While the individual episodes in Telltale series aren’t too overly long, they usually at least average a little under two hours or so, with a few being more in the hour and a half range. However, this one felt extremely short to me while playing, really only lasting about an hour. Just like the first episode, this one had six chapters to play through, but many of them were so short that you were through with them in no time. You unlock an achievement at the end of each chapter, and I could not believe when I was unlocking them so quickly due to the fast pace. Thankfully there is a good bit of story and action packed into this very short episode that moves the story along well enough.
The animation style is once again perfect for the setting as it was in the first episode. The cel-shaded art style looks just like the Fables comic book series have come to life on the screen. The lighting fits the atmosphere through the use of shadows and dimly lit areas, which greatly enhances the noir setting throughout the game. The music is also about the same as in the first episode, but it still fits in very well by helping to create a sense of suspense while playing.
As I touched on in my review of Episode 1, the game provides something known as the Book of Fables in the extras menu. This allows you to read up a bit on the characters you may not know much about otherwise. As you meet new characters along the way in Episode 2, new Fables are added to this book to help supplement some of the information that isn’t spelled out in the game itself.
The first episode of The Wolf Among Us struggled a bit with stuttering problems, but it seemed to be even more prominent this time around. For some reason, Telltale just cannot figure out how to have previously on and next time on segments that are not completely messed up with seconds of freezing. This happened throughout each episode of The Walking Dead, the first episode of The Wolf Among Us, and now the second. At times, these two segments were almost unwatchable due to the constant stops. The game itself seemed fine when actually exploring with Bigby, but the actual cutscenes would sometimes stutter here and there as well, and it got old rather quickly.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors is a worthy follow-up to the standout first episode. While it does not quite reach the heights of the first one, due to a shortened length and technical issues, Episode 2 is still a fantastic experience. The ongoing story is furthered a good bit in this episode, with multiple surprises along the way, and ends us on another cliffhanger that will make the wait for Episode 3 all that much longer. If you enjoyed the first episode, there is no reason for you not to check out the next installment. If you haven’t played any of The Wolf Among Us, I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible.
[Editor’s Note: The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Smoke & Mirrors was reviewed on the Xbox 360. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 - Smoke & Mirrors Review,