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Review: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – The Door in the Floor

by on June 2, 2014 11:00 AM 27

With three episodes now passed, The Wolf Among Us draws toward the inevitable conclusion of its first season. Fabletown Sheriff Bigby and (newly-appointed) Deputy Mayor Snow are drawing closer and closer to the cause of a recent rash of murders and disappearances plaguing New York’s exiled fable community, and the central whodunit mystery is coming nearly to its close.

As the penultimate episode of the season before the sure-to-be action-packed finale, Episode 4 of The Wolf Among Us, titled “In Sheep’s Clothing,” has a lot riding on it, and even more expectations. As the last episode before the finale, the beginnings of the end start to come to fruition — the heroes are drawn closer to their mysterious killer, and the game’s overall narrative is being drawn deeper down into the rabbit hole.

While the first episode debuted like a kick to the door with action, intrigue, and a great set-up to the case of The Fable Killer, “In Sheep’s Clothing” instead takes a noticeable step back from previous episodes in dispensing with the (overall) strong story and drive that have been prevalent in the previous episodes. Even more so, Episode 4 lacks the sense of meaningful decision-making and character/story development that made the previous episodes (especially from the first episode) so strong and cutthroat, making its position as the set-up to the series finale slightly disappointing.

After Episode 3 ended with Bigby and Snow recuperating from a fight against Bloody Mary and the Tweedles, following the reveal of the elusive “The Crooked Man,” Episode 4 picks up shortly after with Bigby in dire straits. Riddled with silver bullets and a broken arm, itdoes well at setting up Bigby at arguably the lowest point in his investigation with him broken both physically and emotionally, and it comes across well as the episode starts. With Bigby in bad shape physically, and tensions rising between him and Snow, the beginning of the episode is brooding with violence and angst, and most of all, intrigue.

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Following a series of leads that draw them into some new locations for the series, like The Lucky Pawn Shop and The Cut Above butcher shop, the latest installment of Bigby’s tale starts with angst-ridden drive, but as it progresses draws more to relaxing and a slow burn in its short 60-75 minutes, easily the briefest of the four episodes released (so far).

While the short running time keeps the pace going swiftly, it runs at the cost of giving the episode a slightly insignificant feel to the proceedings — not much happens to drive the story forward, and often many scenes feel lopsidedly uneven, with some that easily could have used some trimming/cuts, and others that feel painfully brief that could have provided some greater detail to The Wolf Among Us‘s investigation.

On a narrative scale, scenes like Bigby’s private talk with Nerissa (the former Little Mermaid) effectively draws in the series’ strong focus on detective work and unraveling mysteries, while tying in some of the already-known details and clues from episodes past, as well a key plot thread revolving around the increasingly tense relationship between Beauty and Beast.

On an action scale “In Sheep’s Clothing” also delivers a worthy fight sequence, pitting Bigby and The Woodsman against the newly-introduced Jersey Devil This not only works as a heart-pounding action set piece, but at its conclusion made me take a step back and look differently on the (often troubled) relationship between Bigby and The Woodsman; the two seemed to have forged an unlikely alliance.

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Where Telltale Games’ other series have had a consistent run for several episodes building on strong story development, characterization, and punctuations of violence and great set pieces, this episode often felt like an exercise in going two steps forward, and one step back. Though Bigby and Snow are drawing closer to their killer and the game’s story is hurtling toward its first season’s conclusion, Episode 4 shines with a few bright spots, but often feels surrounded by some dull areas with little progression in the story.

While the episode does include some big decisions that let Bigby take alternate paths, they don’t feel radically different, be they of the noble, diplomatic variety or in the typical Bigby Goes Badass routes. It’s all in the sake of keeping players on an even path assuredly, but it is frustrating being presented at times with decisions that are supposed to make a difference in the outcome of events, but often feel like they are more inconsequential, if anything.

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As Episode 4 draws to a close with its daunting final seconds that show (at long last) the adversaries that Bigby and Snow are up against and (presumably) what’s to come, it bookends with a door to the vast unknown: an image appropriate as the conclusion of The Wolf Among Us draws near. Inside the door, we know not what to expect: the finale of the first season promises that the stakes are high and the mystery will (hopefully) be solved, but at this time, it’s hard to say what will become of it.

After a series of strong episodes, Episode 4 of The Wolf Among Us is noticeably the weak point of the season (so far), but like any door, there is equal opportunity for the season closer to either end anticlimactically, or conclude as viciously as we expect it to. Even as a slightly lesser and brief episode, “In Sheep’s Clothing” does provide us with the door now open to the end of Bigby’s adventures: the only way we can find out what’s next is by going through.

rated rating-6.0
Review: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 – The Door in the Floor
  • The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4
  • Mac OS
  • Telltale Games
  • Telltale Games
  • May 27, 2014
  • $4.99
  • iPhone & iPod, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows, PS Vita
  • Review copy purchased by DualShockers, Inc.

Join the Discussion

  • Dr. Manhattan

    I really don’t understand the multiple mediocre scores I saw for this episode! It didn’t have as much action as previous episodes but the story telling and character development was great in my opinion!

    • Altin

      Considering they gave Watch_Doge such a high score..Wow.

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      • Killer Farts

        each game is rated with it’s own criteria so stop trying to make comparisons.

        • Altin

          Must be terrible criterias if Watch_Doge is able to score so high then.

          • superkarma

            Watch Dogs scored high on just about every site that reviewed it. Nice try.

          • Altin

            Then, and this is just a guess, every site must have terrible criterias then.

          • superkarma

            Why? Because they simply don’t match your opinion? After all, that’s all a review is…one persons opinion. Saying every site that reviewed it has terrible criteria because it doesn’t match your opinion is pretty damn foolish.

