The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Smoke and Mirrors Review

Last autumn Telltale Games released the first installment of the company’s new episodic adventure game series, The Wolf Among Us. The initial outing, entitled Faith, introduced players to the Fables universe — one populated by the flesh and blood incarnations of popular fairytale characters. Chief among them is the series’ protagonist and Fabletown’s sheriff, Bigby Wolf (i.e. a werewolf version of the Big Bad Wolf). The player controls Bigby on his mission to uncover the truth behind a murder mystery plaguing New York’s fairytale community.

The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors GeorgieMuch like Telltale’s other series, The Walking Dead, the player’s choices in one episode carry over to the next and affect the overall, serialized plot. Smoke and Mirrors picks up with Bigby interrogating whichever suspect the player chose to apprehend at the first episode’s conclusion. Aside from the suspect’s identity, I did not find that the repercussions of my actions in Faith had any significant effect on Bigby’s investigation in Smoke and Mirrors. Hopefully these decisions as a whole weigh more heavily into the story of future episodes.

Smoke and Mirrors successfully adds more layers to the murder mystery established in Faith. Yet another Fabletown resident succumbs to what appears to be a serial killer at work in the mystical community. Bigby’s investigation keeps you intrigued throughout the episode as it unfolds at a logical and brisk pace. Many of the disturbing revelations come as quite a surprise, though some may claim that the proceedings are a bit stock. It seems that every crime tale in fiction, for example, requires a visit to a strip club. That having been said, I found these elements a fitting homage to the noir atmosphere that Telltale has successfully created with this series.

The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors JackEpisode 2 features significantly less action than its predecessor. The altercations that Bigby does get into come across as more forced than a natural progression of the storyline, like they were in Faith. Moreover, the fights themselves are less thrilling than those showcased in Episode 1. It feels like Telltale included these segments purely for the action itself. On the other hand, I found other elements of the gameplay, such as the different interrogation methods at the player’s disposal, to be quite compelling.

Many serialized television series feature what I call “linking” episodes. These episodes serve as bridges between major plot developments. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones television series feature their fair share of linking episodes, and I would classify Smoke and Mirrors as the videogame equivalent of this phenomenon. The investigation keeps the player captivated, but nothing particularly tremendous happens until the episode’s conclusion. Smoke and Mirrors does succeed, however, in further immersing you into the world of Fabletown. Telltale is clearly setting players up for huge revelations in future outings. Only time will tell if these set-ups will ultimately pay off.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: David Taylor View all posts by
David's addiction to video games began shortly after receiving his NES for Christmas in 1987 (it still works!). When David is not reminiscing about Chrono Trigger (his favorite game) he is hiking in north Georgia, scuba diving, or watching the endless amounts of B-movies on his instant Netflix queue.

Comments are closed.