The Wolf Among Us Episode Two: Smoke And Mirrors PC Review
Things In Fabletown Take A Turn For The Macabre
Telltale debuted The Wolf Among Us back in October, and I knew immediately after booting it up, it was going to be another gem. Telltale is fast becoming one of the most predominant storytellers in the video game biz. The first episode, Faith, introduced us to Fabletown and its tortured inhabitants. Did episode two manage to stay on track?
Telltale has proven they have the ability to transform a variety of IP into immersive and meaningful game experiences; The Wolf Among Us is no deviation from that track record. As I previously mentioned, Faith acted as a stern introduction into the lives of fairy tales living secretly among us mundies (normal folk). It also setup a fantastic whodunnit narrative. In true DC/Vertigo fashion, The Wolf Among Us delivers on mature themes, stunning visuals, and complex characters.
The P&C adventure genre is making a comeback, in part, thanks to Telltale. The type of gameplay you find in Telltale’s games doesn’t rely heavily on puzzles, but it does reward you for paying attention and connecting the dots, and punishes you for complacency. I’m continually surprised at how tense and well put together the action sequences are. I played about 35 minutes of episode two on a bus with headphones on. I was genuinely happy that I could still navigate a fight when using the trackpad on my Razer Blade; an indication of how precise the controls are. I also enjoy the measured approach taken when canvassing a crime-scene; an accurate depiction of a seasoned detective at work. Needless to say I’m impressed with what Telltale can do with Point and Click gameplay.
The wonderful, cel-shaded artwork brings Bigby, his supporting cast, and the mystery-shrouded setting of Fabletown brilliantly to life. The bright neon colors used when in the dodgy part of town are a nice contrast to the more muted, safe palette used for “The Woodlands”. In episode two, we’re treated to a few new characters, and we also get to see another fable do-away with their glamour when things get ugly. I’ll be interested to see what other types of characters we see in their true form as things move forward.
Smoke and Mirrors acts as a quick, but wonderful, continuation of the narrative. Things don’t slow down after episode one’s cliffhanger ending. In fact, they take a turn for the macabre. Episode two sees the introduction of Bigby’s favorite person to hate; Bluebeard. The ruthless pirate lives up to his sordid reputation within moments of taking the screen, but as things unfold, we find there’s something more sinister happening behind closed doors. Telltale has extended Bill Willingham’s universe into something of a baleful joy. I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner in episode 3, A Crooked Mile.
A stellar voice cast is once again on the ball in episode two. Telltale puts Dave Fennoy (TWD Lee Everett) to work as Bluebeard; he doesn’t disappoint. A musical score that compliments the seedy locales and brutal scenarios ice the cake.
I feel like I simply can’t convey how engaged I am by this story. Bigby is constantly trying to shed his wicked reputation, but he’s downright forced to give into his primal instincts due to the deteriorating situation. I find myself more enamored with his struggle every time I slip behind those piercing yellow eyes.Things are only getting worse in Fabletown, will Bigby have the strength to hold in the beast for much longer? Rest assured, I’ll be counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum until episode 3 rolls in.
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