          • Altin

            No, I would rather say that saying every site rated this game good is foolish. There are a handful of reviews that didnt give this game an overrated/high score.

            And isn’t this the sole reason this debate even started to begin with? Due to differing opinions between me perceiving these reviews as overrated whereas you can agree with them? Yes, that must be reason.

          • superkarma

            There’s a difference between differing opinions and saying every site that disagrees with your opinion is wrong and has terrible rating criteria. That point seems to have gone over your head.

            In any case, I don’t even care about this game (The Wolf Among Us)…I was just pointing out how your logic was foolish. Carry on.

          • Altin

            So you can’t even relate to the point as to why I was having this discussion and comparison to begin with. Way to derail your own argument. It’s almost the same ridicule like we previously had with ME3: Tabloid Reviewers queuing for a overrated score.

            Yeah, it’s better if you carry on as well then. You with the thought that every review that gives this game too much praise is justified, and me with the thought that those scores are overrated and foolish.

          • superkarma

            Lol, how did I derail my argument? I pointed out how pathetically flawed your logic was. That point still stands. It doesn’t matter what game is being talked about, your logic is still pathetically flawed.

            According to you, any site that gives a review score higher than what you feel the game deserves…that site must have terrible review criteria. It can’t just be that you and the said site(s) have differing opinions…no, of course not. They just have terrible criteria and as such, they are seemingly irrelevant.

            Also, I never said every good review is justified. In fact, I implied the opposite, as I said every review is just one persons opinion…good or bad. Whether that score is justified or not is purely subjective.

          • Altin

            Easy, by not even understanding as to why I think that these criterias that for example are used in this game are just as redundant as in the other review for Watch_Dogs.

            Does it make you feel better if I say that “I” think the ratings are overrated? You know, just to give you that extra piece of satisfaction by arguing that I did not insult your [Insert Favourite Reviewer here] for having terrible criterias (even though he had)? Since both of us were about to “carry on”.

          • superkarma
          • Altin

            Story of your life, I guess.

          • superkarma
          • Sucka Free

            So…I are you saying that you didn’t like Watch_Dogs? ;p

          • Altin

            No, You are I saying that I didn’t like it so much as to rate it a 9/10. I’d probably rate it a 7/10 ;p

            Videos like these might testify why I think that it is not a flawless experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idA9BEA4Hxs

          • Sucka Free

            Don’t put words in my mouth, I’m not saying anything of the sort

          • Altin

            Touché.

          • superkarma

            Who ever said Watch Dogs was a flawless experience? No game is perfect. I would have thought that was common sense.

          • Altin

            Well, a 9/10 depicts a very flawless game. Not absolutely flawless, but flaws that did not break the game or rather disturbed any immersion inside the game. And that was my whole point with some of these high rated reviews. Might have been my own fault that I was not so concise on stating that it is not flawless and I might excuse on that behalf.

            This comparison always makes me laugh too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5t0_WVinF8

          • superkarma

            No, actually it doesn’t depict or imply anything of the sort. Did you actually read the review? Point out where in the review you see the word “flawless”. Just because that’s how you interpret a score doesn’t make it so. Actually, have you even played the game? My guess would be no.

            No one ever implied or suggested the game was flawless or without bugs. I think it was made very clear even before the game was released that it had bugs, especially for the PC version.

          • Altin

            And that is leading all back to my probably first or second statement in which I said that those criterias are in my own view, silly. A game that is full of bugs and glitches like this, is not justified such a high score. That is the point that I made at my very first comment right here. And that is why most games in recent gens are for many people only worth playing, when they have a score of 9 or 10. Same thing with many other review sites nowadays. Famitsu used to give perfect or almost perfect scores, once in a blue moon. Nowadays those scores are considered mediocre at best.

            FYI, I played both Watch_Dogs and TWAU. If you want to take some advice, you might want to stop guessing so much, especially on the internet. Speaking of, have you carried on yet? I “guess” not, seeing that you prepared your an*s for replying as fast as possible.

          • superkarma

            Every game is filled with bugs. Look at GTA 5/GTA Online. That game was filled with a tremendous amount of bugs at release…and still is, for the most part. That doesn’t stop these games from being a fun and exciting experience. If it does for you, then that’s on you and you’re certainly entitled to that opinion. Apparently it doesn’t stop it from being fun/exciting/great game for everyone else who actually likes the game.

            No one claims any of these games are flawless. A high review score does not imply that. Again, just because you interpret it that way, doesn’t make it so. Even if the game received a 10/10 score, that does not imply it’s a perfect/flawless game. Not only do sites have different explanations for their scoring systems, but it’s common sense that no game is perfect.

            At this point, we’re just talking in circles. You seem to think high scores imply a flawless game and any score for a game that’s higher than what you feel the game deserves has terrible criteria. It’s clear how lopsided and laughable your logic is, so there’s no point in continuing this. I can’t wait to read the next idiotic comment you will inevitably post. Enjoy.

          • Altin

            There are bugs that dont stop a game from being what it is and then there are bugs which make games look worse. You are yet again comparing apples with grapes.

            At least one thing we can agree on. No, as I mentioned above, a 10/10 game is by far one game that is perfect. I never said anything about perfect to begin with, so stop interpreting so much. Flawless and almost perfect =/= perfect There are dozens of games that have 10 scores and are far away from being perfect, but at least they are almost never filled with these many bugs or immersion breakers.

            Oh, you only came to that realization after like what, 20 comments later? Quite the slowpoke, aren’t you? And I can’t wait to see you posting more funny tumblr gifs, bro ;)

          • Killer Farts

            Personal opinions don’t need to be justified, what are you five years old

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