The second episode of Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us, titled Smoke and Mirrors, takes us to a whole new level of awesome! This masterpiece of a world that Telltale created is still bouncing with vibrant neon colors, but all the characters this go round are coming in shades of grey!
This episode dives much deeper into the character of Bigby, and no matter whether you play as the nice guy, or as a monster you get to see a personal side to who Bigby really is. You really get to see a lot of the dark, fantastical world of Fables which you find yourself really questioning some of the decisions you have to make, right or wrong. The writers of this episode did an amazing job of keeping the suspense up, but thrilling you with moments of ease and lush adventure.
Starting this episode you will pick up right where you left off with the shocking events at the end of Faith. A lot of the drama and suspense in this episode revolves around how Bigby and the other Fables deal with the fallout, and thankfully, a lot of that is fully up to you and the decisions you make. The voice acting in this episode and overall game is top notch and probably some of the best Telltale has put out, which is saying a lot with the games they’ve done.
Want some villians? Well, this episode has got plenty of them as they set the foundation for some really nasty ones who you will quickly love and hate all at the same time. SPOILER ALERT – One of the nasties in this game is named Georgie, a strip club owner and pimp with an absolute numbness to human dignity and need. No matter how you handle Bigby’s interaction with him, through understandable violence or forced restraint, the scene plays out great both ways. A few of the major decisions from Episode 1 also have some nice moments of payoff in Smoke and Mirrors. Particularly how you handled Belle lying to Beast and who you chose to chase out of the bar result in very different scenes that shape both the story and Bigby as a character.
As great as this episode is/was with all the character developments, the one downfall is the overall story didn’t move a long quite as I hoped. This episode leaves a lot of loose ends still unanswered from episode 1 which I was hoping to tie up, but instead they add more to the mix and leave you with even more questions. There aren’t any big action sequences that would meet the expectation that episode 1 left after encountering the Woodsman which was a bit disappointing.
Overall The Wolf Among us series continues to bring moments of joy while playing, but at the same time tears away at the multitude of emotions while dealing with people. Sadness is something you see quite often in Bigby’s life as he is alone in this journey, or so he feels. You quickly learn that he has more allies then he realizes after meeting some of the other characters in this game. Telltale makes it more than worthwhile to go back and replay the episode as a complete maniac or a restrained reasonable person. This is really something I never wanted to do with any of the other adventure games Telltale has made, so good job for sucking me in even further Telltale.
Smoke and Mirrors is a fantastic second step in this already great story. You are going to get 90 whole minutes of memorable characters, scenes and some of the best but agonizing decision moments Telltale has ever made you think about before. Even with the slight disappointment with the overall story not progressing like I hoped it would….I’m completely sold on this story and can’t wait to finish the rest of the game.