I’ve always had difficulty in reviewing episodic games. Do you review the episode on its own, or as a part of the bigger whole? In a game with multiple choices and branching story, do you evaluate every possible scenario, or your own ‘personal’ story? I’ve never found it easy to replay games with multiple branches. Heavy Rain, Walking Dead, etc. were all my personal stories. After playing once, I didn’t want to see what other possibilities there were, as they cheapened what I saw as my unique playthrough.
Even so, as a whole, Wolf Among Us succeeds, and episode 2 will not let you down.
Wolf Among Us – Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors continues the story of Bigby Wolf, the self-appointed sheriff of a community of fairy tale characters in a neighborhood in New York City. The switch from the storybook to the slums has not been easy, and Bixby has found that things are beginning to fall apart in the place known as the Woodlands.
Episode 1 (see review here) served to introduce the characters and set up the larger story. Without spoilers, there was a major cliffhanger at the end of Episode 1. Episode 2 picks up immediately where the last left off. You’ll delve deeper into the murders in the Woodlands, visit bars and strip clubs, and kick an ass or two.
Telltale Games has nearly perfected the adventure game, and continues to unravel compelling stories before our eyes. The twists from Episode 1 continue, and the plot thickens and grows deeper. By the end, you are ultimately left with more questions than answers (as you should be). The pacing is a little more quick in Episode 2, and more action packed than the previous entry.
Again, par for the course with Telltale. I didn’t know anything about the Wolf Among Us source material going into the game, so I was a blank slate. After just two episodes, I’m enthralled with all the characters. This made every dialogue option more interesting, and I was always hesitant to make any decision for fear of larger repercussions. You really love the characters you love, and really hate the characters you hate. They’re all three-dimensional enough to be worth caring about.
More so than Episode 1, I questioned my decision making. The strand that ran through the episode was the choice to either be (somewhat) peaceful and show others that you have changed from your riding hood-eating self, or to act the same as normal and be a total violent douche. Normally, I would do the peaceful thing, but the story really made it difficult to stick to just one set of choices.
After playing through eight, nine, ten different episodes of Telltale games, it does seem that he formula might be getting a big stale. It is such a great formula, however, that it stays fun throughout. I was never bored for a moment. I like ice cream, but it would get old eating it for every single meal.
Playing through Episode 2 really had me thinking about my decisions. Wolf Among Us – Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors is a fine continuation of the series. Telltale has the formula down pat, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment. The only thing lacking is the variety, but that can easily be forgiven with such an engrossing story.
Wolf Among Us – Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors is available now on XBOX 360, PS3, PC (Windows, Mac) for $4.99.
Wolf Among Us – Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors: Platform: XBOX 360, PS3, iOS