The Wolf Among Us - Episode 2 : Smoke & Mirrors Review

Another day in the Big Apple

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: 4 February 2014
  • Time Played: 1.5 hours

It's been almost 4 months since the first episode for The Wolf Among Us was released - which in my experience is abnormal for Telltale, usually releasing a new episode every month or at most every two months. Apparently the delays were due to the holiday season but maybe preparing the first episode of the next The Walking Dead Season may have had something to do with it too.

Plot (4/5)
The Wolf Among Us is set during the 1980s in New York City. Fairy tale characters (aka "Fables") now live amongst normal humans (called "mundanes") in their own immigrant neighbourhood known as "Fabletown". Some fairy tale characters, who can afford it, use "glamour" in order to disguise their true appearance from mundanes. Those that cannot afford to disguise themselves are sent to "The Farm" in rural New York. You play Bigsby Wolf aka The Big Bad Wolf, whose job is sheriff of Fabletown. Consequently it's your job to keep the peace and in this second episode, you continue to investigate the murders of two Fables committed in the first episode

Just as it was with the previous episode, there appears to be a branching narrative in this game so conversations will be slightly different based on your relationships with other characters or certain clues you notice. At the end of an episode, you're also able to review whether you sit with the majority or not when it comes to pivotal choices in the game (e.g. showing compassion to a character or not).

Compared to Episode One though, the plot in the second episode seems to be a bit shorter. I recall playing Episode One for almost three hours (or at least that's what Steam tells me). Episode Two only bumped it up to 4 hours so I'm guessing it's about 1.5 hours long. Maybe a smidgen shorter than Episode One in actual time, but it definitely felt a bit shorter too.

Gameplay (3/5)
Just like The Walking Dead, and indeed the previous episode gameplay may be seen as minimal by some since it basically consists of very simple puzzles ala the adventure game genre incorporated with visual novel elements (e.g. conversations having an impact on character relationships) thrown in with a bit of Quick Time Events (QTEs) for action sequences. For those valuing gameplay over plot, you have been warned!

Playing a silent protagonist leads to some awkward but hilarious moments

Sound (4/5)
Voice acting is great but that's to be expected from veteran voice actors – the only issue I had was that the audio was sometimes too loud or too soft.

Music (4/5)
The game has some moody 80s-style synth which fits the game perfectly (this is a neo-noir game set in the 80s after all). Nothing too memorable but top quality stuff all the same.

Graphics (4/5)
The graphics are on par with The Walking Dead and since this game is also based on a comic book, it has incorporated a similar style. The only issues I had was the occasional framerate jumps and the occasional animation glitch.

Replay (3/5)
Just as it was in The Walking Dead, replaying The Wolf Among Us will reveal a slightly different narrative depending on the choices you make. Just as I did with the first episode, I tried to continue my stoic and professional approach, i.e. refraining from violence where I could.

Again unlike The Walking Dead, it's slightly more difficult to get all achievements, requiring you to explore different choices I believe in order to unlock all of them (which in turn invites at least one replay).

Polish (4/5)
Unfortunately, as it's a Telltale game, it uses the most recent Telltale Tool so the interface is a very console-friendly one, not a simple point 'n' click adventure. The game also has the annoying Type 1 save system where progress is autosaved but you never know when the next save point is.

Score – 7/10

Episode Two of the Wolf Among Us continues to deliver an entertaining, fantasy take on neo-noir with comic-style visuals. While the episode feels a bit shorter than the first one, it's still worth a go.

If you want to get the game, you can get it on Steam or Telltale Games .

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