is not going to be the answer.
For those who’ve been dying to figure out what all of the events meant, this chapter will clarify a lot while still leaving just enough hidden to justify the final chapter. Not only that, but connections with Bigby’s internal struggle as a character also feel like they’re building up, giving players a real feeling about how hard it is to fight his beastly nature. It’s a solid, but short, chapter, one that will leave players excited for the final installment. Can it be played out in the kind nature I’ve been trying to build, or does this town need beasts like Bigby and the Crooked Man to keep it all from going to pieces? We’ll all find out soon enough.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – In Sheep’s Clothing is available for as part of the season pass ($24.99) on Steam.