Posted by : Unknown Saturday, February 15, 2014

 | 2/15/13 12:30PM |

Dangerous Reflections

Smoke and Mirrors continues where episode one left off from the Wolf Among Us, which if you've finished the first episode, was the discovery of another fable affected by the mysterious killer. The bulk of this second episode centers around that situation, as well as introducing new characters who bring with them new conflicts to solve during the two hour episode which has Bigby chasing down new and surprising leads in the hunt for a Fable killer.

Generally speaking, Smoke and Mirrors is a nice followup to Faith, although the 360 version still suffers from constant gameplay lags which hinders the overall experience a bit when playing on Microsoft's last-gen console.

This episode features more investigative gameplay than combat segments in comparison to the first episode, which gives you more sequences that put choice and consequences solely in your hands. The methods that you choose to utilize regarding getting characters to talk will either make things easier or more difficult for Bigby, who must also deal with the fallout from those who frown upon his actions from the first episode. 

It all plays out quite nicely, and I was interested in going through it again just to see how different things would turn out if I made different choices, but you can generally say that about each episode of a Telltale game in all honesty.

Most Telltale titles usually give you two distinct ways to accomplish a goal, so re-playability at least one more time is recommended in Smoke and Mirrors, and since The Wolf Among Us has collectible journals, a third play-through may be required if you want the extra achievements the game offers up for finding them all.

While there is a set of new characters to interact with, you'll also have to speak with Fables that you dealt with in episode one. Based on how things ended last time will reflect on these encounters, which was nice to see with some segments and a bit awkward with others. 

No matter what happened though, these scenes really show that your past decisions really do affect what happens next and how characters take note of the moves you made when you first met up.     

The presentation for the episode is very similar to episode one, which is of course great and attractive. New locations to visit such as the Witching Well, Dancing club, and Shady hotel fit right in with the past locations, while also showing off a bit more detail although there are less points of interest to investigate.

Unfortunately the same gamplay issues that show up in episode one and the Walking Dead appear in Smoke and Mirrors as well, so at least on 360, this will always be a bit of a drag when playing Telltale titles.   

Season Pass holders may also be frustrated as well, since the second episode must be purchased even if you dropped $15 for the pass, although Microsoft has temporary remedied this situation by giving pass holders a code for episode two. Let's hope that this issue is fixed by the time episode three is ready for release.

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The wait for episode two was quite long in comparison to the Walking Dead, but it still shows that Telltale is among the best with supplying interactive segments for their games that keep you entertained while you await the next piece in the story. 

I only hope next time the wait will be much shorter!

+ Another great addition to The Wolf Among Us 
+ Great job of reflecting on past choices from Episode One
+ New characters to interact with
- Technical issues with the game and Season Pass

Reviews on the are based out of a '1-5 controller' Scoring system. Purchased games by the reviewer contain no annotation, but review copies are always known to the reader via a review disclaimer.

Developer- Telltale Games
Publishers- Telltale Games
Release Date- February 5th, 2014
Price- $4.99 MSRP
Review Platform- Xbox Live Arcade

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