The wolf is back to bare his teeth in the second episode of The Wolf Among Us. It’s been four excruciating months as the premier episode left us with one of the best set up cliffhangers ever seen in a game; and now that the sophomore episode is out, does it live up to the high-mark of the first episode? The short answer is mostly yes, but with a side of no.
Starts Somewhat Tweedledumb
Concerning the story, the development that occurred at the end of episode one was amazing, but how does episode two expand upon the revelation? It really doesn’t, actually. Where episodes of the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead game had genuinely great cliffhangers where their effects lasted throughout the rest of the episodes, the twist in The Wolf Among Us is wiped away like chalk with an eraser. The plot still thickens a bit concerning the string of murders happening in Fabletown, but the long wait time between episodes hasn’t made the reward worth the wait.
Mostly A Tweedledelight
That isn’t to say the second episode’s story was bad. After the first thirty minutes, the gripping crime-fantasy-noir story returned to form, offering new and compelling characters in interesting situations. The highlight of the episode is speaking to a gentleman’s club owner who tries Bigby’s patience. The conversation is tense, and the options in the entire scene are extremely fun to play with. Overall, the story that Telltale prides itself in is still shining here, if not for some flickering when turning the power back on.
Limited Controls, Many Methods
Gameplay is the same as the first episode, right-stick to move a cursor around, left stick to move Bigby, and face buttons for specific interactions. Where the first episode focused on crime scene investigation, the second episode involves a lot more characters interactions. The scene involving the gentleman’s club owner has a lot of options for getting the answers you need, including but not limited to: smashing a jukebox, bashing a man’s head in, and yelling at a stripper to get off stage.
In reality, gameplay is mostly defined in The Wolf Among Us not as mechanics, but by choices in the story to expand upon the Bigby’s characterization. Personally, I didn’t smash up the club, but that was because I didn’t want to disappoint the people Bigby was working for, and I made sure that as non-violent as he is, Bigby will meet fist with fist whenever necessary. The choice of action in this episode is very deep, and Telltale should be commended for that. Concerning the quicktime events—unlike the first episode, episode two had way less quicktime event action sequences. One may question the game’s quality since the action was skimped a bit, but the characterization provided for Bigby, and the depth of story made up for the dearth in action.
The visuals continue to be really well detailed, with an 80’s dirt mixed with a toonish quality pervading every nook and cranny to make this feel like a fully-realized world. The music is never invasive, but neither is it particularly interesting. It’s a quiet blend that sets the scene without taking focus away from the fantastic voice acting. Speaking of, the voice-acting and script is superb, each line flowing like a real conversation, thanks in part to the emphasis on character reactions, which punctuate the conversations and allow for a deeper connection between the characters. It generates a flow that eases into the games’ script without deviating too far and makes for compelling conversations.
It feels like Telltale has hit a rhythm that makes The Wolf Among Us really good, but the red herring at the beginning of the episode is starting to make me question the quality of the story being told. This isn’t Goosebumps where every chapter needs to have a cliffhanger. Thankfully, the second episode ends on a much less mind-blowing revelation than the first episode did, and overall the characters and the actions were a ton of fun. After this episode, I wouldn’t suggest purchasing now, but put it on your Steam Wishlist to remind yourself when the rest are out to snatch up this excellent game.
Replay Value: 7
Legacy Score: 7.5
Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.
Check out Victor’s review of the first episode here.
Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him twist controllers into dust when playing Dark Souls 2.