Top Critic Average
Episode 2 presents a potential pitfall for The Wolf Among Us to avoid as it goes forward. When the choices are too easy, it's hard for Bigby's story to pack an emotional wallop. Instead, it descends into choosing for choosing's sake.
"Smoke and Mirrors" has converted me. Shorn of the need to introduce the game's world and characters, it quickly gets to business developing and telling a story with them.
While Smoke and Mirrors is a little on the short side, The Wolf Among Us continues to impress with its story-driven gameplay that adapts to your previous decisions in unexpected ways. The story gets even more sinister and takes us to the darker parts of Fabletown, which is saying something, since episode one opens with The Woodsman beating up a prostitute in a run-down tenement building. Even if you've never heard of Fables before, if you're a fan of noir fiction and like a healthy dose of mysticism, you should be playing The Wolf Among Us.
The first episode was something of a dicey proposition, promising, but also forced to expend a lot of time on exposition with mysteries featuring characters we'd only just met. The long interval, combined with a weak follow-up, could have really quelled interest in the whole series. Instead, my anticipation has skyrocketed. This second episode, 'Smoke & Mirrors,' features a much improved tempo and flow, ratcheting up the story while dialing back less compelling elements. Dare we ask Telltale not to make this next wait so long while maintaining such a refined quality?
Faith had introduced me to an exciting world of magic and monsters and exploring said world in Smoke and Mirrors keeps me wanting more. The case just keeps getting more interesting, I just hope Telltale doesn't keep us waiting long for Episode 3.
The writing in the second episode of Telltale's A Wolf Among Us series does more to investigate the dark corners of your soul than your shrink can in an hour. Sadly, you can play through the episode in just as much time.
Smoke and Mirrors is a solid continuation for The Wolf Among Us. A lot of seeds were planted in Faith, and while a few have borne fruit, most of this episode's running time is spent tending to them.
If you've any interest in game's as a narrative medium, buy this one. It won't satisfy the gamers that are looking for "twitch gameplay" (Like an FPS), but it's right on the money for everyone else.
Final verdict? Well if you enjoyed Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us, you'll love Episode 2. If you didn't enjoy Episode 1 of The Wolf Among Us… what the heck is the matter with you? Telltale continues to prove why they are a master of their craft with Smoke and Mirrors. In fact, the only thing wrong with this episode, is that we are going to have to wait another few months before we find out what happens next. Go out and purchase The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 today. You won't regret it.
The most important thing is that while I wasn't in as much of a shock when I got to the cliffhanger at the end of this episode, I was left wanting more, and if episode three was installed and ready to go, there is no doubt in my mind that I would've happily played on. Nothing else needs to be said.
Smoke and Mirrors is a fine piece of story-telling, and retains all the positive elements I outlined in my review of Episode One, along with a slightly more regular frame rate and shorter loading times on my PC.
The Wolf Among Us Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors is a good follow-up to the impressive first part in Telltale's adventure series. There aren't that many changes in terms of the gameplay, for better or worse, but the new story elements certainly make up for that, introducing new characters and keeping things going into intriguing directions. Unfortunately, it's a bit short and there aren't enough big moments in this second part.
The biggest accomplishment with the new episode however is the fact that your actions have more consequences on a personal level. Bigby ceases to be a construct of Telltale and starts to become an extension of yourself, causing hesitation on more than one occasion. Having said that, there aren't really any "big, freeze-the-screen" choices throughout this roughly one-hour tale like in Faith -- just a lot of little ones. Not a whole lot of big choices carry over from your previous story either, as the only major connection is tied to whomever you decide to capture at the end of Faith. It remains to be seen if future episodes will employ more connections.Whereas the first episode of Wolf Among Us had me intrigued, Smoke and Mirrors has me hooked. Although it's not nearly as explosive as its own The Walking Dead series, Telltale has managed to craft a world full of interesting characters, and with the fairytale setting -- the sky is the limit. Let's just hope we don't have to wait so long for part three.
Telltale has kept up its quality of writing, atmosphere and mystery, beginning to tie together story threads while heightening anticipation even further. However, there's no question that the relatively slower, methodical pace of this episode will leave less of an impact on some players. Those who favor a slow burn will still welcome the experience, but if Telltale hadn't made audiences wait four months to play this episode, they would have had a much easier time keeping both groups happy.
There's a war inside of Bigby, that much is clear. And if the preview for Episode Three is to believed, this story is about to go to some dark places. We can't wait to see what's next.
Figuring things out and uncovering the truth in Fabletown surely isn't easy, but with Episode 2 continuing to prove The Wolf Among Us as another excellent addition to Telltale's roster, playing through the latest chapter of the noir crime saga is not nearly difficult at all.
Despite a few missteps, Smoke and Mirrors is an excellent follow-up to Faith. It's a twisted journey through Fabletown's dirty, neon underbelly exploring the darker side of glamour magic and the exploitation of fables. It ends somewhat abruptly, with a terrible revelation, making the wait for the third episode already agonising.
Smoke and Mirrors simultaneously excelled while falling slightly short. Despite my gripes, I genuinely enjoyed the entire experience, but this episode did not hit the expectations set up by the first episode of The Wolf Among Us. That being said, this it is still a positive addition to what is turning out to be an absolutely fantastic series.
Smoke & Mirrors isn't quite as good as the superb Faith and is a little shorter, which is a kick in the flying monkey nuts after how long it took to turn up, but it's still an excellent and enjoyable adventure full of intrigue, surprise and emotion. If Telltale keep this up they could well end up eclipsing The Walking Dead for me, and I nominated that for our Game of the Year. Just, er, could we have Episode 3 a little sooner please?
Smoke and Mirrors is an excellent follow up to a strong start, and while it may not live up to the excitement of the previous episode, it nevertheless makes a worthy successor. Episode 2 will shock with twists, drive the narrative forward and allow the player to steer Bigby through it all in a style that suits them.
With the three month break since the first episode, The Wolf Among Us comes back with the right kind of episode to get you hooked on seeing this investigation through all of its many twists and turns as it focuses just on furthering the story.
Smoke and Mirrors establishes that The Wolf Among Us will likely be worth seeing through, although whether it's worth doing so now or waiting for the season's end is a more open question than one might have anticipated at the end of the first episode. It ends on a cliffhanger, but not one with a whole lot of bite, and the 'next episode' preview reveals a third episode that revisits a lot of already familiar locations and story beats.
The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors treads some dark waters, spitting grit and quiet reminders that the world is a cold, hard place. Like its predecessor, Smoke and Mirrors enjoys great writing, excellent voice acting and a lead who is likeable in all the right ways. That said, the second chapter in The Wolf Among Us feels somewhat too short -- like a build-up, a segue to bigger things. There are also moments where the writing trips, leaving players to wonder if Bigby's been hit on the head one too many times.
Episode two puts The Wolf Among Us in an awkward place. Telltale shows enough of its hand to interest players in the rest of the story, but the unevenness of this second episode deflates the enthusiasm that first worked so hard to earn. It's difficult to tell how strong the series will become, but right now, it's tough to accept good when you're used to great.
Admittedly, I still don't know where I stand on the series as a whole, but that's probably because we're only in Episode Two. With three more still planned, I'm anxious to see where Telltale takes the series. I just hope we don't have to wait another four months to find out.
Having set the stage, future episodes now need to give us more in terms of puzzles, real detective work and big decisions to make... while translating the cast's deepening respect or hatred for Bigby into pivotal game-changing moments.
Smoke and Mirrors is a short but engaging chapter but it is hindered by some odd decisions around the choice mechanics and ongoing engine issues. More importantly, the length of time between instalments risks damaging the IP.