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The Wolf Among Us – In Sheep’s Clothing: The Review

Developers: Telltale Games

Publishers: Telltale Games

Plot: The Crooked Man’s empire grows, several Fables putting more faith into his dominance than the Business Office. However, he has overlooked one detail in his schemes. Bigby Wolf don’t die easy!

Last time we got a Telltale Games penultimate episode, it was, quite frankly, brilliant. It embraced the original spark that The Walking Dead Game had over every other game out there, the episodic choices that alter the gameplay. The episode acted as a springboard for the finale, setting up several different strands of story for the final chapter. I was expecting the Wolf Among Us to pull the same trick, but it never did, instead giving us a thrilling, yet by-the-numbers adventure into the world of Fables. Good, yet I cannot help but notice the potential, lurking beneath the set-pieces.

For a game that praises itself on choice and the ‘race against time’ aspect to everything, very little of that goes on. The closest we get to fighting the clock is a small moment where you need to investigate a room before the occupants get back to it. It adds nothing to the story. The choice aspect brings little to the game too. You essentially choose which scene you want to witness first, moderately altered depending on your choice, but never anything too ground-breaking. Other choices that came before don’t really leave an impact too. Episode one made a big thing out of Prince Lawrence as a character whose death was preventable, but if you did manage to save him, he doesn’t crop up at all. Telltale Games don’t live up to their promises as much as did with the first season of Walking Dead. Again, I understand that a detective drama cannot alter too differently, as we need all the pieces to the jigsaw. Facts cannot really be left out, so no matter on your choice, you always end up with the same amount of information. Understandable, but the game still needs some form of spark. Prince Lawrence needs to be more important. Maybe the relationship with Snow could be drastically different, depending on where you are with the story. The only thing drawing us into the next episode is a strong story.

But what a story! While as a game, the Wolf Among Us usually falls short, I cannot help but be swept up into the universe. It has the potential of being more fun than the Walking Dead Game. The Noir tone is always clear and present. The soundtrack is getting better with every episode and I hope that the finale embraces the music, for some mind-shattering set-pieces I am sure the finale will deliver. The playing around with fairy tale characters is always fun and characters are getting more depth with every episode. Old favourites, Toad and Colin make a come-back, adding some much-needed comic relief to proceedings. Bloody Mary gets a single scene, but it is terrific. A new villain arrives in the form of the Jersey Devil, coming with a fight scene that acts as the highlight of the level. Best of all are Beauty and Beast. Beauty has been depicted as a helpless heroine figure for a large chunk of the game, but here, we are given some light on her and Beast’s situation. We begin to think twice about the character, a clever move on Telltale Games part. They might be dropping the ball with the choice side of things, but when it comes to story-telling, they are the best in the business.

And that closing shot. While I think that ‘In Sheep’s Clothing’ lacks a certain punch, there is something in the subtle ending in this episode. It is undeniably cool and bad-ass, proving that maybe less is more, when dealing with a great franchise like this.

Final Verdict: The Wolf Among Us might be faltering, but even at its worst, there is something cool, sleek and impressive about the intricate universe of the Fables.

Three Stars