Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2014-02-11 17:30:33
The Wolf Among Us is all Smoke & Mirrors
I was a big fan of the first episode of The Wolf Among Us. Faith is a compelling introductory episode to a series that shows great promise. It's a shame, then, that the second episode, Smoke & Mirrors, isn't on-par with the first; and that a growing amount of evidence suggests that the game may have had some content axed for whatever reason that resulted in it being shorter than it should have been.
Almost painfully short, actually. Smoke & Mirrors took about four months to come out and the gameplay lasts little over an hour. What you get is good, to be sure, but it's sadly not good enough. An unfortunate number of technical glitches make the experience less enjoyable than it should be, and these hiccups are difficult to forgive from an award-winning team such as Telltale Games. And that's before you factor in that Smoke & Mirrors simply isn't the episode that was teased at the end of Episode 1.
Seriously - look at this preview trailer from the end of Faith:
Count how many of these scenes didn't appear in the final product:
- I played the game - the Woodsman certainly isn't still walking the streets.
- Ichabod Crane doesn't threaten to replace Bigby.
- You don't see Georgie outside the club.
- You don't fight Beast in a back alley.
- Georgie's voice actor has changed in the final product.
- You don't get to hold Ichabod Crane over the well.
- Bigby doesn't transform into his wolf form.
Pretty much everything the preview illustrates isn't in the final product of Episode 2. So what happened?
One theory is that fans deduced who the killer was in the first episode - effectively solving the mystery, which may have made Telltale change the script. This sounds unlikely, but it's perhaps not too farfetched - the revelation is found on Telltale's official forum, and if it did result in things being changed, it would at least explain why the episode was not only massively delayed but also doesn't match what was supposed to happen.
Whatever the reason for Smoke & Mirrors taking such a long time to come out, though, it doesn't really matter - there's no denying that the finished product isn't what was promised by the preview, which could easily be illustrative of issues on Telltale's end. The episode shouldn't have taken four months to come out, making it fairly easy to believe that things aren't quite rosy behind the scenes.
Here's hoping that Smoke & Mirrors is a blip and that future episodes will actually be what they're supposed to be.