The Wolf Among Us Episode 2
*SPOILER ALERT* This is a review of the ongoing story of The Wolf Among Us. As such, it will be full of story related spoilers. This article also assumes that you have played Episode 1 of the story (and if you have not I highly recommend doing so before reading).
The Wolf Among Us ended its first episode with a surprise worthy of prime-time television. Finding Snow White's head on the front steps of your apartment building… oh man, did that get to me. So, needless to say, I was pretty excited for the second episode to come out.
I wish I could say that my anticipation was fulfilled.
Did you ever watch a television show with character changing episodes? One where characters fought and characters died and the pacing was so fast that there seemed to be more character development in one or two episodes than in the last several seasons combined? Then, it turned out to all be a vivid dream? (There is a famous example from the television show Dallas called “Who Killed J.R.”) I don’t know about you, but I feel cheated when this occurs. Like my emotional investment in the story is being punished by writers looking for a consequence free twist.
If that little diatribe wasn’t enough foreshadowing then here it is: turns out Snow White wasn’t dead and, damn, did I feel cheated.
Turns out it was just a troll (the fantasy kind, not the internet kind), glamoured (a spell to change one's appearance) to look like our dear Snow White.
At this point, the game turns into something of a daytime crop drama, like Law and Order. Who killed this woman and why did she look like Snow White? This results in a rather unfortunate necessity--for me to be a witness to the story, rather than a participant. You can’t have the player get in the way of story progress by not being able to piece together the clues after all.
I liked the story, I really did. It felt like any of a number of day-time crime shows. This was, also, my biggest complaint after it was completed. My first words when the mystery was resolved and the credits began? “Is that really where it ended, not very much happened.” This is because every other episode of the games released by TellTale Games was as much pulse-pounding action, and split-second decision-making, as they were dramatic story. Episode 2 of The Wolf Among Us was nothing more than a tour of various locales with button prompts to continue that story. The one “fight” that the story had you experience felt out of place—shoe-horned in simply because they had to have some kind of conflict in there.
Overall, this episode was a disappointment. As much as I love the Fables universe, this game failed to scratch the itch that the first episode left me with. I’m still fascinated by the world and the story was still sufficient to keep me waiting in anticipation. Perhaps this is simply an unfortunate consequence of having a single story spread out across five episodes, rather than having five self-contained stories, such as The Walking Dead. Only time will tell whether The Wolf Among Us will ultimately be a success.