07th Feb2014

‘The Wolf Among Us Chapter 2: Smoke & Mirrors’ Review (Xbox 360)

by Paul Metcalf

the-wolf-among-us-episode-2

It’s been some time since last October when we played the first chapter of The Wolf Among Us, it had us hooked and left us waiting for the next chapter.  Since then Telltale Games released the first chapter of The Walking Dead: Season Two and made announcements of the Borderlands games and Game of Thrones.

Now it’s time to forgive them for being so busy and forgetting the tales of the Fables because we now have The Wolf Among Us Chapter 2: Smoke & Mirrors.  After the events of the first chapter where the only spoiler I’ll give is I made a little toad cry, we start right where we left off which was quite shocking especially with the murder that took place.  Instead of being action orientated though this chapter decides to focus on the detail and not the fist.

For fans of Nordic Noir they may feel right at home with the level of questioning Bigby Wolf has to do in this episode, and the autopsy of the body of the latest victim.  It’s interesting that the body reveals so much, especially the black market magic that has taken place on it.  This tends to tease at themes which weren’t touched on in the first chapter, and elements from the source material for the Fable tales.

As always, for me at least I tried to control Bigby’s rage, though at times I had to break a few things and get a little violent to get to the truth.  Unlike the first chapter though in this one a few revelations are revealed and there is a feeling that we learn a lot more, especially with the twist at the end which will have you begging for the next chapter to come.  Let’s just hope that the next section of the game doesn’t take too long to come to us this time.

I could understand in some ways why some fans of the game may feel this is the weaker chapter compared to the first, especially through the run through I had.  There is a tendency in Smoke & Mirrors to look for evidence and not breaking skulls, though there is ample chance based on the people that you meet.  This is in a way a weakness of the story in that chapter 2 is arguably a lull in the story, as this is the moment that you find out most of the details about the killer himself.

One thing that you’ll also find is that fact you are taken by the hand in this episode and led on a trail with little choice of where to go.  In narrative terms this is not a bad thing as you do get a lot of the story and things that happened in the first chapter do shape what you find.  The fact that you can’t let Bigby go all out violent is also very prominent as you’ll find if you lose control there is always somebody who will let you know they weren’t impressed, and when they know the rest of the Fables will know.  Your actions are always known by almost everybody, so if you lose control be ready for complaints later on.

It’s fair to say that The Wolf Among Us Chapter 2: Smoke & Mirrors is weaker than the first chapter, especially in the action, but it is also very important in terms of the actual narrative of the game.  To try to not spoil the revelation at the end of this chapter too much it is a major plot point, and is somewhat of an “oh my god” moment that is worth playing through the chapter, it’ll be interesting where it goes from here.  Now to wait for Chapter 3 and hope that it doesn’t take as long for this one to come…because we need it now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com
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