The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 - Smoke and Mirrors
Top Critic Average
The Wolf Among Us Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors is a great second act to Telltale's adventure noir.
A great world and an interesting story, but this short second entry lacks the tense decision-making of the first.
Telltale is crafting an engaging story in Bill Willingham's twisted Fables universe, keeping both fans and newcomers hooked to see the next thread
Smoke and Mirrors wants to know how far you'll go to preserve your humanity
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 - Smoke and Mirrors is another engrossing chapter in this ongoing saga, though it doesn't blaze as brightly as the introductory episode.
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.
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.
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.
Huffs and puffs, but doesn't blow us away.
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.