October 20, 2014
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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.6


The Wolf Among Us - Episode 2: Smoke And Mirrors
February 25, 2014 | Steven Marx
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Requirements:

Mac OS X: 10.6.8 |†CPU: 2 GHz Intel | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 2 GB | Graphics: 512 MB VRAM

Introduction

If you read my review of Episode One of The Wolf Among Us: Faith, you know I thought it was a most excellent game, with an engaging story and characters, beautiful graphics and excellent voice acting. It was good enough for me to compare it to a book, and coming from an avid reader thatís high praise indeed. Now that Episode Two, Smoke & Mirrors has been released, the question is, does it live up to its beginning? To that I say, yes Ö mostly.

Rather than go over the basics again, Iíll leave it to you dear reader to read my or other reviews or descriptions of the game if you are unfamiliar with it. Suffice it to say it is a graphic novel in game form in the same vein (and from the same company, Telltale Games as The Walking Dead. As you play you make choices and those choices effect how the game plays out and how other characters respond to you. While the larger plot elements will occur regardless of how you act, how the game plays out depends very much on your actions, or lack of them.

The Good

Itís mostly all good, all the things I liked from the first episode are still here, and more. You meet and interact with more Fables, the plot continues to unfold as you try to solve the mystery of who is killing Fables, and there are plot twists to keep you guessing. The graphics and voice acting are still top notch, as is the music and ambient noise. And this game still earns its M rating in every way.

One of the nice things about the game is how your actions effect how other characters behave towards you. This really rewarded replaying the game in episode one to see how things could play out differently, and the same is true in episode two. Whatís even more fun to me is how your actions in Faith carry over into Smoke and Mirrors, so you may want to even pick up your different saved games from the first episode when you continue on. So all in all thereís a lot to like about Episode Two, especially if youíve already played the first episode and have been chomping at the bit for a few months.

The Bad, or at least Not So Good

This is pretty short, and short is the watchword here. It may be me, but I found this episode to be even shorter than the first, which was not notable for its length. Iím not a fast game player and donít have hours at a time to devour a new game, yet I made it through this episode in a couple of sessions. This doesnít mean I wonít go back and replay as discussed above, but I was a little startled when I realized I had come to the end already.

There also seemed to be less action in this episode. There wasnít a lot in the first, but enough to keep you on your toes. This episode seemed to have even less; it was mostly going to different locations and investigating, which makes sense as youíre the sheriff. But if youíre looking for action, this game, and this Episode in particular, is not for you. Perhaps it was the lack of action that made the game seem a little slower or repetitive to me; even though I enjoyed it, I was less captivated than in episode one. This could also be due to the novelty having worn off, but I felt like it was a little more than that.

Conclusion

The Wolf Among Us: Smoke & Mirrors remains one of the most engrossing and enjoyable games Iíve played recently. The different take on familiar fairy tales, interesting plot and characters, and beautiful graphics and sound make it a pleasure from start to finish. It just seems like the finish in episode two came a little too soon. Hopefully we wonít have to wait so long for episode three.



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