Two and half months.
It was a two and a half month wait between episode one and two of Fables: The Wolf Among Us. Two and a half months wondering where the story was taking us, and how [REDACTED] could possibly be dead, as they are alive at the start of the comics. The wait between episodes may also help to explain how it took this reviewer — the guy typing right now — roughly two weeks of repeated drafts before finally settling on a review for the second part of our story.
That, or the more obvious fact of how do you review the second of five parts in a story without knowing whatsoever what is to come? See, for the introductory first part it’s kind of easy to draft together a review. You rate art style, music, establishment of story; maybe you make some guesses as to where it’s all leading. The question then becomes one of how to review each subsequent part prior to the ending, which can be months away.
Do you wait several months and settle up with a review of the story as a whole?
Do you rehash your entire original review with key points from the new game?
What do you do? What do you do?
Thoughts & Opinions
In lieu of an actual review, the kind with some sort of score, allow me to point out some things I enjoyed or noticed throughout my playthrough. If you’re looking for a review with a score, then let me refer you back to what I put out for “Faith“, as most of my thoughts remain the same from then. When the season completes, I’ll do a full look back review of it, but not beforehand.
- Characters, both new and old, are brought into a different light in this game. Whether you’re familiar with the Bill Willingham comics that The Wolf Among Us is based on or not, you still will likely grow to appreciate characters in different ways; possibly even from playthrough to playthrough. On my first time through I played as a friendlier version of The Big Bad Wolf, one that doesn’t beat up prisoners in custody or talk down to colleagues. Playing this version of Bigby, I found myself loathing Bluebeard during his brief appearance in the story. Comparatively, during my straight asshole Bigby, the one who instills terror in those around him, I found myself appreciating the character more. Something about putting yourself in the mindset of different versions of the same character, something Telltale has nearly mastered since starting The Walking Dead, creates different connections to different characters.
- Speaking of the characters, there are three in particular who stand out to me during this episode. First off we have my favorite character in the season so far: TJ, son of Mr. Toad. While he could have easily come across as a whining child, instead we’re treated to a character that elicits that same desire to protect as Clementine did in Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 1. Granted, he in no way lives up to the wonderful aspects of Clementine or the bond formed between her and Lee, but still I find myself wanting to speak as calmly as possible when around TJ, never risking upsetting the child.Then, there’s the character I’ve longed to see in-game since my brief sojourn into the comics: the one and only Jack. Jack is exactly as you would expect him to be, cocky, self-assured, and with dialogue that makes you want him to stay on-screen as long as possible. Finally, we have a character who appears as nothing more than ripped picture, Rose Red. Rose may not appear in this episode, but her brief mention leaves me wanting to see more of her in upcoming episodes.
- My final thoughts for Smoke & Mirrors is that I would really like to see more interaction in future episodes of the series. Yes, the current Telltale style has been essentially an interactive movie, but episode two honestly just felt like even less than that. There are only 2-3 points in the entire episode where you control Bigby outside of a conversation, the first of which doesn’t even pop up til chapter three. While not terrible, as the story elements and dialogue are exceptional, it still felt lacking in a modern-day point and click adventure title.
The question you may have now is should you buy into The Wolf Among Us: Season One, and the truth is that my opinion hasn’t changed in the last three months: Yes, yes you definitely should have already bought into it.
Go play it, now, then come back and we can discuss the story in more detail when all is said and done.