After Episode 1’s cliffhanger, you might be forgiven in thinking that The Wolf’s second outing would be filled with the same level of intrigue and suspense. Sadly, Smoke and Mirrors feels rather lacklustre by comparison.
Players will find that there are moments in which they feel as though they are just plodding around, connecting the very obvious dots left around the various scenes, and if you have a sharp mind it is entirely possible to figure out a major plot twist less than 30 minutes in.
Gone are the previous episodes’ suspense and layers of conversational subtlety, instead replaced by boring and black and white choices. Players will never really struggle to progress the story in the ‘right’ way, and apart from one particular scene, you won’t have a hard time deciding not to transform Bigby into the raging bad wolf. You could feel bubbles of this beneath the surface throughout Ep.1, not the case in Ep.2. Smoke and Mirrors also feels much shorter; don’t expect your adventure as Bigby to last more than two hours and that’s being generous.
Of course, both the art direction and voice acting are excellent. The grimness and desperation of Fabletown seeps through almost every scene, and it is more than enough to please your eyes. But for all the eye candy, Smoke and Mirrors will leave you feeling unfullfilled – even if it does end on the now ubiquitous cliffhanger.
Smoke and Mirrors never fully ramps up the tension and when it tries to, it is far too clear cut on how Bigby should approach or diffuse a situation. If you have the season pass then I doubt you are pondering whether to jump back into Bigby’s shoes, but if you are buying the episodes separately you might want to approach this one with caution.
[schema type=”review” name=”The Wolf Among Us Episode 2 | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Nice ‘film noir’ art direction, Great characters, Excellent voice acting | The Not So Awesome: Only 2 hours long, The tension is all but gone, Far too easy to make the ‘right’ choice, Much of the subtlety is absent” rev_name=”The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Smoke and Mirrors” rev_body=”The Wolf’s second episode is a disappointment; much of what made the first episode great has been left out or watered down. Everything seems far too easy to do correctly, choices are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and much of the subtlety that fills the middle is absent. It’s a shame that after such a great start Smoke & Mirrors feels like damp gunpowder – there’s a few sparks and fizzles but no real bang.” author=”TenBensons” pubdate=”2014-02-05″ user_review=”6.8″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]
Review Statement: The author of this review was given a code by the publisher for purposes of this review.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”