I’ve never been a massive fan of the trend of reimagining fairy tales as modern day stories. Every year, and there’s another Disney teen cast as Snow White or Red Riding Hood or Struwwelpeter. The whole idea always struck me as somehow both pretentious and lazy: take a plot line and a series of well-established characters, sprinkle on some Damien Rice and sell it to those girls at your school who read nothing but Neil Gaiman. Quirky!
It’s reasons like this that I was late to the party when it came to the first episode of Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us. But I’m enamored with the episodic nature of Telltale’s storytelling style, and Wolf‘s first episode only continued my love affair. And while I may only have just finished up my first adventure with The Woodland’s favorite Willem Dafoe impersonator, others waited four months for this second installment. So it’s good to know that the second episode was worth the wait.
Continuing in its Dashiell Hammett meets the Brothers Grimm fashion, The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors picks up in the interrogation room. For some reason, the scene jumps around a tad, not entirely making sense right off the bat, as if something was missing. From here on, however, other scenes go far more smoothly.
And it’s a good thing, too, because this second episode only intends to stir even more hints, theories and red herrings into the mix. There are more fables to meet and more questions to ask. The voice acting and imagery is still superb, and the writing remains something Telltale can be proud of. And while the cliffhanger at the end is well crafted, it still feels like there should have been more. Perhaps it’s just the level of engagement that these games offer that makes it feel like it’s over too soon, but I can’t help but feel that four months calls for a little more than what we received.
Griping about the game’s length, however, doesn’t stop it from being richly entertaing, and definitely worth continuing. We get more of a chance to see a deeper side to Bigby–the man who is hiding behind the Wolf. Perhaps we’ll see even more in the next episode.
I just hope we don’t have to wait four months for it.
The Wolf Among Us: Smoke And Mirrors was created by Telltale Games, and was released yesterday for the PC and today for Playstation, Xbox, and iOS.