Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is the latest title release by Starbreeze Studios, developers of popular titles such as Syndicate and The Darkness, but this new title is a huge contrast to their previous forte for dark grimly games. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a lighthearted adventure game set in beautiful picturesque landscapes and scenes of a middle-earth like fantasy world.
The games story evolves around two brothers who must journey to a far away place in search of medicine to save their ill father. Along the way, they face numerous puzzles that require them to work together to overcome and solve. What makes this game particularly unique aside from the beautiful scenery is the unique game play that require you to operate two separate characters at the same time. Each move and interact with objects independently or simultaneously to offer different results.
The game play mechanics are quite fun and interesting and somewhat reminiscent of the arcade game Smash TV but instead you are maneuvering two characters instead of one. At many points the brothers are required to work together to solve challenges such as one running inside a wheel to lower a bridge for the other brother, or one brother hoisting the smaller brother over a wall to allow him to open a gate from the other side.
The controls take a bit to get used to and at times you might find two character running in completely different directions than you wanted. It's like being asked to draw a circle with one hand and a square with the other at the same time, the brain can't multi-task and eventually one side of the brain takes over. Because of this often times we see players taking turn moving one character after the other which could become very time consuming, however here is a tip that will probably help you quite a bit.
Knowing that they usually have to walk together most of the time until they reach an obstacle, you should stack both characters on top of each other so that you can move them together simultaneously, one hand will mimic the other which should make it much easier to get to where you need to go.
Although you can play the game on a keyboard, it is pretty difficult, especially if you are used to moving characters on one hand only, the other hand has little experience with maneuvering a character in game so you'll be learning to walk for the first time with the weaker hand. This is why we suggest, you use a USB controller which will drastically improve your gameplay and generally make this game so much more enjoyable.
Overall the game is awesome and truly a wonderful gaming experience that you have to take part of. I mean Myst or Alone in the Dark were pretty slow and methodical but it too was something that you had to experience because they were the first of their kind ground breaking games of their time. Brothers, is quite that ground breaking but unique none the less and worth the experience. The was however, on thing that really bothered me and that was the ambient soundtrack and the lack of any voice or narration which made the game rather quite and sleepy. Not to say that it isn't interesting but the combination of a dreamy soft soundtrack and the subtle foreign mumbling of the two brothers makes it quite hard to keep your interest in the game for a long period of time. Although the game is a sitter which can be completed in under 3 hours, even one hour of it was more than I could bare. I guess I really wish there was more dialogue that would give the game and characters more layers and depth to build on, but instead, they start out as strangers and by the end of the game still feel we could learn so much more about the characters then was developed. I would say overall I enjoyed the game and really appreciated the unique game play and the beautiful graphics but I think I would have appreciate more dialogue and a change of music to advance the pace of the game where necessary. Definitely though, its a must play game in my opinion.
Graphics score 9
Gameplay score 9
Difficulty score 2
Freshness score 9
Replayability score 2
XCVii007r1 took the time to record the entire 2 hour and 30 minute game and shared it here on Youtube. It's a good watch if you want to see the entire game without having to play it. Probably an option if you simply don't have the time, the scenery is still something wonderful to experience but could get sleepy since after all there is no real dialogue and the music is so subtle and entirely instrumental. If only someone did this for all the Final Fantasy games... or do they?