The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 - Smoke and Mirrors
Top Critic Average
The Wolf Among Us falters in episode two
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.