Last week finally saw the release of Episode 2 of The Wolf Among Us: Smoke & Mirrors. I was a very big fan of episode 1 and also a fan of the comic series, so have been hotly anticipating this basically ever since I finished the first.
Ok first off, MAJOR EPISODE 1 SPOILERS AHEAD!
Right, now that’s out of the way. Here is a recap of Episode 1, and my choices.
Firstly I chose to lie to Beast about Beauty’s whereabouts. Secondly ripped off Grendels arm. He deserved it! I tried to be nice about it, and not start a fight, but it seemed it was inevitable. Finally I decided to chase down Tweedle Dee and arrest him. Those were the main choices you had to make, from what I remember.
Episode 2 picks up right where we left off, and that was with the discovery of Snow Whites head, which was now not attached to her body. Don’t worry Bigby is on the case! He has Tweedle Dee in custody, and its time to interrogate him a little. The interrogation lets you get to know Blue Beard a little more, god I hate him. He always seems to think that he’s in charge, and that he’s more important than everyone else. It’s ok though because Bigby lets him know he isn’t. After some questioning, Bigby gets a few new leads to follow up on.
This is how the episode continues, trying to gather more information from your various sources and leads. Trying to piece together what has happened, why its happened, and who is behind it all.
As the story progresses, we are introduced to another new character, Georgie, who is the owner of the ‘gentlemens’ club the ‘Pudding & Pie’ – see what they did there! I don’t know what it is about Fabletown, but a lot of its residents seem to be A-holes, maybe its just Bigby they don’t like? Maybe they resent being forced out of there homelands? Georgie is no exception to the ‘I’m an A hole’ thing, and is immediately on the defensive when you meet him. Who am I kidding, it’s Bigby they don’t like…
As Bigby has a bit of a reputation for being a hot head, I’ve tried to approach each new encounter as placidly as possible, and not try to start any trouble. But when everyone is so hostile, its hard to be nice. Plus the story does kind of force you down the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ route a little. Part of me doesn’t like this, but then again it wouldn’t really make sense if Bigby was just nice all the time. The Big Nice Wolf doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
As with episode 1, there are more choices to make, which will effect your game and how it pans out. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything. However in this episode I felt that the ‘hard’ choices were a little few and far between, and I mostly breezed through them all without too much consideration. I also don’t really feel like the previous choices have mattered all that much, well not yet anyway.
There is no getting away from comparing this to The Walking Dead, its the same people, it’s bound to happen. I felt the choices in that game were genuinely tough to make, and that they had ‘real’ consequences, I don’t really get that from this game at the moment. Don’t get me wrong the story is great, and I’m loving playing through it, I just haven’t managed to get the same kind of connections and emotions as I did with The Walking Dead. Maybe its just that the story doesn’t really hold the same kind of misery and dread, after all it’s not like we are trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. It’s hard to see how a murder case can really make you have tough decisions, and up to this point that’s kind of how I’ve felt. I’ve deliberated over a couple of decisions, but not to the same extent as the walking dead.
I have faith that Telltale will build on these as we get further in to it, and come the end I will be really contemplating various decisions.
The game play still suffers from the odd glitch and lag here and there, usually when a new scene is loading up. It’s a little annoying, and can sometimes bring you out of the experience, but not enough to cause major problems. The mechanics of the game play, however, I think have vastly improved since The Walking Dead, fight scenes work a lot more seamlessly, and the controls in general feel less clunky.
All in all Episode 2 only took me around 2 hours to complete, which I felt was a little short. But then for just over £3, you cant complain to much. It was a good episode, and the story progressed well. There wasn’t to much action in this episode, most of it was mainly dialogue, but thats not a bad thing. I think the first episode was a little better, but I’m looking forward to carrying on the story. I just hope the next episodes ramps it up a bit in terms of tension and tough decision making, and a little more action wouldn’t go amiss.