"While I expected more, that's only because of the high standard Telltale has set for itself..."
The Wolf Among Us has continued to grab people's attention not only with its extreme violence, but also by its presentation of a classic murder mystery full of intrigue and colorful characters. Each chapter has set up some new element to keep players guessing, but the series cannot sustain mystery in its entirety; the tale must end at some point. However, as narrative structure dictates, the climax must come in the final act. Has The Wolf Among Us followed this tried-and-true principle, or has the fat lady already howled?
Episode 4 takes place immediately following Bigby's gruesome encounter with Bloody Mary and associates. After getting patched up, Bigby continues his prowl for answers, this time with a central antagonist unveiled. Previous story elements resurface as we delve further into The Farm, glamours, and the state of Fabletown's denizens.
Unfortunately, Episode 4 can be completed in an hour, making this the shortest installment yet. While length doesn't necessarily dictate quality, some substance must exist for fans to sink their teeth into. With only one episode to go, the brief excursion In Sheep's Clothing offers feels cheap. I still want to know more about this world, and while Book of Fables entries yield snippets behind character motives and background, actual gameplay and conversations surrounding these details would not only "pad" the length of the game, but serve to entertain and create a more well-rounded experience. I don't want to just casually glance into Fabletown, I want to feel immersed, as if I could walk the streets and understand the life of its people.
Furthermore, many of Episode 4's reveals feel predictable and unimaginative. Although some new questions arise, most of the loose ends that are tied up are lackluster and don't offer the "oomph" that fans deserve. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed In Sheep's Clothing thoroughly, but unlike previous episodes, this one lacked tough decisions or wows.
In terms of gameplay, the standard quick-time events occur, as well as some brief exploration, but conversations drive the majority of the experience. Of course, this is no complaint, but if Telltale included more exploration to extend game time, I wouldn't have complained, either. At this point, most people can predict that Bigby's going to turn into The Incredible Hulk and come out on top, and, to be honest, it's beginning to lose its impact.
The standard high-quality voice acting and artwork continue to complement the tale, even during slow parts. Musically, the background noise doesn't distract from the experience, but one would notice if it were missing. Control isn't an issue, and the quick-time events shouldn't frustrate most players.
Overall, In Sheep's Clothing is the weakest entry in the series, but that doesn't mean it's bad. While I expected more, that's only because of the high standard Telltale has set for itself, which is bittersweet in this case. With a plethora of questions unanswered and much to be resolved, Episode 5 is sure to close the series with a bang — or at least that's my hope. Here's hoping our fair sheriff truly does the "right thing."